The Cavaliers have been mentioned all offseason as a possible landing spot for Carmelo Anthony, and within the last few days, the Knicks were named among Kyrie Irving‘s preferred destinations. However, a trade between the Cavs and Knicks increasingly appears to be a long shot, according to reports.
As Ian Begley of ESPN writes, Anthony’s top choice continues to be the Rockets, and the star forward still expects the Knicks to find a way to get him at Houston. It’s possible Carmelo’s stance will change at some point, but he wields a no-trade clause and appears intent on waiving it for the Rockets rather than the Cavs, particularly if he wouldn’t have the opportunity to play with Irving in Cleveland.
According to Begley, the Knicks have no interest in including Kristaps Porzingis in any trade for Irving, so they’d likely need to include Anthony in a hypothetical Irving deal with the Cavs. Not having Carmelo’s approval is, of course, a major roadblock. But even with his go-ahead, it’s not clear if the two teams would be able to reach an agreement.
Begley suggests that some members of the Knicks’ front office would be willing to trade Anthony and multiple first-round picks for Irving, but the organization is not in full agreement on the idea of giving up multiple first-rounders in any trade.
Conversely, Sam Amico of AmicoHoops hears that the Cavs would be unwilling to move Irving for only Anthony and draft picks. Sources tell Amico that the Cavs may be removing themselves from the Carmelo sweepstakes in the wake of Irving’s trade request, since their trade objectives – and possibilities – have changed.
Even if the Knicks aren’t a viable trade partner for the Cavaliers, Cleveland should have no shortage of options for an Irving deal. Amico reports that at least seven teams have made “serious inquiries” on Irving, and Cleveland is making every effort to grant the point guard’s trade request. However, the Cavs are also in no rush to get something done, as they attempt to sniff out the best possible deal.
The Timberwolves are one of those teams exploring a possible Kyrie trade with “incredible seriousness,” says Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press (via Twitter). However, Krawczynski remains unsure whether Minnesota would be open to including Andrew Wiggins in an offer for Irving.