It appeared to be exactly what the Knicks wanted when Phil Jackson was their president: Carmelo Anthony waiving his no-trade clause and even showing enthusiasm about being moved to the Houston Rockets.
One glitch — Jackson no longer is in charge, and now, with new leadership in place, the Knicks appear to be putting a pause on trade talk.
According to ESPN, however, Anthony remains optimistic that he’ll have a new home come fall.
According to the report, which cited league sources, president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry are looking to meet with Anthony to discuss his future (or non-future) with the Knicks, with the dwindling possibility that he’ll stay put to serve out the final two years of his contract, worth $54 million.
Anthony, who had been all but pushed out by Jackson before Jackson himself was fired, already had reached an agreement with the Knicks to be traded to the Rockets, according to ESPN, and fully expects to be with Houston in a few months.
The Knicks will have the opportunity to shed some light on Anthony’s fate when Mills, Perry and Jeff Hornacek meet with the media Monday.
It seems only fitting that Anthony’s turbulent, sometimes bizarre season should be followed by an equally turbulent offseason.
Jackson and his associates repeatedly called out Anthony in public, harping on his perceived “me-first’’ attitude and implying that he was ill-suited to the triangle offense because he held on to the ball too long.
Though he often attempted to stay above the fray, Anthony, 33, seemed frustrated with Knicks leadership and engaged in occasional social media posts that pointed at his dissatisfaction.
In April, Jackson flat-out said Anthony would be better suited to another organization. That, finally, was enough for Anthony, who in the past had been reluctant to waive his no-trade clause. According to ESPN, he would be willing to go to Houston or Cleveland but recently has heavily favored Houston.
Fast-forward three months, and it appears that Jackson’s comments have hurt Anthony’s trade value, ESPN said. According to the report, one big reason the Knicks are putting a pause on talks is because they’re not getting back what they hoped. The hangup has been the three years and $61 million left on Rockets forward Ryan Anderson’s contract. Three- and four-team trades have been discussed.
ESPN reported that the Trail Blazers also are vying for Anthony and hope they can join the list of teams for which he’s willing to waive his no-trade clause. Guard CJ McCollum sent speculation into a frenzy Sunday night when he posted a photoshopped picture of Anthony in a Trail Blazers jersey on his Instagram account. It was unclear if McCollum has any inside knowledge. ESPN said the Rockets were looking at the Trail Blazers to facilitate a multi-team deal that would land Anthony in Houston.
Anthony would find a welcome home alongside Chris Paul and James Harden, and a probable crack at the playoffs, but if a trade can’t be made, he could just as easily be made to stick around for a Knicks rebuild.