NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Friday, February 12, 2016, 9:27 PM
Carmelo Anthony has dream of winning a championship but chance to play with LeBron James in Cleveland may not be enough for him to waive the no-trade clause in his contract.
Carmelo Anthony remains committed to the Knicks for now even if it means passing on the opportunity to join his longtime friend LeBron James in Cleveland.
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.”
The NBA trading deadline is Thursday and Knicks president Phil Jackson is exploring ways to upgrade the 23-32 Knicks and get them back in the playoff race. Trading Anthony would signal a complete rebuild centered around 20-year-old Kristaps Porzingis.
On Friday, Anthony bemoaned not having a proven star as a teammate and revealed that he’s had talks with fellow All-Stars about joining forces.
“I think everybody kind of dreams and hopes that they can play with another great player, another star player. It’s a star player’s league,” Anthony said. “I think that’s what we talk about when we all get together — ‘I want to play with you, I want to play with you.’ Even here different guys say, ‘Come play with me, come play with me.’ So that’s always the mindset. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it don’t. But I think everybody that’s in my situation, that’s in my position, they all want the load off especially the older they get. Because you realize you just can’t do it all by yourself. Everybody knows that.”
The Cavaliers are in first place in the Eastern Conference and the odds-on favorites to return to the NBA Finals for a second straight year. The Cavs and LeBron, however, are not convinced they have enough to beat the top teams in the West, in particular Golden State and San Antonio.
The Cavs are 1-3 against those clubs with the one win coming against San Antonio one week after Tyronn Lue replaced David Blatt as coach.
Anthony would give Cleveland a proven scorer to join LeBron and Kyrie Irving.
Playing alongside his long-time friend LeBron obviously appeals to Anthony and would give him a chance at that elusive NBA title. But Anthony is committed to the Knicks and would prefer to keep his family in New York. During free agency two summers ago, Anthony said one reason for not signing elsewhere is that his son was comfortable living and going to school in New York.
Anthony has also developed a close relationship with Garden chairman James Dolan, who traded for him in 2011 and signed him to a record $ 125 million contract in 2014.
But the time may come when Anthony and Dolan will realize that a trade is in the best interests of both parties.
Cleveland makes the most sense because they are contending team and should be for as long as LeBron stays healthy.
Two other possibilities are the Clippers and Celtics. Anthony owns a home in Los Angles and is close friends with All Star point guard Chris Paul.
As for the Boston, the Knicks long time rivals have the assets that appeal to them. Celtics GM Danny Ainge has always been aggressive about adding a star and is intrigued by Anthony. For now, the Celtics are focused on Love, who signed an extension with the Cavs last summer.
Love took a tour of Boston a few weeks before being traded to the Cavs in 2014. The Celtics were considered the favorites to acquire Love until LeBron signed with Cleveland and pushed the club to trade top overall pick Andrew Wiggins to Minnesota for Love.
The Celtics own multiple first round picks, including the Brooklyn Nets pick this June. The Knicks traded their 2016 first round pick to Toronto in the Andrea Bargnani deal.
The Knicks will have enough salary cap space to sign a max player this summer. Kevin Durant is the No. 1 target but Durant could re-sign with Oklahoma City or join the Warriors.