There are only two possible teams Carmelo Anthony could be playing for next season, the New York Knicks or the Houston Rockets.
The 10-time All-Star has not budged on waiving his no-trade clause to other teams, wishing to only play with his current team or with James Harden and Chris Paul should the Knicks trade him.
It really only narrows the list down by one, though. Anthony was willing to waive his NTC to the Cleveland Cavaliers a few weeks ago, but that was before star point guard Kyrie Irving put in his trade request.
Irving’s dissatisfaction with the Cavs scared Anthony away from wanting to join LeBron James and the two-time defending Eastern Conference champions, though Cleveland hasn’t been exactly keen on bringing the 33-year-old on to the suddenly fledgling franchise.
Regardless, it eliminates almost all hope of the Knicks actually acquiring Irving, who stated that he “very badly” wants to play in New York, which is just a half hour away from where he played his high school basketball in Hillside, NJ.
The only possible name the Cavaliers could see as a suitable return for Irving would be the power forward Kristaps Porzingis, who is far-too valuable to the Knicks’ future to let go. It is also safe to assume that 18-year-old French guard Frank Ntilikina would also be a part of the deal.
New York would have to rely on a third or fourth team to get a deal done for Irving in order to get Cleveland a good-enough haul. At the moment, it doesn’t look like they would have enough time to orchestrate such an intimate deal.
The Phoenix Suns are in the running for Irving and have the means to get something done.
Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com reported that Irving could be had for Suns guard Eric Bledsoe, rookie forward Josh Jackson and a 2018 first-round pick.
The Knicks have made the necessary steps needed to keep the position afloat even if they don’t come away with Irving. While Ntilikina continues to develop toward being a starter in the NBA, New York signed veteran Ramon Sessions to join Ron Baker and Chasson Randle.