After months in which it felt as if a trade might happen at any moment, Carmelo Anthony is still a member of the New York Knicks and may be for the foreseeable future.
Anthony and the Knicks have been on the road to a breakup since the team’s now-ousted president Phil Jackson said Anthony “would be better off somewhere else.”
The Knicks have been in trade talks surrounding Anthony – who holds a no-trade clause – with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Houston Rockets all summer, but nothing has materialized.
According to ESPN’s Ian Begley, the Knicks are “not close” on an Anthony trade even with training camp set to begin September 25. As Begley notes, if Anthony is not traded before September 25, the two sides may be in for an awkward reunion:
“So the smart money says that Anthony will be a Knick when training camp opens on Sept. 25. And you can bet that he won’t be thrilled about that. The guess here is Anthony would rather run another possession in Phil Jackson’s triangle offense than answer questions on media day about his uncertain Knicks future. If he participates in the NBA’s traditional media day activities, Anthony would also have to take part in the production of promotional material – videos, pictures, in-house interviews, etc. – for the Knicks.”
Anthony, however, doesn’t seem to be in the Knicks’ plans. Begley notes that the Knicks released season-ticket ads in August that promoted several players – but not Anthony. Likewise, Knicks president Steve Mills didn’t mention Anthony in an essay published on MSG.com about his vision for the team’s future.
The Rockets seem to be the sole team for which Anthony would waive his no-trade clause, but they are having a hard time assembling a package the Knicks desire. The Knicks have reportedly been reluctant to take back power forward Ryan Anderson’s salary – three years, $60 million remaining – and the Rockets don’t have many young players who could help the Knicks rebuild. The Rockets have been trying to find a third team to help facilitate the trade, but other teams have also been hesitant to take Anderson.
According to Begley, the Knicks and Anthony have had very little contact this summer. At an event in Baltimore in August, Anthony told reporters (via ESPN): “I’m good. I’ve been away from the fray.”
All parties most likely share the mind-set that a trade would be better sooner rather than later, but if the Knicks can’t make a deal happen, then training camp may be an interesting spectacle.