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Report: Carmelo Anthony is open to a trade. Other reports: No he isn't.
On Friday, Marc Berman of the New York Post reported that Knicks scoring forward Carmelo Anthony would be amenable to waiving his no-trade clause if it meant greasing the wheels for a potential trade to a better team.
The sources who spoke didnt say that Carmelo has waived it, that hes demanded a trade, or that any deal was imminent. The sources just said, in a potential situation, Carmelo might be OK with it.
From the Post:
Five months after swearing his allegiance to New York and signing a five-year, $124 million contract, sources told The Post the All-Star forward would be open to dropping his no-trade clause if team president Phil Jackson strikes a deal with a team Anthony would like to play for.
Part of Anthonys deal included the rarely used no-trade provision.
For now, Anthony has no desire to be traded, but his willingness to consider giving up the no-trade clause shows how frustrated he has become with the Knicks historically bad start to the season.
He thought things would be better than this, but he still wants to stick it out for now, a source said. He trusts Phil, but I think hes afraid of Phil.
All of this comes in anticipation of the Dec. 15 trade deadline, of sorts, one that allows teams to deal players signed during the previous summers offseason.
You forgot? Thats right, its only been five months since Carmelo signed a five-year and more than $124 million deal with the New York Knicks, committing to the teams rebuilding process and his adopted hometown over suitors with greater championship prospects, sunnier climates, or combinations of the two.
And then, from the man himself:
"Come on, man. After all the work I did to get here and get back here? If I was to get up and want to leave now that would just make me weak, make me have a weak mind," Anthony said on Friday morning. "I've never been a person to try to run from any adversity or anything like that so I'm not going to pick today to do that."
So theres that.
The Knicks have been ruddy awful this season, and Anthony has played (and sometimes sat!) through injury for most of the 2014-15 quarter-season run. It hasnt been a fun time in New York, which is why all these narratives appear plausible on the surface. Whether these sources are from some sort of Knicks ally looking to paint Carmelo as duplicitous and/or unfaithful or an Anthony camper looking keep the Knicks front office on edge is unclear. What is clear is that a trade involving Carmelo Anthony, this season at least, is incredibly unlikely.
Not only does Anthony boast a no-trade clause and an agent that on record flatly denied the Posts report, but Carmelo also has a taste for New York. He wants to build some sort of moneymaking legacy in the town, even if it means hes painted as the scoring martyr on several failed teams as he nears retirement.
(Talk of Anthonys trade kicker is a little daffy, at least for this year. A trade kicker cant add to a max contract, and Anthony has a max contract this season. When the salary cap bumps up over the next several years, and Anthony technically isnt making max money, then the kicker would be established; but its only at a 15 percent rate, and has nothing to do with 2014-15.)
Its hard to imagine many other teams lining up to deal for Anthony, who is now in his 30s and may need knee surgery. Teams wanted to sign him last summer, to be sure, but those same teams arent going to round up a litany of players to match the nearly $22.5 million Anthony is making this season in order to deal for him.
And Knicks president Phil Jackson? He knew this was going to be a holdover year, even if hed like to see more wins and better play. Its going to take him a long time to give up on Carmelo Anthony.
Because Phil Jackson, for all his slick stylings and power broking moves behind the scenes, remains a damned hippie at heart. Hes a baby boomer, baby boomers are convinced that theyre all special snowflakes, and he thinks that hes the Chosen One that can turn Carmelo Anthonys career into a championship one. Along those same lines, Phil Jackson is a dogged competitor, something he learned from his ridiculously competitive mother. Its that instinct that is also driving him to believe that he can act as Carmelos championship savior.
Then there is the triangle offense aspect of things. Phil Jackson thinks that it is a cure-all, and when run properly it can be. The Knicks and Carmelo Anthony are not running it properly, currently, which is where the early morning (seriously, were a quarter of the way into the first season of a five-year plan) criticism comes in. If run properly, the triangle offense can be the best thing to ever happen to Carmelo Anthony.
Phil Jackson knows this, which is why he threw as much money as he could at an inherited superstar that had just turned 30. Phil Jackson was not wrong in his estimation, even if this all does eventually go down in flames. Hes putting the onus on Carmelo and the players he eventually surrounds him with to play the right way.
Its New York. Its the Knicks. These stories are never going to go away.
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