Thursday, it was Carmelo Anthony being apprehensive but considering knee surgery during what's already a lost season for the Knicks. Friday, it's on to rumors that the New York forward could drop his no-trade clause in his fresh five-year contract with his team.
Sources of the New York Post's Marc Berman believe Anthony would be willing to drop his no-trade clause if Knicks president Phil Jackson lined up a deal that would send the All-Star forward to a team he would be willing to play for. From Berman's report, it doesn't seem that Anthony is actively pushing to be traded -- still, any willingness to be dealt to the right team certainly would signify his frustration with New York's 4-20 start.
It's been 24 games since Anthony signed a five-year, $124 million deal with the Knicks this summer. Anthony passed up other opportunities to stay home, so how likely is it that he's completely changed his tune about playing for the Knicks?
He's already denied the report, according to ESPN New York's Ian Begley.
Carmelo shoots down idea that he's considering waiving his no-trade clause. Says he won't run from "adversity." #Knicks— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) December 12, 2014
Why Melo would want to leave the Knicks
First-year coach Derek Fisher is still learning on the job as his players learn a triangle offense that's been highly criticized. Not only has the system exposed the underwhelming roster talent, but it's been a statistical killer, causing the team to shoot too many midrange jumpers and find itself last in the league in getting to the foul stripe. Anthony isn't a spring chicken at 30 years old, and he may not have the patience to work with this roster and this offense.
The atrocious start has led to issues in New York's locker room bubbling to the surface -- Anthony and second-year guard Tim Hardaway apparently were at odds most recently.
There are obviously problems with how quickly the team has gone south.
Why Anthony would want to say
Forget whether the Knicks can find a trade partner for Anthony. Let's focus on the team and player. To start, Anthony's agent, Leon Rose, came out shortly after the New York Post article was published to extinguish the rumors. He called the report "utter nonsense."
Carmelo's agent Leon Rose: "Carmelo, as always, is committed to the Knicks. There have never been discussions about trades....(continued)— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) December 12, 2014
Leon Rose continued:..."or wanting to leave New York. Any story, rumor, report to the contrary is utter nonsense."— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) December 12, 2014
If Anthony is a reasonable person -- and all indications are that he is -- then re-signing with the Knicks was always about a challenge and an uphill climb that began this year. Maybe it wasn't going to be this bad, but Anthony knew he could have signed with the Chicago Bulls to make them immediate title contenders. Instead, he followed his heart.
As Isola also points out, Anthony has also made New York his home because of his business priorities expressed in a recent ESPN Magazine feature. What would leaving the city do to damage his other interests?
New York has invested the money in Anthony, too. It could prioritize him above Fisher and the rest of his teammates. In other words, the Knicks will do whatever they can to keep Anthony satisfied.
The likelihood of Anthony being traded this season
Let's just say it'd have to get a lot worse for Anthony to get out of New York. On a scale of one to 10, give the likelihood of him leaving a one.