Hoping they can deal Carmelo Anthony before training camp, the Knicks reached out to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the last 10 days to gauge their interest in a possible trade, a source told the Daily News.
Although Anthony still desires Houston as a destination, the Knicks have not budged on their stance to reject the Rockets’ offer of Ryan Anderson and his large contract. The Knicks, according to a source, believe Anthony is amenable to joining the Cavs as an alternative, to play with buddy LeBron James for the three-time defending Eastern Conference champs.
ESPN confirmed the Daily News report and added that Anthony is also open to playing for the OKC Thunder alongside reigning MVP Russell Westbrook and Paul George.
The Knicks and former team president Phil Jackson engaged the Cavaliers in talks for Anthony around last season’s trade deadline. However, Cleveland balked at including Kevin Love and, a source told the News, it remains unwilling to swap the 29-year-old for Anthony. It’s unclear what the Knicks are seeking for compensation this time around. The Cavaliers, who have a lot of uncertainty surrounding the franchise with LeBron entering free agency next summer, also have no interest in giving up the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick acquired in the deal for Kyrie Irving.
But if the Knicks are interested in first-round picks, the Thunder are in a worse position. After dealing multiple picks for George, OKC doesn’t have a first rounder to trade until 2024.
On Friday, the Knicks front office tandem of Steve Mills and Scott Perry said they expect Anthony to attend Media Day on Monday and the start of training camp on Tuesday.
Still, Mills and Perry both excluded Anthony from their State of the Knicks blogs on the team website. Perry said Friday he remains open to trading the Knicks’ lone All-Star.
“At the end of the day, what we set out and what we said if there was something there that made sense both for him and the Knicks organization, then we would strongly consider it,” Perry said.