Despite the Cavaliers’ unwillingness to move Kevin Love in a deal involving Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks continue to pursue Love, league sources tell Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Shelburne and Stein first reported last week that Cleveland had rebuffed New York’s efforts to work out a swap involving Love and Anthony.
According to the ESPN duo, the Cavaliers do have some interest in Anthony, but would only be interested in such a deal if it didn’t mean surrendering Love. Without any of the Cavs’ Big Three in a trade, the team would likely have to include at least two players out of a group that includes Tristan Thompson, J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, and Channing Frye in order to make the salaries work. That’s my speculation though — there’s no indication the two sides have specifically discussed those players.
As Stein and Shelburne report, the Knicks have been focused on engaging the Cavaliers, Clippers, and Celtics in trade talks, believing that Anthony would be willing to waive his no-trade clause to accept a move to one of those teams.
However, Cleveland and Los Angeles are both in tax territory, with the Cavs reluctant to add much more salary and the Clippers up against a hard cap, which will make it difficult to complete a deal with either team. Anthony’s 15% trade kicker further complicates trade discussions, as it would add approximately $9.6MM to his remaining salary.
Per ESPN’s report, many of New York’s recent discussions with the Clippers and Cavs have had to include a theoretical third or fourth team to create a plausible trade scenario. As for Boston, the Celtics don’t appear to have substantial interest in Anthony, and any talks with the Knicks so far are believed to be exploratory in nature.
Anthony, who has a formal no-trade clause in his contract and has maintained that he prefers to stay with the Knicks, has conceded that he’d be willing to consider approving a deal if New York wants to rebuild. Still, he told reporters on Tuesday that he hasn’t given the Knicks any list of teams he’d approve. Anthony added that his family will be an important consideration if he’s presented with a possible trade opportunity, since he’s not eager to uproot his wife and son.