Carmelo Anthony controls his destiny with the New York Knicks.
The NBA trade deadline must be on approach with the Knicks and Anthony beginning to pop up in rumblings. The superstar continues to be one of the biggest names to come up this time of year, and while it made sense in past years to think Anthony might want to get away from the Knicks, it makes zero sense now.
Which is why Steve Kyler of BasketballInsiders.com chatted with sources in New York about the situation:
Knicks sources were adamant that there have been zero conversations internally about trying to convince Anthony to consider a trade, and that as things stand the Knicks are pleased with where they are with Anthony and with the emergence of rookie Kristaps Porzingis. There is a growing sense that adding the right point guard either in trade or in free agency could turn the team in the direction they want to go and that’s competing in the playoffs and maybe competing for a championship.
Folks seem to forget that Anthony and his crew worked hard to get a no-trade clause into his contract, meaning he has final say in whether he leaves the Big Apple. As Kyler points out, the Knicks haven’t dreamed about approaching their superstar ahead of the deadline and flirting with the idea of slapping him on the block.
Why would they? The Knicks have gone from a laughingstock for taking Kristaps Porzingis to making most observers eat a serious plate of crow. Porzingis is now one of the most well-known athletes on the planet and with Anthony forms one of the league’s best one-two punches. The combination has the Knicks in 10th place in the Eastern Conference at 22-24, but as the blurb mentions, the right piece to help the rotation might get the team back in playoff position.
It made sense in past years to float Anthony’s name out there. The Knicks were mired in a rebuild, he’s aging and other superstars were teaming up and winning titles while he sat alone in a desirable market, unable to attract another superstar to town. That might change, though Sean Deveney of SportingNews.com pointed out that trade talk around Anthony would make more sense next summer:
Ask round the league’s front offices and you’ll find that New York has not had substantive talks involving Anthony this year. That could change this summer, after the new TV money kicks in and Anthony’s mega-contract is pared down to three years and $80 million remaining, but there are no indications Anthony (who has a no-trade clause) will be traded before then.
In all likelihood, though, the Knicks will continue to see Anthony as the necessary building block to lure talent to town. And why would Anthony, after all these years, jump ship to move away from New York and a core led by him and Porzingis, a core that will surely make the Knicks a more attractive free-agent destination than they have been over the course of the past decade?
Alas, this is a product of the beast the NBA has created, where big-name players move all the time and the draft continues to pale in comparison. Anthony’s name won’t stop coming up no matter what, but each time it does the logic above will present itself and shoot down the rumblings.
Don’t expect Anthony to move. But clearly, don’t expect his name to exit the spotlight, either.