The Knicks have made an effort to engage the Cavaliers in trade talks involving Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love, according to Marc Stein and Chris Haynes of ESPN.com. However, according to Stein and Haynes, those efforts were rebuffed by the Cavs.
Anthony has been the subject of much trade speculation recently, despite the fact that he’s one of three players in the NBA with a formal no-trade clause included in his contract. Although the nine-time All-Star has been adamant that he prefers to stay with the Knicks, he has conceded that if the franchise engages in a rebuild and wants to move him, he’d have to consider waiving his no-trade clause.
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The Cavaliers are viewed as one of the teams that would make Anthony seriously consider approving a trade, given his desire to win a title and his long-standing friendship with LeBron James. Anthony was asked today for his thoughts on James’ desire for the Cavs to add a “playmaker” and suggested that he and the reigning Finals MVP wouldn’t be opposed to the idea of playing on the same team at some point, though he doesn’t expect it to happen this year.
“You ask me a question: Do I think he would want me to play with him? Yes. I do think he would want me to play with him. I don’t think he wouldn’t,” Anthony said, per Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. “But I don’t know if that comment is about me. I don’t think I’m the only playmaker in the NBA.”
Of course, even if the Knicks and Anthony were on board with the idea of a trade to Cleveland, they’d need the Cavs to cooperate, and there’s no indication that the defending champs have any desire to part with Love, who played a major role in securing that title for the franchise.
While the former Wolves star hasn’t always been a perfect fit in Cleveland, Love is enjoying his best season as a Cavalier, with 20.5 PPG and 10.9 RPG to go along with a 37.4% rate on three-point attempts. Those are the best marks he has posted in each category since he was sent from Minnesota to Cleveland in 2014.
In addition to being unwilling to part with Love, the Cavs don’t appear overly interested in acquiring Anthony, who will turn 33 this spring and has one of the NBA’s largest cap hits. Carmelo’s deal, which currently pays him about $24.56MM this season and runs through 2018/19, would become even more expensive if he’s dealt, since it features a 15% trade kicker. Cleveland already has the league’s highest payroll ($127MM+) and projected tax bill ($27MM+), so the team figures to focus on less expensive targets.