NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — On the surface, it made perhaps too much sense.
Kyrie Irving requested a trade out of Cleveland and reportedly included the Knicks on his short list of preferred destinations. Meanwhile, the point guard-needy Knicks have been trying to deal Carmelo Anthony, who had reportedly agreed to waive his no-trade clause for only two teams: the Rockets and, yes, the Cavaliers.
But apparently, Anthony has had a change of heart about joining his friend LeBron James in Cleveland, making a Knicks trade for Kyrie Irving unlikely.
ESPN reported Wednesday that Anthony’s top priority is still to join the Rockets. The Knicks and Houston were negotiating a trade earlier this month before New York suddenly backed away from the talks. New team president Steve Mills said last week that he may still trade Anthony but that he’s also prepared for the possibility that the 10-time All-Star could return to the Knicks.
Without Anthony in a deal for Irving, the Knicks would likely have to include Kristaps Porzingis, something they’re not prepared to do, according to ESPN. An offer could also include multiple first-round draft picks.
So for the Knicks to emerge as serious contenders for Irving, someone has to change his mind — either Anthony about joining the Cavs or Mills about trading Porzingis.
The other teams on Irving’s list are the Spurs, Heat and Timberwolves.
According to ESPN, Irving has grown tired of playing in James’ shadow and the preferential treatment shown by the Cavaliers to the four-time MVP.
Last season, Irving, the first overall pick in the 2011 draft, averaged 25.2 points and 5.5 assists per game.
Anthony averaged 22.4 points and 5.9 rebounds in 2016-17.