Just three days before the start of Knicks training camp, Carmelo Anthony is still in New York. But not for lack of trying — the All-Star forward reportedly gave the franchise an expanded list of teams for which he would waive his no-trade clause after New York was unable to make a deal with the 33-year-old’s most desired destination, Houston.
One of the two teams added, according to the ESPN report, was Cleveland, in which Melo was rumored to have held interest earlier this summer—i.e., before the LeBron-to-L.A. rumors blew up. (I’m just saying!) Putting the Cavs back on the table brings up two obvious questions: Does this signal that Banana Boat bud LeBron isn't going to exercise his player option and leave the Cavs at the end of this season? Or has Anthony gotten so fed up with his situation in New York, as the report suggests, that he’s willing to opt out of his $27.9 million player option for next season should LeBron leave and take his chances on the open market?
The other team reportedly in the mix is Oklahoma City, a franchise that most definitely isn’t Portland, which openly courted Melo this summer. The Thunder, who silently acquired Paul George earlier this offseason, have now turned sneaking in on trade talks in the home stretch into their new #brand. OKC wouldn’t seem to have the sort of assets to make yet another blockbuster trade. Enes Kanter isn’t exactly a huge upgrade from Ryan Anderson, whose hefty contract the Knicks have been reportedly resistant toward. Then again, general manager Sam Presti managed to do more with less in the trade market almost three months ago.
— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) September 23, 2017
In the meantime, Knicks general manager Scott Perry is reportedly seeking a bounty for Anthony -- “a scoring wing, short-term contracts, and draft assets” (the latter of which, it’s worth noting, Cleveland now has, having just acquiring Brooklyn’s 2018 unprotected first-round pick this summer from Boston).
We’ll see. This adds a new wrinkle to the discussions, but it’s still just another short gain in what has been, and may continue to be, a long journey to escaping from New York.