NY Knicks Don't Intend to Trade Carmelo Anthony, No Matter What

Zach BuckleyNational NBA Featured ColumnistDecember 7, 2013

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If Carmelo Anthony ends up ditching the trademark orange-and-blue threads of the New York Knicks, that wardrobe change won't happen before next summer.

At least, that's what sources have told ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst:

The Knicks, sources say, have zero intention of trading Anthony no matter what he says about next summer. Not only did owner Jim Dolan personally seal the deal to bring Anthony to New York, but the front office realizes it has one of the most talented players in the league and won't be able to get fair value in return.

Anthony, of course, has the option to get out of his current contract at season's end. He's made it known that the option is simply a formality.

"I want to be a free agent," he told the New York Observer's Rafi Kohan before the season started.

But the reigning scoring champion has kept coy about his future plans beyond that. He really doesn't need to say anything else, as various experts have done all of the talking for him of late.

ESPN Radio's Stephen A. Smith said recently that sources told him Anthony has already decided to leave the Empire State. Melo did his best to quickly dispel that rumor:

According to Steve Smith, Rajon Rondo's high school coach, Anthony has been recruiting the injured Boston Celtics point guard to join him in the Big Apple, via USA Today's Jason Jordan.

Anthony didn't exactly shoot down those talks, but he isn't confirming them either:

What do those reports have to do with Windhorst's note? Nothing on the surface.

But dig a little deeper, and you'll be engulfed in all the smoke coming out of New York. Figuring out which fire is the real source of those fumes is anyone's guess.

Unless Anthony or the Knicks go on record with a definitive statement—which neither will—these reports from anonymous sources will continue to arise.

It's likely that neither the Knicks nor Anthony himself has decided anything at this point.

New York can either pull the plug on an overpriced, underperforming roster to try to restore the franchise's relevance, or it can wait to see if this team might actually be turning a corner with its back-to-back blowout wins.

Anthony's choice, at least according to Windhorst, has less to do with the on-court product. Anthony, in Windhorst's words, "is going to do what is best for Carmelo Anthony."

Windhorst seems to think that means Melo will take the money and stay. The Knicks can give him an extra year and roughly $30 million more than any other potential suitor.

But NBC Sports' Brett Pollakoff doesn't see the situation the same way:

That extra year in a terrible situation becomes less enticing when you have more money than you know what to do with, and the scrutiny that comes in New York...when the losses are piling up might not be worth it when it’s time to make that decision.

Leaving $30 million on the table can't be easy. But as Dwight Howard's exit from the Los Angeles Lakers last summer showed, the extra cash carries no guarantees.

Anthony has plenty to consider over the coming months. So, too, do the Knicks.

There is plenty of money at stake and reputations in need of repair on both sides of the equation. So, expect both parties to weigh their options. Expect some sources to keep adding to that weight.

But don't expect to actually learn anything any time soon.