Carmelo Anthony still wants out of New York and the Cleveland Cavaliers may suddenly be high on his list of potential destinations again.
That’s the latest from dialed-in Knicks beat reporter Marc Berman of the New York Post — who suggested the idea of Anthony landing with the Cavs is somewhat more realistic after Tuesday’s trade of star guard Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics.
In return for Irving, the Cavs received point guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, rookie center Ante Zizic, and a 2018 first-round draft pick (via Brooklyn).
“The Irving chaos and LeBron James’ reported wish to bolt Cleveland after the season turned Anthony’s main focus toward Houston,” Berman wrote. “But the Cavaliers came out of the Irving fiasco looking more formidable than ever by adding explosive point guard Isaiah Thomas, defensive forward Jae Crowder and the rights to the Nets’ potential lottery pick next June.”
Anthony, 33, is tight with both James and newly acquired Rockets point guard Chris Paul. But try as the Rockets might — and they have indeed tried all summer — they clearly can’t find a workable deal for the Knicks’ star forward.
So where do the Cavs come in?
According to Berman, the answer may be centered around Crowder, and the Cavs’ own draft pick, likely to fall near the end of the first round.
“The gritty Crowder can’t be traded for 60 days — until Oct. 22, but the Knicks consider him an attractive piece,” Bermen wrote. “Now that Cleveland has secured the Nets’ pick, under NBA rules it is permitted to trade its own 2018 first-rounder.”
“Also, with Phil Jackson gone, it’s not as farfetched for the Knicks to consider taking back Iman Shumpert, who had been looking at a change of scenery, too,” Berman wrote.
Anthony would have to waive the no-trade clause in his contract for a deal to take place. He is set to become a free agent in 2018.
As of early Wednesday, most Amico Hoops sources seemed to think an Anthony-to-the-Cavs deal remained unlikely — something Berman also pointed out in the Post piece.
“While James lobbied management for an Anthony trade in-season, he seems more focused on reuniting with Dwyane Wade, who could be bought out by the Bulls soon,” Berman wrote.
An Anthony buyout, of course would be considerably less likely. At least, it would be right now. But it’s hard to tell what could happen in January or February. The Knicks might even be willing to just outright waive Anthony then.
And according to Berman, “As a February free agent, Anthony would then have a chance to sign on with Houston or Cleveland with plenty of time to get acclimated for the playoffs.”
Basically, the Cavs certainly aren’t done making moves, and the Anthony situation certainly isn’t resolved. In today’s NBA, that can only mean the same thing it almost always does: Certainly stay tuned.