Carmelo Anthony had his heart set on going to the Houston Rockets, but for that trade to work out the New York Knicks would have to take back Ryan Anderson and his bloated contract that pays him $61.1 million over the next three seasons. Adding an overpaid mediocre player is not exactly the way to rebuild a team, especially when Melo only has two years left on his deal and $54 million (The second year has an early termination clause, so he could follow another superstar to a team with a lot of cap space). So instead of wasting another year in the twilight of his career with the lackluster Knicks, Carmelo has expanded his list of teams he would approve a trade to.
Anthony, who holds a no-trade clause, reportedly informed the Knicks that there are three teams on his trade list including the Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Daily News and ESPN reported that the Knicks reached out to the Cavaliers on Monday about a potential trade. A trade to the Cavs would probably need to involve Jae Crowder, Iman Shumpert, and Channing Frye, plus a draft pick. But since Crowder was recently traded from the Boston Celtics to Cleveland, NBA rules wouldn’t allow him to be traded until Oct. 22 at the earliest, which is 60 days after the trade that sent him to Cleveland.
The 33-year-old Anthony had reportedly “mentally” moved onto Houston and expected to be with his friend Chris Paul. However, nearly every team looks more appealing than another wasted season in New York. and that includes Portland. Another rumor is that Melo is contemplating adding the Portland Trail Blazers to the mix. Trail Blazer teammates Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum have been openly recruiting Anthony throughout the offseason. The Knicks, Anthony and whichever team involved in the trade would ideally like to pull the trigger before media day on Monday. Plus time is running out before the Oct. 19 season opener.
As late as Friday, Knicks president Steve Mills said at a news conference that “our plan” is that Anthony will be with the team when camp opens Tuesday.” The Knicks are currently attempting to continue their youth movement built around Kristaps Porzingis, Willy Hernangomez, Tim Hardaway Jr., Frank Ntilikina and Ron Baker. Carmelo Anthony may hinder their development. On the Knicks’ website, there were two posts about the team’s future, neither included Anthony.