The New York Knicks are a hopeful bunch.
Though Carmelo Anthony has thus far refused to expand his trade-destination wish list beyond the Houston Rockets—even, apparently, souring on the Cleveland Cavaliers—the Big Apple’s finest still believe he might relent. And if he does, the Oklahoma City Thunder, New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers and, yes, Cavaliers all loom as potential options, according to the New York Post‘s Marc Berman:
According to the source, the Knicks are still hopeful Anthony eventually will expand his wish list beyond the Rockets — with the Trail Blazers, Cavaliers, Thunder and Pelicans holding interest.
The source said the Knicks brass has told Anthony he needs to do so because they are unwilling to make a “bad trade” — and he seemed to understand the team’s position.
The ball is now in Melo’s court. Technically, it’s always been in his court. He has the right of refusal on any trade. The Knicks, likewise, have the right to avoid making a shitty deal. Whatever three- or four-team concoction the Rockets come up with probably won’t save them a ton of money. They’re better off keeping Melo into next season and seeing if that forces his hand. Keeping him all year shouldn’t even be out of the question. He has an early termination option for 2018-19. He won’t match that $27.9 million on the open market, but maybe he’ll leave that money on the table to enter free agency at the same time as LeBron James (player option), Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul.
If Anthony is dead set on playing out his deal, and also dead set on getting out of New York, then it would seem he has one other option: Open up his wish list to include one or more of the aforementioned non-Rockets suitors.
Failing that, he should probably start preparing for next year as if he’s going to rep the Knicks.