Amid rumors that the Knicks' Carmelo Anthony and his hometown team were nearing a breakup, the media surmised that an Anthony trade would likely not work for a number of reasons — the most hindering facet being Anthony's no-trade clause. It's clear he wants to play for a contender but what contender could afford take him?
ESPN's Mark Stein reported Wednesday afternoon via twitter: "ESPN sources say Knicks HAVE tried to engage Cleveland in Melo-for-Love trade talks but were rebuffed."
Anthony told the New York Post earlier this week, when asked if Cavaliers star LeBron James wanted Cleveland to try and make a trade: "Yes. I do think he'd want me to play with him. I don't think he wouldn't."
The Cavs couldn't make any kind of straight-up trade for Anthony without sacrificing a key part — like Kevin Love, Tristian Thompson or Kyrie Irving. A three-team deal would be necessary to make it work along with some Cleveland sacrifices, or creativity.
James wants some help. He was a bit frustrated after an upset loss to New Orleans Monday.
“It’s great to have bodies,” James told reporters after the 124-122 loss. “Obviously, in the playoffs, you go down to what, eight max? And if somebody gets in foul trouble, you go to nine. You’re not playing back-to-backs. You have two days in between. You’re able to lock in. … It’s like when you don’t have bodies. It’s tough. The f—ing grind of the regular season. We’re a top-heavy team. We have a top-heavy team. We top-heavy as s—. It’s me, [Kyrie Irving], [Kevin Love]. It’s top-heavy.”
According to sources that study the salary cap, a trade would reasonably need to involve Tristian Thompson, a role player like Iman Shumpert and would undoubtedly need a third interested team. It would also need Anthony to waive his no-trade clause.
The story is fluid, and it is unknown how reliable the reports are, but it would make sense for the Cavs to at least kick the tires on a superstar player who not only would get along with LeBron James but who is also kind of on the outs on his own team. The Knicks could be motivated to make it work, to get salary relief and open things up for the Kristaps Porzingis era.