Carmelo Anthony doesn’t sound like someone who plans on being with the New York Knicks much longer.
The All-Star forward, who owns a no-trade clause, admitted on Thursday the team “might” trade him, and he also expressed that it became difficult to trust Phil Jackson after all the extracurricular storylines that plagued him through the season, per ESPN.com’s Ian Begley:
Anthony acknowledged that it was “hard to trust” Jackson after the team president’s veiled criticisms earlier in the season.
“If somebody was talking bad about you indirectly at your job, what would you do? You would feel a certain way,” Anthony said. “You would want that person to come straightforward with you. And I feel the same way. I’m always open. I’m a very honest person. I know the business and I know the game and I know how it works. So if it’s something that you want to get across, a message that you want to get across, I’ve always been open.”
Anthony did say, per Begley, that he wants to remain in New York if the Knicks are committed to winning. But it’s not clear what in the actual hell the Knicks are committed to doing right now.
Building around Kristaps Porzingis continues to be the priority, and they should have at least a top-seven pick in this year’s draft. But trading Anthony isn’t going to truly change their plans one way or the other. He won’t command a king’s ransom on the chopping block at his age, and the Knicks would be foolish to make a deal that takes on long-term salary. The priority should be picks, prospects and cap flexibility.
If they cannot broker a trade that meets those requirements, they’re better off keeping Anthony for another season. He has an early termination option after next year he is bound to exercise. That impending cap space could end up being more valuable to them than anything they actually get in return on the trade market.