Carmelo Anthony, a 10-time NBA All-Star, has given the New York Knicks an expanded list of teams — including the Cleveland Cavaliers — for which he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause, league sources told ESPN.
Team sources told ESPN’s Ian Begley that the Knicks also were informed that the Oklahoma City Thunder are one of the other teams Anthony has included on that list.
After the Knicks insisted that they were unable to make a deal with the Houston Rockets, his primary trade destination, Anthony and his representatives honored New York’s request and furnished at least those two additional teams within the past 10 days, league sources told ESPN.
Cleveland was part of Anthony’s original group of preferred destinations prior to Chris Paul’s trade to the Rockets in late June. The Rockets remain Anthony’s most desired location, but he has worked to accommodate New York to try to find a trade before the start of the season, league sources said.
Portland has remained interested in Anthony, as guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are working to recruit Anthony to waive his no-trade for the Trail Blazers, league sources said. Portland still could emerge as a possible destination for Anthony if New York is unable to find deals with teams on his current list.
Anthony, 33, is expected to report to the team’s media day on Monday, the eve of the opening of New York’s preseason training camp. Anthony expected that a trade would be completed before the start of camp. So there is expected to be significant tension between Anthony and the Knicks once he reports to camp. The franchise has expressed a desire to start rebuilding around a young core.
Anthony has been encouraging the Knicks to show urgency in their pursuit of a trade before the season, league sources said. The Knicks made a preliminary call to the Cavaliers on Monday, but the two sides haven’t exchanged trade ideas, league sources told ESPN. Cleveland has to weigh the fact that Anthony, with two years and $54 million left on his contract, could opt into the $27.9 million in the final year of his deal for 2018-19 — when LeBron James could be gone in free agency and Cleveland might be embarking on a rebuild.
New York has had discussions with Houston but has found no pathway to a deal, league sources said. Since the hiring of Scott Perry as general manager in July, New York has changed course on the asking price for Anthony and has been pushing for a return of assets that Houston is unable to provide. Perry has been looking for a scoring wing to replace Anthony’s production, short-term contracts and draft assets, league sources said.
Anthony has hoped to join Paul and James Harden with the Rockets, but has heeded the Knicks’ desire for an expanded list of teams to find a deal, league sources said. New York has been unwilling to accept Ryan Anderson, who is owed three years and $60 million on his contract with Houston.
New York’s two top basketball executives, Perry and president Steve Mills, have both published blogs on the team that have made no mention of Anthony.
Under ex-team president Phil Jackson, the Knicks had been pushing for Anthony to waive his no-trade clause for over a year — only to backtrack on executing a deal once Jackson was pushed out and Perry took over as GM.
“Look, Carmelo’s going to be back here,” Perry said Friday at the team’s training facility. “Carmelo has always been a professional. That’s one thing I’ve always respected about him. I think he can set a good example for the young players. He’s been a 10-time All-Star. If he’s back here with the New York Knicks, we expect him to be the professional he’s always exemplified throughout his career and move forward with him.”