After years of rumors connecting Carmelo Anthony to LeBron James, the friends could finally play together as quickly as next season through an unconventional route: The Knicks buying out Anthony’s deal and cutting ties with nothing in return.
While the idea may seem hard to imagine, Stefan Bondy of the Daily News talked to an Eastern Conference executive that believes we’re heading toward the Knicks having to buy out Anthony to get him to leave New York.
Still, Anthony would be an upgrade coming off the bench and Cleveland represents his best shot at a title. That’s not to say it’s going to happen. If anything, the scenario remains very unlikely for several reasons. First off, Phil Jackson would have to become so desperate to rid himself of Anthony that he gives up one of his best players for nothing. As silly as that sounds, an Eastern Conference executive told the Daily News he believes that’s where this separation is headed because Anthony holds the power with the no-trade clause. One major obstacle to that resolution, however, is that Anthony has over $54 million remaining on his deal. Jackson suggested a buyout is not an option, but who blinks first if next season becomes a miserable game of chicken between star and team president?
If Anthony refuses to waive his no-trade clause and the Knicks are slogging through another bad season in 2017-18, we could be headed for a future Hall of Famer getting cut cold turkey and having freedom to sign anywhere.
Although the idea of Anthony in a reduced role and salary in Cleveland isn’t conventional, the lure of playing with James and for a title next season would have to be intriguing for any player in this kind of situation.
As the Anthony trade rumors commence this summer, remember this scenario if the Knicks can’t find a trading partner.
The always-outspoken Evan Turner revealed some hopes for his Portland Trail Blazers via Twitter Thursday afternoon. The first two names on his mind? Carmelo Anthony and Paul George. When asked about the Knicks’ All-Star, Turner made it clear he’s a big fan of Carmelo’s potential next to Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum in Portland.
Anthony, who has never averaged fewer than 20 points per game in his 15 seasons, finished the 2016-17 averaging 22.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 2.9 assists.
Next, Turner joined the chorus of Blazers who would love to see Indiana’s George in Portland next season. He predicts, however, that George is heading to a different destination.
George averaged 23.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 3.3 assists last season, but the Pacers finished with only a 42-40 record, good for seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Indiana was swept by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs.