This is an NBA story so stupid it could only come from the New York Knicks. We have lived through a week of LeBron James practicing the front-office version of The Secret by publicly wishing for playmaking help to arrive in Cleveland, even though all Cavs GM David Griffin has left in his asset chest are some magic beans, a scratched CD copy of E. 1999 Eternal, and some trade exceptions. As Kevin O’Connor wrote Wednesday, the best the Cavs can hope for is someone in the Jameer Nelson range, unless they want to part with a core player. It was ultimately kind of a silly story, and LeBron probably just needs a vacation. But despite the silliness, the story mutated (weird, right?!), and now the Knicks have basically done the organizational version of running into a sliding glass door that they thought was open.
On Wednesday, ESPN reported that the Knicks had “approached the Cavaliers to gauge their interest in swapping” Carmelo Anthony for Kevin Love. Cleveland said nope. Had the Cavs said “yes,” the Knicks would have gone to Melo about waiving his no-trade clause. I asked our Knicksologist, Jason Concepcion, what he thought about the story, and more specifically, who benefited from its publication. He thought it was Knicks president Phil Jackson: “He wants Melo to know that he’s trying to trade him and is willing to put him somewhere he’d want to go. It’s also dumb, which leads me to believe Phil.”
It is dumb. It is dumb to think that the Cavs would blow up a team that has been to two straight Finals, won one, and is likely on its way to a third, just to accommodate a Team Banana Boat fantasy that even LeBron hasn’t explicitly asked for. And what would they be getting? An aging, often-injured Carmelo who doesn’t want to play the 4 and isn’t exactly what the Cavs need in terms of playmaking (Melo is fine, but come on).
Melo was asked about the story Wednesday morning in Dallas, and responded:
[Checks Basketball-Reference.] He’s not. There’s also Rondo.
OK, so he’s not thinking about it. The Cavs aren’t thinking about it. The Knicks are thinking about it, but “thinking” obviously means different things to the Knicks than to the rest of us. This has gotten silly. The Cavs don’t have the flexibility to go nuts in the market and they are not going to trade Love in the middle of the season for two years of Carmelo. Time to dock the boat.