The Knicks apparently are being persistent in their efforts to move Carmelo Anthony for Kevin Love.
According to an ESPN report, the Knicks are still pursuing Love from the Cavaliers, but the reigning NBA champions don’t want to part with one of their core players.
The Cavaliers want to bolster their team in hopes of improving their chances of beating the loaded Warriors if they meet again in the Finals. Anthony would give them another weapon, but the Cavaliers don’t want to deal an integral piece such as Love, who is having a good season.
If the Cavaliers could get Anthony without giving up Love before the Feb. 23 trade deadline, it’s likely they would sign off on that. But that probably would require a third team to make it happen. It also would require Anthony to waive his no-trade clause.
ESPN reported the Knicks are exploring three- and four-team scenarios in their talks involving Anthony, who also has a 15-percent trade kicker that makes him difficult to deal.
The Knicks also have spoken to the Clippers and Celtics about Anthony, but he has all the power because he can veto any trade. Anthony said all of his options are open, including remaining with the Knicks. He also said he hasn’t given the Knicks a list of teams for which he would be willing to waive his no-trade.
“I haven’t told anybody anything,” Anthony said Tuesday. “I haven’t had that conversation with anybody.”
Anthony has said he would have to “consider” waiving the no-trade if the front office told him “they want to go in a different direction.”
The popular opinion is Anthony would accept a trade to the Cavaliers or the Clippers because both are contenders and he has one of his closest friends on each team. Anthony counts Cleveland’s LeBron James and the Clippers’ Chris Paul among a group he considers “a brotherhood.”
Anthony said Tuesday that he and his close NBA friends — he vacationed with James, Paul and Dwyane Wade two summers ago — have talked about playing together. But Anthony also said his family would be a big factor into whether he would leave the Knicks.
Anthony brought up how comfortable his 9-year-old son is in his school in New York, and his actress wife LaLa’s business interests here. On Wednesday, LaLa announced a partnership with ITV America to create and produce projects. She’s developing a documentary that goes inside the business side of the New York City hip-hop scene.
“That’s more what I care about, my family,” Anthony said.
With the Knicks possibly missing the playoffs for the fourth straight year, and Anthony’s relationship with team president Phil Jackson becoming more acrimonious, he could decide to leave for a better situation. But Anthony posted a picture of himself on Twitter accompanied by these words: “Running away from things you find unpleasant causes suffering. But facing and challenging such situations will enrich your life.”
When asked about it, Anthony said there wasn’t any subliminal message.
Anthony has played his best basketball of the season the last couple of weeks. He averaged 28.1 points in his previous nine games before having an off game Wednesday night against the Nets, shooting 6-for-22 and scoring only 15 points in the Knicks’ 95-90 win. Jeff Hornacek said Anthony is locked in and blocking out the noise.
“With all the distractions that are going on outside of the court, I think his refuge is to get on the court and just play basketball,” Hornacek said. “I think he’s using the game out there as a place to have fun, maybe let all the other distractions go away and just play a game he loves.”