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Carmelo Anthony Trade Rumors: Latest News, Speculation Surrounding Knicks Star

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist

East Team's Carmelo Anthony, of the New York Knicks, walk son the court prior to the start of the NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Carmelo Anthony is one of the NBA's superstars and is currently the cornerstone of the New York Knicks franchise, though the organization may consider trading him in the future.

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Conflicting Reports Surround Whether Knicks Are Considering Trading Anthony

Monday, Sept. 14

In an article outlining potential trade partners for Phoenix Suns forward Markieff Morris, Zach Lowe of Grantland revealed on Sept. 10 that the Knicks aren't yet ready to engage in trade talks for Anthony but that "they’re getting closer." However, CBS Sports' Ken Berger later reported there was "absolutely" no truth to it.

For starters, before Anthony, an eight-time All-Star, could be traded, two things would have to happen: 1) Knicks president Phil Jackson and GM Steve Mills would have to have a conversation about it; and 2) with a no-trade clause, Anthony would have to agree to it -- and dictate the team and the terms.

On count one, the parties are not guilty; a person with direct knowledge of the Knicks' front-office discussions told CBS Sports Thursday that Jackson and Mills have not so much as had a discussion about trading Anthony -- no matter how much Peyote may or may not have been in the air.

After that, count two becomes a moot point, but either way Anthony's no-trade clause is merely one of many factors that would make trading the $124 million man problematic, to say the least.

This all comes on the heels of rumors suggesting that Anthony will heavily recruit superstar Kevin Durant to sign with the Knicks next season.

Stephen A. Smith of ESPN (h/t Dan Feldman of Pro Basketball Talk) noted, "I know for a fact that Carmelo Anthony has been and will continue to recruit Kevin Durant until the cows come home. I’m also hearing that Kevin Durant is giving the New York Knicks consideration."     

How the Knicks approach Anthony before this upcoming offseason will say a lot about the team's plans for the future. If indeed New York decides to move on from Anthony, it will signal a rebuilding effort around younger players like 20-year-old Kristaps Porzingis. But if Anthony remains in New York, it would be shocking if the team didn't attempt to rebuild through free agency by nabbing veteran stars like Durant.

Anthony, 31, is coming off an injury-plagued 2014-15 season that saw him appear in just 40 games, though he continued to be an offensive force, averaging 24.2 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. Still, Anthony has never been a contributor on defense, and many top free agents may balk at having to concede so many offensive touches to the star forward.

That means the Knicks may decide that their best course of action is to move on from Anthony while they can still garner an elite return in a trade. They'll certainly be a fascinating team to monitor before the league's trade deadline for that very reason.

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