NBA Rumors: Latest on Knicks Trade Chatter, Carmelo Anthony and More

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2017

New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday, March 8, 2017, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)
Aaron Gash/Associated Press

The NBA rumor mill can't shut down with a name like Carmelo Anthony still headlining the action.

Anthony moved aside at times for names like Gordon Hayward and Paul George, yet returns to keep a stranglehold on the spotlight as the New York Knicks wrestle with the realities of still being stuck in rebuilding mode.

This isn't to suggest Anthony and the Knicks are the only thing buzzing on the market—far from it when quality rotational contributors such as Ersan Ilyasova are still signing deals with teams like the Atlanta Hawks, according to The Vertical's Shams Charania.

The Anthony-and-friends theme in mind, let's take a look at the biggest rumors making the rounds heading into the weekend.


Terry's Evolving Market

Chris Szagola/Associated Press

The fact it's 2017 and Jason Terry still has a market might be one of the most impressive feats of the summer.

And that's not a knock on Terry—quite the opposite. Now 39 years old, Terry was a hit with the Milwaukee Bucks last year during his first season with the team, acting as a strong mentor presence to a budding playoff contender.

As Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times pointed out in a report, Terry returning for another season seemed like a foregone conclusion. That is, until the market picked up.

"According to league sources, the 39-year-old Terry, who gave the Bucks some quality leadership and three-point shooting last season, has drawn interest from some other teams," Woelfel wrote.

Woelfel goes on to note he's talked to one Western Conference team perhaps interested in throwing an offer sheet in Terry's direction and seeing what happens. He's played with teams from the conference such as the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets in recent years, though other contenders likely wouldn't mind having him on the bench as well.

Either way, the Timberwolves will need to get serious in a hurry when it comes to Terry if they want his strong mentor skills to stick around and help along the young roster.


Knicks-Suns Trade Chatter

David Zalubowski/Associated Press

It's no secret the Knicks still want some help in the backcourt to bring along rookie Frank Ntilikina at a slow pace next to Tim Hardaway Jr. and others.

Said help might arrive via an Anthony trade.

According to ESPN.com's Ian Begley, a pair of names have come up in trade discussions with the Phoenix Suns: "As the Knicks continue to look for a point guard this offseason, Brandon Knight is one name that came up in conversation with Phoenix recently, per league sources. The Knicks also talked to Phoenix about Eric Bledsoe, league sources confirmed."

As the report goes on to mention, one can presume the chatter here involved the Anthony trade in large part because Brandon Knight's bloated contract would help make a deal happen.

Knight wouldn't be a terrible get for the Knicks. It's easy to forget he's only 25 years old, with health being his biggest issue seeing as he hasn't appeared in more than 54 games since 2013-14. That was his best year, though, when he posted averages of 17.9 points and 4.9 assists over 72 games.

Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

Eric Bledsoe is an interesting angle for the Knicks to pursue as well because he'd slot in as the starting veteran who can help along Ntilikina. He's 27 and coming off a season in which he averaged 21.1 points and 6.3 assists per game, so he'd be a nice facilitator for Kristaps Porzingis and others.

At face value, this is a great rumor for the Knicks to find themselves involved in—the Suns aren't overly likely to move Bledsoe barring a third team's involvement, but Knight is clogging salary and preventing guys like Tyler Ulis from seeing more minutes.

In other words, it's not hard to see why the Knicks might've reached out to the Suns for help on a trade scenario.


All Things Carmelo

Ryan Kang/Associated Press

At first, it seemed like the Rockets would win the Carmelo sweepstakes.

Carmelo isn't silly—if he isn't wanted in New York, where he's been adamant about wanting to play and help rebuild, he'll likely want to go play for a contender and chase a ring. A team boasting both Chris Paul and James Harden has a way of looking like such a contender.

Indeed, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com, the Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers are two teams in the hunt for Carmelo: "Anthony is willing to waive his no-trade clause for a deal to the Rockets or Cleveland Cavaliers, league sources said. The Cavaliers haven't abandoned pursuit of Anthony, league sources said."

But the report goes on to mention the Knicks are the snafu here in any potential deal with the Rockets. While a buzzkill for those who want to see the saga end, the front office is right for wanting to get the best possible return for its departing superstar player.

Marc Berman of the New York Post recently followed with an interesting caveat: "The primary hope, according to the source, is Anthony decides to open up his wish list beyond the Rockets and Cavaliers, as he has a no-trade clause."

But it's not hard to see the biggest problem here. Anthony wants to go to a contender and compete for a title. Generally speaking, those contenders aren't going to sacrifice much in the way of assets to trade for him, either because they don't have worthwhile assets in the first place or don't want to disrupt the current rotations when Anthony might hit the open market anyway.

And if other teams continue to stall on entering the fray in a multi-team deal, it's worth wondering if the Knicks would up-and-outright release Carmelo at this point. We're not at such a point in this dramatic saga yet, but it's something to keep in mind.

Fittingly, perhaps the most extensive hot-ticket item on the rumor mill doesn't seem ready to end soon. For those fans of teams not invested in the Carmelo saga, kick back and enjoy the show.


All stats and info via ESPN.com unless otherwise specified.