Storyline: Carmelo Anthony to Cavaliers?

77 rumors in this storyline

2 months ago via ESPN
Anthony has been encouraging the Knicks to show urgency in their pursuit of a trade before the season, league sources said. The Knicks made a preliminary call to the Cavaliers on Monday, but the two sides haven’t exchanged trade ideas, league sources told ESPN. Cleveland has to weigh the fact that Anthony, with two years and $54 million left on his contract, could opt into the $27.9 million in the final year of his deal for 2018-19 — when LeBron James could be gone in free agency and Cleveland might be embarking on a rebuild.

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The Knicks are expected to engage both Cleveland and Oklahoma City on Saturday in hopes of completing a Carmelo Anthony trade by the beginning of training camp on Tuesday, according to league sources. Anthony expanded his list of teams to which he’d accept a trade this week to include the Cavaliers and Thunder, after limiting his choice of teams to the Rockets all summer. Anthony has a no-trade clause in his contract and would have to agree to be sent to a team before New York could consummate any deal.

Some saw a possible chance for desperation in Cleveland, where Kevin Love is lost for six weeks with a knee injury and subsequent surgery. Some around the league feel the Cavs, if indeed interested, might try to wait it out and hope for a bargain if the Knicks really are intent on moving Anthony, and he wants to play with buddy LeBron James and waives his no-trade. The Knicks haven’t really driven up his value, either, with negative tweets and public criticisms from Phil Jackson.

LeBron James pushing for a Melo trade?

Phil Jackson and Carmelo Anthony apparently do have something in common: LeBron James as an ally. According to a league source, LeBron is the one pushing the Cleveland Cavaliers front office to acquire Carmelo even if it means trading Kevin Love, which is something Cavs management is opposed to doing. Jackson is hoping to move Anthony prior to the Feb. 23 trading deadline and one player the Knicks have targeted is Love, who had 23 points with 16 rebounds in Cleveland’s win over the Knicks last Saturday.

Knicks still interested in Kevin Love

The New York Knicks continue to pursue Kevin Love in advance of the Feb. 23 trade deadline despite the Cleveland Cavaliers’ unwillingness to part with the All-Star forward in a deal for Carmelo Anthony, according to league sources. Sources said the Cavaliers, meanwhile, do maintain an interest in Anthony — which would pair him with Cleveland star and close friend LeBron James — but only if a deal can be struck without the league’s reigning champions surrendering Love.

Anthony said he hasn’t told the front office that he would only be willing to go to certain teams. But he and his superstar friends have talked about that happening at some point, and they’re playing for contenders, so it could be even more appealing. “Those considerations and thoughts will always be,” Anthony said. “That’s something we all think about as athletes, try to play with another. We talk about it from high school and college. These are conversations that we’ve had years before any of this ever came up.”

“You ask me a question if he thinks I’d want to play with him?’’ Anthony said. “Yes. I do think he’d want me to play with him. I don’t think he wouldn’t. But I don’t know if that comment was about me. I don’t think I’m the only playmaker in the NBA.’’ Asked by The Post if he wanted to play in Cleveland, Anthony said, “I don’t think about it – not something I think about right now. As far as playing with him, I don’t think about that. I can’t think about that. You know I’m not thinking about that.”

Anthony did not rule out leaving the Knicks to maximize his chances to win a championship at some point. He is due to make $26.2 million next season and has a player option for $27.9 million in 2018-19, the final season of his contract with the Knicks. “I don’t think it would be called kind of chasing a ring,” Anthony said of potentially leaving to join a contender. “I think it would be looking at opportunities and situations, if and when that time [does] come. I think it would be a collective effort on all fronts, not just mine. I think it would be a collective effort on the organization and understanding the direction that they want to go.”

Carmelo Anthony wouldn’t be satisfied if his career ends without a championship, but acknowledges he’s facing a different kind of urgency than friend LeBron James. “I’m in a different situation than him,” Anthony said Wednesday about James and his recently stated urgency to win a title now. “He’s won. He’s just coming off of a championship, so for him to say he’ll be 33 and doesn’t have time to wait, he must have a different type of plan, a different goal, a different mindset of winning now and taking advantage of it.”

LeBron asked for Melo acquisition?

If you’re looking for a path to making it happen, sure, theoretically it’s possible. And since James can be a free agent this summer, he could take that pay cut sooner than expected. The New York Daily News reported during the All-Star break the Cavs, Celtics and Knicks discussed a three-team deal that would send Kevin Love to Boston and bring Anthony to Cleveland. Those reports were quickly refuted, although one source with knowledge of the situation said this week James has indeed previously pitched the idea to Cavs management of somehow bringing Anthony to Cleveland. That would require Anthony waiving his no-trade clause.

Celtics, Cavs discussing Kevin Love trade?

The Daily News has learned that the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers have discussed a blockbuster trade centered around Kevin Love. There were very preliminary discussions about expanding the deal to include the Knicks and Anthony, who would have to waive his no-trade clause in order to facilitate a deal to the Cavs. The Knicks would receive draft picks and players in return. One of those players is believed to be Timofey Mozgov, who five years ago was traded by the Knicks to Denver in the Anthony deal.

Those talks have not progressed. Plus Anthony reiterated on Friday that he has no plans to seek a trade. However, when asked if he’s thought about his future with a losing organization, Anthony gave a cryptic answer. “Not yet. I’m pretty sure I’ll have that conversation with myself and my family and my team,” he said. “But it’s not a conversation for right now.”
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