AFTER being adamant in not waiving his no-trade clause, Carmelo Anthony has reportedly changed his mind and expressed willingness to accept a deal that would send the New York Knicks star to either the Houston Rockets or the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Sources within the NBA told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that the 10-time All-Star Anthony is now open to leaving New York in favor of the mentioned teams, although the same sources said that discussions on a trade have not made progress as of Sunday (Monday, Manila time).
Houston’s acquisition of Chris Paul in a backcourt that’s led by last season’s MVP nominee James Harden has made the Rockets an appealing choice for Anthony, added Wojnarowski’s sources.
On the other hand, Cleveland has long been one of the teams rumored to have had interest in acquiring Anthony, who could vastly improve the Cavaliers’ firepower if he teams up with LeBron James.
Anthony had been insistent on his desire to stay in New York and keep his no-trade clause despite the repeated push to leave from former Knicks team president Phil Jackson. With Jackson fired last week, the 33-year-old Anthony has surprisingly made a change of heart as well, but the Knicks are looking for significant assets and avoiding a contract buyout or long-term salary commitments to aging players.
According to sources, the Rockets have offered Ryan Anderson in the trade discussions but the Knicks are not enticed with the sweet-shooting forward’s contract, with $61.3M for the next three years.
On the other hand, Anthony still has two years in his contract with $54M guaranteed plus a trade kicker worth $8.1M if a deal happens.
NBC Sports Dane Carbaugh, meanwhile, reported that based on salaries, the Cavs could be looking at sending Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye along with some filler salary and draft pick in a package without giving up its core.
Still, making a deal done without decimating the lineup of either the Rockets or the Cavs could be tricky for each team if they want a deal for the proven scorer Anthony, who has been busy in the offseason working on his game and his conditioning even at 2 a.m. on Sunday.
Carmelo Anthony working out at 2 a.m. last night ???? pic.twitter.com/qOXzuCF9eL— NYK Insider (@NykInsider) July 2, 2017