Carmelo Anthony Omitted from Knicks GM's Long-Term Plan

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 21, 2017

Mar 5, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) points into the stands before a game against the Golden State Warriors at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks general manager Scott Perry didn't mention star forward Carmelo Anthony while laying out his vision for turning the franchise back into an NBA championship contender.

On Thursday, Perry posted a message on the Official MSG Blog entitled "Reshaping The Knicks: Agility Plus Intuition Required," which focused on how to lay the foundation for long-term success. Melo wasn't listed at all within the post.

"There are no shortcuts," he wrote. "Reshaping the Knicks as a championship contender will be a step-by-step process, and along the way, the plan will demand patience, as our young core of Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Willy Hernangomez, Frank Ntilikina and Ron Baker mature."

The same thing happened last month when Knicks president Steve Mills wrote his own MSG post on the organization's "fresh vision" after it struggled to compete in recent years. New York hasn't qualified for the playoffs since 2012-13.

"Dogged defense. Crisp, unselfish ball movement. Scraping for loose balls. These will be our hallmarks," Mills explained. "And our plan to become more youthful and athletic is underway with 22-year-old Kristaps Porzingis, the return of Tim Hardaway Jr., 25, Willy Hernangomez, 23, and with the debut of our first-round draft pick, Frank Ntilikina, just 19."

Once again, the post made no mention of Anthony.

The 33-year-old New York City native is a 10-time All-Star and a former NBA scoring champion (2012-13), but rarely would you see his name listed alongside the phrase "dogged defense." So it's clear the Knicks are looking to move in a new direction.

Finding a solution with Anthony has been difficult, though.

In July, Marc Berman of the New York Post reported the veteran small forward was only interested in joining James Harden and Chris Paul with the Houston Rockets. And, since he possesses a no-trade clause, it's given the Knicks limited leverage.

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News noted Wednesday the Melo camp is "cautiously optimistic" the Knicks and Rockets will come to terms before Monday. A deal continues to hinge on whether Houston can find a landing spot for Ryan Anderson's bloated contract, though.

In addition, Anthony is essentially entering the final guaranteed year of his contract. He can use an early termination option to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

So between the front office's apparent disinterest in making him part of the future and its risk of losing him without getting anything in return next offseason, a trade to Houston before the season starts seems like the best outcome for everybody involved.