The Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks haven't actually had any discussions with each other, but apparently we have to start talking about a trade that would force Blake Griffin and Carmelo Anthony to swap jerseys.
According to ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard, the Knicks have had internal discussions about trading for Griffin. Meanwhile, the Clippers have done the same, considering sending away one of their brightest stars for 'Melo.
Here's where it gets really good.
"The clubs have not yet spoken to one another about a potential trade," Broussard writes. "As of now, neither team is certain of whether it would make an Anthony-for-Griffin trade, the sources said."
On top of that, we have one more mind-boggling quote: "One source close to the situation said the Clippers' latest internal discussion ended in favor of keeping Griffin." It's a quote that has since been confirmed by Doc Rivers himself:
Doc Rivers called ESPN Blake Griffin-Carnelo Anthony report "so stupid."— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) January 5, 2014
"It’s just stupid. My whole issue with any of that crap, that network, to me, reports a story they created." -- Doc Rivers on ESPN story— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) January 5, 2014
So neither team has spoken to the other one, and they both understand how much interest there is, either in its own camp or the other. But...the Clippers already know they don't want to make such a trade.
That means we're right back at square one.
What isn't reported is that the Knicks have probably had internal discussions about trading for LeBron James and figuring out how to acquire Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and Kevin Love in one fell swoop, all without giving up Anthony.
Here's what probably happened.
The Knicks might have asked J.R. Smith if it was worth a shot to try trading for Griffin. As every New York fan knows, the 2-guard would have heard the question, thought to himself that every shot is worth taking and then answered that it certainly was.
Bleacher Report's Jared Zwerling wrote about this potential trade back in December, and he brought up an interesting reason that Clippers owner Donald Sterling might consider forcing such a deal:
There is an another interesting reason why Sterling might feel compelled to trade Griffin for Anthony: the current negotiations the owner is involved in to re-up the Clippers' exclusive television contract with FOX Sports Prime Ticket (FSPT), which was initially signed in 2009.
But things change, and the stars have been moving in opposite directions over the past month. With Griffin continuing to improve and 'Melo unable to turn around the Knicks' incredibly depressing season, Anthony may not have as much commercial appeal anymore.
More than Griffin, but not enough to justify the swap.
Who says no?
It's hard to believe the Clippers could actually explain moving their young star, especially given his striking developments and rising stock. If they do so, particularly with 'Melo able to opt out of his contract at the end of the season, they'd plunge right back into laughingstock territory.
Not even Sterling wants that.
It's hard to believe, but we may have found the rare trade proposal that causes both teams to say no.
One problem: It's not even a real trade proposal.