Anthony had been set on joining the Rockets, but with the season approaching, he may waive his no-trade clause for another team.
Carmelo Anthony has expanded his list of teams that he would accept a trade to, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, and one of those teams is the Cleveland Cavaliers. With the season looming, this is a clear sign that Anthony has blinked — he wants out of New York, even if it’s not on his exact terms.
For the past month, the 33-year-old Anthony had reportedly been set on accepting a trade to the Houston Rockets, a team that has been interested in acquiring the 10-time All-Star. However, Houston has insisted on dealing Ryan Anderson and his bloated contract in the deal, something that the Knicks haven’t been interested in. Both sides hoped a third team would materialize, something that hasn’t happened. Now, Anthony is opening up his options.
Anthony has absolute leverage in this situation thanks to a no-trade clause in his contract, which has two years left at $54 million. (The second year has an early termination clause, however.) That has limited the Knicks in their attempts to trade the aging superstar who doesn’t fit on their rebuilding roster.
If Phil Jackson hadn’t been fired, it’s likely Anthony would have already been traded. However, New York’s new front office — the Knicks hired new general manager Scott Perry in July — is much less willing to part with Anthony for nothing. They have refused any offer from the Rockets, and with Knicks training camp starting Monday, time is running out for a deal to happen.
It’s clear that Anthony feels alienated from the franchise, too, and is ready to move on. According to NY Daily News’ Frank Isola, Anthony and his family had “mentally” moved onto Houston, who traded for one of Anthony’s close friends, Chris Paul, this summer. Facing a stalemate, however, Anthony is now officially considering other options.
Cleveland was originally rumored as a top destination for Anthony given his friendship with LeBron James. However, the Cavaliers also have a new general manager — Koby Altman, officially hired in late July — and there’s the looming question whether LeBron James will leave in the summer of 2018.
Still, even if it’s not the Cavaliers, it seems clear that Anthony will find a new situation soon. His willingness to soften his no-trade clause makes it clear that he’s ready to leave, and it’s only a matter of time until the Knicks comply with his wishes.