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With the approaching addition of Tim Hardaway Jr. and a $71 million contract, the New York Knicks are continuing to pursue trades centered on star forward Carmelo Anthony.
Of course, the Knicks’ options are somewhat limited, as Anthony has a no-trade clause in his deal. That means Carmelo doesn’t go where Carmelo doesn’t want to go.
That basically leaves two teams for the Knicks: The Houston Rockets, and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Anthony reportedly would be open to playing for either — as good friend Chris Paul has joined the Rockets, and good friend LeBron James is already on the Cavs.
But that can be the sticking point. The Knicks haven’t liked any of the deals the Rockets have offered. Nor have they been enamored with proposals from the Cavs.
The Knicks don’t particularly want to take back Rockets forward Ryan Anderson (at least, not yet). And the Cavs don’t particularly want to give up forward Kevin Love (at least, not yet). So the the Knicks continue to hold out, hope and wait to see how they can move Anthony best.
There is no hurry to get a deal done from any of the three teams, as training camp is still months away.
Then again, the Rockets and Knicks could start moving here again quickly.
Per ESPN: “The Rockets have been persistent in their pursuit of Anthony, who is willing to waive his no-trade clause to join Chris Paul and James Harden in Houston, league sources told ESPN, and the Knicks do not imagine a scenario where Hardaway Jr. is sharing the floor with Anthony to start the season.”
As for the Cavs, they have talked to the Knicks about Anthony by floating the promise of Turkish draft-and-stash swingman Cedi Osman in return (along with several veterans off the bench, who the Knicks seemingly do not want).
So as of this moment, it appears the Cavs are content to wait and see — in hopes the Knicks cannot work out a deal with the Rockets, and therefore have no option other than to buy out Anthony’s contract.
That is not as much of a long shot as some are calling it. Word is, Anthony is angling to join the Cavs first, the Rockets second. And Knicks owner James Dolan loves Anthony just enough to write that monstrous buyout check, almost as a favor. (It would also clear all sorts of salary-cap space, benefiting the Knicks, too.)
Right now, again, it’s too early to call anyone a favorite for the Knicks’ 33-year old standout of a scoring forward. All we really know is Carmelo is still a wanted man — and where he goes next surely impact the NBA in oh so many ways.