Tristan Thompson Reportedly Pursued by Knicks Before Carmelo Anthony Trade

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2017

Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson warms up before Game 5 of basketball's NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cavaliers in Oakland, Calif., Monday, June 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

The New York Knicks reportedly wanted big man Tristan Thompson if they were going to trade Carmelo Anthony to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

On Sunday, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com reported the Knicks "were rebuffed" when they asked for Thompson.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com reported the Knicks finalized a deal to send Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder, pending a trade call Monday. Shams Charania of The Vertical detailed the return package, noting the Knicks will receive Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a future draft pick.

According to Vardon, the Knicks also wanted one of the two first-round picks the Cavaliers control for 2018. However, "the Cavs weren't about to part with either."

Vardon explained Thompson is still under contract for three more seasons and is represented by Rich Paul—who is also LeBron James' agent. With James set to potentially hit free agency in the upcoming offseason, trading someone with his agent may have raised eyebrows in Cleveland's efforts to keep the King.

As for Thompson, he averaged 8.1 points and 9.2 rebounds per game last season behind 60 percent shooting from the field. He helped lead the Cavaliers to three straight NBA Finals appearances and picked up critical experience under the brightest spotlight the league has to offer.

He is also a formidable interior defender, as opponents shot 8.8 percent worse than their normal averages inside six feet last season, per NBA.com.

With Thompson off the table, the Knicks instead traded Anthony to the Thunder. The trio of Anthony, Russell Westbrook and Paul George will look to help Oklahoma City challenge the Golden State Warriors and other top teams in the Western Conference this season.