NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Finding a taker for Carmelo Anthony is proving to be challenging.
ESPN reported Friday morning that the Celtics have told the Knicks they’re not interested in trading for the star forward. The news comes two days after another ESPN report said the Cavaliers had shot down the Knicks’ proposal of an Anthony-for-Kevin Love swap.
League sources told The Vertical that Knicks president Phil Jackson is determined to deal Anthony before the Feb. 23 trade deadline so that he can begin building around Kristaps Porzingis.
The Knicks also have reportedly contacted the Clippers to gauge their interest in Anthony. The New York Daily News reported Thursday that New York is open to a deal that would 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.
Even if the Knicks could line up a trade partner, Anthony would still 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.”
When asked Wednesday night about the Cleveland trade rumors, Anthony told reporters: “I really don’t have a reaction to it. I mean, until management comes to me and says something, it’s not something I can look forward to or feed into at this point.”
The no-trade clause severely limits Anthony’s potential landing spots. It has been widely speculated that two of the teams Anthony, 32, might be willing to waive his no-trade clause for are the Cavaliers and Clippers because both are contenders that feature close friends of his — LeBron James in Cleveland, Chris Paul in Los Angeles.
Anthony’s salary is also a likely obstacle in trade talks. He 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.
The Knicks are 20-27 this season — 11th place in the Eastern Conference — and are just 4-14 since Christmas.
Anthony, who learned Thursday that he wasn’t selected for the All-Star Game for the first time since 2009, is averaging 22.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.