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Anthony Denies Trade Rumors
Saturday, Feb. 13
"I don't pay attention to those rumors," Anthony told Sirius XM Radio, per Al Iannazzone of Newsday. "I'm not going anywhere."
Anthony Reportedly Subject of 3-Team Trade Talks
Friday, Feb. 12
According to the New York Daily News' Frank Isola on Friday, "there were very preliminary discussions" about a three-team trade between the Knicks, Cavaliers and Celtics that would send Kevin Love to Boston and Anthony to the defending Eastern Conference champions.
However, Anthony has a no-trade clause built into his contract, and Isola reiterated "talks have not progressed" and that "Anthony reiterated on Friday that he has no plans to seek a trade."
Isola added that preliminary discussions revolved around draft picks and players—including Cleveland's Timofey Mozgov, whose contract expires at season's end—being sent to the Knicks.
Since Anthony ultimately has veto power, any move would be made at his discretion. And Friday, Anthony told reporters "it's not a conversation for right now" when discussing whether he's thought about playing for a losing organization like the Knicks, per Isola.
Tempting Trade Target
However, it's not hard to see why the Knicks would be interested in moving the 31-year-old.
The Knicks have lost six straight games and 10 of their last 11 overall. A 1-9 stretch bridging late January and early February ultimately signaled the end of Derek Fisher's time as head coach.
Now the organization is at a crossroads with few compelling assets at its disposal. Beyond Anthony, the Knicks have rookie sensation Kristaps Porzingis, rookie guard Jerian Grant and not much else.
The Knicks are also without a first-round pick in 2016 after they traded it away to the Toronto Raptors and acquired Andrea Bargnani prior to the 2013-14 season. New York also owes its 2016 second-round pick to the Houston Rockets, its 2017 second-round pick to the Utah Jazz and one second-round pick every year from 2018-2021 to the Philadelphia 76ers, according to RealGM.com.
Dealing Anthony would also allow the Knicks to get out of paying him a king's ransom each of the next four seasons, per Spotrac.com:
|Carmelo Anthony Contract Breakdown|
|2018-19 (Early Termination Option)||$27,928,140|
For the time being, it doesn't appear as though Carmelo is ready to cut ties with the Knicks and wave goodbye to Madison Square Garden. But if he has a change of heart before Thursday's trade deadline, the possibility exists for the Eastern Conference playoff picture to be shaken up.