By Bryan Altman
Knicks president Phil Jackson has made it abundantly clear to anyone within earshot that he’d like to move Carmelo Anthony off of the Knicks as soon as possible.
Now, a report from Marc Berman of the New York Post has detailed how Jackson’s incessant discussing of his desire to ship his star swingman out of town has drastically reduced Anthony’s trade value, and as a result potentially the team’s ability to trade the veteran scorer.
Berman spoke with a handful of NBA executives regarding Jackson’s critiques and thinly-veiled shots at Anthony over the past year, and most general managers admitted that Jackson has shot himself in the foot as a result.
“Phil made a statement basically that Carmelo’s a losing type of player. Well, if he’s a loser for the Knicks, he’s going to be a winner someplace else? That obviously didn’t help,” one Eastern Conference executive said.
“Most owners would just roast you if you said something like that,” the Eastern exec added.
“Tremendously,” another exec said when asked how much Jackson may have damaged Anthony’s trade value. “He essentially said, ‘I want to dump this guy.’”
Anthony, 33, has a full no-trade clause and is owed $26 million this coming season and $28 million in 2018-19. While Anthony has stated that he’d revoke his no-trade clause for the right fit, he still will essentially be able to call his own shot and veto any deal that he isn’t interested in, which will make it even more difficult for Jackson to find the right suitor.
While one of the executives Berman spoke to stated that Anthony could be worth a protected first-round pick, he also added that teams “won’t give up any of their core to add him” because “it sure sounds like the Knicks want to get rid of him. That would be defeating the purpose.”
Ultimately, Jackson might just have to give Anthony up for a bargain to a team he’s willing to play for the end this doomed marriage.
It’ll be extremely difficult — if not impossible — for either side to forgive and forget all the bad blood that has been spilled in a very public manner this offseason if Anthony isn’t donning a new jersey by the time the 2017-18 season kicks off.
One scout put the issue the Knicks face by keeping Anthony perfectly, rhetorically asking Berman, “What are the Knicks going to say: ‘We want you to stay’? After Phil basically told him, ‘We don’t want you. Go somewhere else.'”