Carmelo Anthony, Celtics Trade Reportedly Becoming More Likely

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistApril 21, 2017

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 29: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks handles the ball against the Miami Heat on March 29, 2017 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE  (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
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With the Boston Celtics struggling in the first round of the playoffs, the likelihood of an offseason trade for New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony is reportedly increasing.

According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, a source indicated the Celtics' coaching staff signed off on acquiring Melo at the deadline, but general manager Danny Ainge had reservations, which may now be lessening.

Ainge was reportedly concerned Anthony would occupy too much cap space, but with Boston in need of some offensive punch, Melo may now be a more attractive option.

He has been the subject of trade rumors for several months, and Knicks president Phil Jackson made it clear last week that New York is open to pursuing a deal involving Anthony, per's Ian Begley: "We've not been able to win with [Anthony] on the court at this time. I think the direction with our team is that he's a player that would be better off somewhere else and using his talent somewhere where he can win or chase that championship."

Anthony was named to the All-Star Game and averaged 22.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists per contest in 2016-17.

According to Berman, the Knicks will make acquiring forward Jae Crowder a priority in a potential Melo-to-Boston trade.

Despite earning the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics enter Friday's Game 3 trailing the eighth-seeded Chicago Bulls 2-0 in their first-round series.

The Celtics are stacked with player depth and plenty of valuable draft picks, meaning they have the assets needed to land Anthony.

Melo has a no-trade clause, but the fact that Boston is so much closer to title contention than New York could sway him to accept the opportunity to play alongside Isaiah Thomas and Co. in Beantown.

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