‘Melo, Agent Affirm Commitment To Knicks

Carmelo Anthony and agent Leon Rose deny that his client wants to leave the Knicks in the wake of a report from Marc Berman of the New York Post citing sources who say that Anthony would be open to waiving his no-trade clause. Anthony said this morning that he won’t run from “adversity,” tweets Ian Begley of ESPN.com. Rose issued his statement to multiple reporters, including Frank Isola of the New York Daily News (Twitter links).

“Carmelo, as always, is committed to the Knicks,” Rose said. “There have never been discussions about trades or wanting to leave New York. Any story, rumor, report to the contrary is utter nonsense.”

Though Berman heard that Anthony would be receptive to a deal if the Knicks made one with a team he’d like to play for, ‘Melo nonetheless has no desire to be traded, Berman writes. Anthony can’t be traded until Monday, as Berman notes, since he signed a new deal in the offseason. That contract, worth $124,064,681 over five seasons, contains a 15% trade kicker in addition to the no-trade clause that the Knicks would have to pay if they were to trade him.

Berman suggested that the Bulls, Anthony’s second choice as a free agent destination this summer, would be a logical trading partner, though Isola casts doubt on that idea, given what the Bulls would have to give up to make salaries match and Anthony’s knee trouble of late (Twitter link). Anthony makes $22,458,401 this season, a difficult number to move given all of the assets another team would have to relinquish. Brooklyn’s willingness to trade its three most highly paid players would present a numerical match and a chance for Anthony to stay in New York, but there’s been no indication that Anthony would consider the Nets, having struggles of their own, more palatable than the Knicks.

A report earlier this week indicated that Anthony was a frequent source of criticism from his teammates, Tim Hardaway Jr. in particular, and that Anthony had threatened Hardaway during an on-court argument. Anthony and Hardaway later acknowledged the argument but denied any lasting tension between them, and Anthony said that he hadn’t noticed himself as a particular target of blame for the struggles of the Knicks, who are just 4-20 to begin the season.

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