Carmelo Anthony is willing to waive his no-trade clause if the New York Knicks ask him to. While Anthony told Newsday he wants to remain a Knick, he said he would be willing to accept a trade if the team’s management wanted to go in a different direction and start a rebuild.
The 32-year-old nine-time All-Star claimed he was committed to remaining in New York and was willing to put aside his clear differences with team president Phil Jackson. But it’s clear the situation with the team is grating on him.
The truth is, the Knicks (who are 19-25) would be best served by finding a way to move Anthony along with the two years and roughly $52 million left on his contract. The franchise should turn its focus to building around second-year sensation Kristaps Porzingis and let the disappointing Anthony era die. The issue will be finding a buyer.
Anthony’s contract is a problem. Yes, Melo can still contribute solid production, as he is averaging 22.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 33.3 minutes per game. But he is clearly a declining player, and his PER has dropped to 19.40, which ranks 51st in the NBA this season. That’s not the production level of a guy who should be taking home max contract money.
Finding someone to take Anthony will be incredibly difficult. The Knicks would almost certainly have to take on some awful contracts in return and they wouldn’t be able to expect much else. It would have to be a straight salary dump from both sides. So dreams Knicks fans have of getting a lottery pick and more in return for their most marketable asset should go out the window right now. If Anthony goes, he’ll likely go to a fringe playoff team who can send back some bad deals. That’s the only way it’ll actually happen.
I have a hard time seeing a trade being made. Anthony would obviously have to approve of his destination and the Knicks would have to find a buyer. The combination of those factors makes a deal unlikely. Stranger things have happened but in the real world, it’s difficult to see a competing team taking on an aging, declining, overpaid former star who doesn’t provide anything defensively.