Carmelo Anthony Contract Buyout Not an Option for Knicks, Per Steve Mills

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 17, 2017

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 12:  Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks hugs the ball before the opening tipoff against the Philadelphia 76ers at Madison Square Garden on April 12, 2017 in New York City. 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  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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New York Knicks president Steve Mills said Monday the team will "not pursue a buyout" for superstar forward Carmelo Anthony, according to Ian Begley of ESPN.com. 

As for any trade talks regarding Anthony, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Sunday "the 10-time All-Star is counting on the franchise to carry out its previously agreed upon mandate to trade him to the Houston Rockets."

Wojnarowski added, "Whatever stance a post-Phil Jackson front office is taking now, Anthony expects the Knicks to resume trade talks soon and honor the franchise's long-standing goal to rebuild without him, league sources said."

Neither party's reported stance is surprising. The Knicks don't want to wind up empty-handed if they part ways with Anthony, who in turn is justifiably trying to control his trade destination given the no-trade clause in his contract.

Wojnarowski reported Anthony, 33, would willingly waive that no-trade clause to go to Houston or the Cleveland Cavaliers, though he added in recent weeks, Anthony has begun to prioritize Houston.

However, the Knicks have stalled those talks given their recent front office changes, with Mills' promotion to president and Perry being hired to serve as general manager. They have also reportedly been unhappy with the trade packages other teams have offered for Anthony, per Wojnarowski. 

The Knicks can blame themselves for that, however. 

Wojnarowski wrote: "As Perry starts to shape the front office and impact policy, another realization has washed over the organization: Months of organizational harping on Anthony, driven largely by deposed president of basketball operations Jackson, has dramatically lowered Anthony's trade value."

As such, a trade remains the most logical conclusion to the Anthony saga. It's hard to imagine him ever returning to New York after Jackson's public smear campaign against him, while the Knicks would be best served building around young talents like Kristaps Porzingis, Frank Ntilikina and Tim Hardaway Jr.

It isn't a foregone conclusion, however, per Begley: 

Marc Berman of the New York Post added: 

And so the long-running Melo saga continues.