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Carmelo Anthony wants to be traded. The New York Knicks want to trade Anthony.
Should be a marriage made in NBA trade heaven, right?
But it’s not. This is the opposite of heaven.
You know the story. Anthony has a no-trade clause in his contract. He is due to make about $26 million this season, with a player option for $27 million in 2018-19.
He only wants to be traded to the Houston Rockets.
This is a man with a lot of money coming his way, playing in the biggest media market in the world, and a city in which he actually wanted to play. (Remember how thrilled he acted back when the Denver Nuggets traded him to the Knicks?)
So it seems Anthony suffers from a case of chronic dissatisfaction. No matter where he is, he would rather be someplace else.
Now, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, and this isn’t intended to trash Anthony. He is actually a stand-up guy, one of the most gracious men in pro sports.
But you get the point. Anthony has put the Knicks in a pickle — with a willingness to waive his no-trade clause for just one team.
Meanwhile, the Knicks have come up with about 99 ways to trade Anthony, but a deal with the Rockets ain’t one.
That’s why Anthony either needs to give up on the idea and just stay with the Knicks, or accept a trade someplace else.
The Portland Trail Blazers would love to acquire Anthony and have the goods to make it happen. And Anthony is still talented enough that he could make a real difference next to Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. The Blazers would be every bit as interesting as the Rockets.
Or what about the Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, and so on and so on? Maybe those teams don’t have an interest in Anthony. Maybe they don’t want to pay such a huge amount for a 33-year old who has never really proven he can lead a team beyond the first round.
But there’s only one way to find out. And that’s why Anthony should encourage team president Steve Mills and new general manager Scott Perry to open the phone lines, see what’s out there, and work a deal.
Now, perhaps this has all been overblown by the media. New Yorkers can do that, ya know?
Maybe Anthony could be content sticking with the Knicks, playing alongside a cast that includes younger guys such as Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr. and lottery pick Frank Ntilikina.
Maybe Anthony can be happier now that Phil Jackson and his triangle offense are long gone.
Maybe New York really can remain home for Anthony.
And maybe the Knicks are his second choice, behind only the Rockets. If that’s the case, then the Knicks aren’t as bad an option as is being depicted.
But if Anthony is past the point of no return, and he simply must move on, then he needs to understand he can make a trade happen with the snap of his fingers.
All he needs to do is give up on the idea of the Rockets — because the Knicks have already tried to travel down that road, and it’s very clearly a dead end.