Carmelo Anthony is open to the idea of waiving his no-trade clause in order to facilitate a trade to the Cavaliers or Rockets, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. According to Wojnarowski, there’s no traction yet on a deal.
The presence of Chris Paul and LeBron James in Houston and Cleveland, respectively, appeals to Anthony, as does with the Rockets’ and Cavs’ ability to contend. While Anthony controls the process due to his no-trade clause, his apparent willingness to accept a deal to the Rockets or Cavaliers is a good first step for the Knicks, who reportedly remain hopeful that a trade can be completed.
Still, there are several roadblocks to overcome for the Knicks, since Anthony’s trade value is diminished due to his exorbitant salary, a 15% trade kicker, and a belief that New York may eventually become receptive to a buyout. The fact that the franchise doesn’t currently have a permanent president of basketball operations in place is also somewhat problematic.
Per Wojnarowski, the Rockets have been “proactive” in pursuing a possible deal for Anthony since acquiring Paul from the Clippers last week. However, the Knicks have little interest in taking back Ryan Anderson, whose $19.5MM+ salary would likely be needed for salary-matching purposes. Anderson’s contract runs through the 2019/20 season.
As for the Cavaliers, they have been frequently mentioned as a possible destination for Anthony, but have shown no willingness to part with Kevin Love in a trade with New York. Cleveland would likely be more inclined to offer pieces like Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye, and perhaps J.R. Smith in a package for Carmelo, which wouldn’t do much for the Knicks.
With the Knicks reportedly trying to avoid long-term salary commitments for older players, working out an Anthony deal with either the Rockets or Cavs could be challenging unless a third team gets involved.