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Carmelo Anthony trade offer for Kevin Love soundly rejected by Cavaliers, per report


NBA: New York Knicks at Indiana Pacers Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks tried to offer a trade that would have sent Carmelo Anthony to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a deal involving Kevin Love, according to an ESPN report. The Cavs denied the offer.

The news comes eight days after Anthony sat down with team president Phil Jackson and reiterated his wish to stay in New York. Rumors swirled as Fanrag Sports’ Charley Rosen, a confidant of Jackson, wrote that Anthony had “outlived his usefulness in New York.” The forward wanted to make his thoughts clear.

Rosen wrote in his piece that it was “understood that he’d only accept being dealt to the Cavaliers or the Clippers.” Anthony has a no-trade clause in his contract, meaning he would have to agree to any deal he’s involved in. The team hadn’t talked to Anthony about the deal, according to the report.

The news of the offer also comes two days after LeBron James put his team on blast following a two-point loss to an Anthony Davis-less New Orleans Pelicans team, saying "We need a f---ing playmaker."

James is looking for some minor change in Cleveland, not a blockbuster deal. New York could have used it.

Without many trade pieces and a limited number of suitors, trading Anthony for Love would have been ideal for New York.

The Knicks have a history of trying to be a win-now team despite a lack of win-now talent. The team is in flux as it stands with its top players, Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis, in opposite stages of their careers. Porzingis is just 20 years old, while Anthony is on the latter end of his prime at 32. He might not even be in the league anymore when the Latvian hits his full potential.

Porzingis is the team’s future; the one rebuilding piece the team has kept since surrendering Danilo Gallinari and draft picks to land Anthony. Swapping forwards with Cavs would have allowed the the Knicks to get younger without losing competitiveness.

Love is four years younger than Anthony, and though he has one more year remaining on his contract, the salary cap rise makes the roughly $73 million owed more reasonable. Superstars may become even more costly this summer than they were last July. With Derrick Rose almost assuredly gone after his contract expires at the end of the year, New York could have attracted guard talent with a Love-Porzingis frontcourt.

But Cleveland had obvious reasons to deny this trade.

Carmelo Anthony isn’t the playmaker Cleveland needs.

The Cavs are living through a cold stretch as the league reaches midseason. The team has lost five of its last nine and James has realized this isn’t the same team that brought down the 73-win Warriors.

They’re missing Matthew Dellavedova, who left in free agency, and nobody has commanded the backup point guard role in his absence. A lot of the load to replace him has fallen on James’ shoulders and he’s clearly fed-up.

Bringing a noted ball-stopper in Anthony makes no sense, though. Jackson was likely banking on James and Anthony’s friendship to push the deal through, but it was an otherwise silly offer.

Love is shooting and rebounding at higher percentages than he was a year ago, and the restless talk of his misfit in Cleveland has finally simmered. The Cavs need their power forward.