NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Knicks sound like a team on a mission to trade Carmelo Anthony.
A day after an ESPN report surfaced that New York offered up their star player to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Kevin Love — only to be told the defending champs weren’t interested — another report by The Vertical says the Knicks have also approached the Celtics and Clippers to gauge their interest in Anthony.
League sources told The Vertical that Knicks president Phil Jackson is determined to deal Anthony before the NBA’s Feb. 23 trade deadline so that he can begin building around Kristaps Porzingis.
The New York Daily News reported Thursday that the Knicks are discussing a deal with the Clippers that does not include any of Los Angeles’ big-three players — Chris Paul, Blake Griffin or DeAndre Jordan. Jamal Crawford, J.J. Redick and Austin Rivers were mentioned as possibilities in the report.
The Knicks cannot trade for Griffin because of a complicated rule barring one team from acquiring two Designated Rookie Max extensions via a trade — New York already has Derrick Rose.
Anthony would have to waive his no-trade clause. Just last week, the nine-time All-Star told Jackson he wanted to remain a Knick. However, two days before that meeting, Anthony told reporters that if Jackson wants him out, “I guess it’s a conversation we should have.”
While Anthony has long maintained that he’s committed to winning with the Knicks, he also has expressed a desire to win a championship before he retires, even if it means playing elsewhere.
“I don’t think it would be called kind of chasing a ring,” Anthony told reporters Wednesday, according to ESPN. “I think it would be looking at opportunities and situations, if and when that time (does) come. I think it would be a collective effort on all fronts, not just mine. I think it would be a collective effort on the organization and understanding the direction that they want to go.”
It has been widely speculated that Anthony might be willing to waive his no-trade clause to join the Cavaliers or Clippers because those teams are both contenders led by close friends of his — LeBron James in Cleveland, Paul in Los Angeles.
Anthony is due $26.2 million next season and then has a $27.9 million player option for 2018-19, the final season of his contract.