Carmelo Anthony, a 10-time NBA All-Star, has delivered the New York Knicks an expanded list of teams — including the Cleveland Cavaliers — with which he’d be willing to waive his no-trade clause, league sources told ESPN.
After the Knicks insisted that they were unable to make a deal with the Houston Rockets, his primary trade destination, Anthony and his representatives honored New York’s request and furnished at least two more teams within the past 10 days, league sources told ESPN.
One of the known teams on the list, Cleveland, was part of Anthony’s original group of preferred destinations prior to Chris Paul‘s trade to the Rockets in late June. The Rockets remain Anthony’s most desired location, but he’s worked to accommodate New York to try and find a trade before the start of the season, league sources said.
Anthony, 33, is expected to report to the team’s media day on Monday, the eve of the opening of New York’s preseason training camp. On Anthony’s part, there had been an expectation that a trade would be completed before the start of camp. There is expected to be significant tension between Anthony and the Knicks once he reports to camp, and it is clear that could continue to be a scenario at odds with the franchise’s desire to start rebuilding around a young core.
Anthony has been urging the Knicks to show urgency in their pursuit of a trade before the season, league sources said. The Knicks made a preliminary call to the Cavaliers on Monday, but the two sides haven’t exchanged trade ideas, league sources told ESPN. Cleveland has to weigh the fact that Anthony, with two years, $54 million left on his contract, could opt into the $27.9 million in the final year of his deal for 2018-19 — when LeBron James could be gone in free agency, and Cleveland may be embarking on a rebuild.
New York had discussions with Houston, but has found no pathways to a deal, league sources said. Since the hiring of Scott Perry as general manager in July, New York changed course on the asking price for Anthony and have been pushing for a return of assets that Houston is unable to provide. Perry has been looking for a scoring wing to replace Anthony’s production, short-term contracts and draft assets, league sources said.
Anthony has hoped to join Paul and James Harden with the Rockets, but heeded the Knicks’ desire to work off an expanded list of teams to find a deal, league sources said. New York has been unwilling to accept Ryan Anderson, who is owed three years and $60 million on his contract with Houston.
New York’s two top basketball executives, Perry and president Steve Mills, have both published blogs on the team that made no mention of Anthony. Under ex-team president Phil Jackson, the Knicks had been pushing for Anthony to waive his no trade for over a year — only to backtrack on executing a deal once Jackson was pushed out, and Perry took over as GM.
“Look, Carmelo’s going to be back here,” Perry said Friday at the team’s training facility. “Carmelo has always been a professional. That’s one thing I’ve always respected about him. I think he can set a good example for the young players. He’s been a 10-time All-Star. If he’s back here with the New York Knicks, we expect him to be the professional he’s always exemplified throughout his career and move forward with him.”