The New York Knicks are clearly going nowhere. They are out of playoff position and realistically, a postseason spot would only result in a first round exit. The situation is complicated by the fact that New York’s best player, Carmelo Anthony has a full no-trade clause.
Charley Rosen of FanRag Sports had previously reported that “It’s understood that he’d only accept being dealt to the Cavaliers or the Clippers.” But according to another report, that may be changing.
Carmelo: "If they feel like my time in New York is over I guess that’s a conversation we should have."
— Frank Isola (@TheFrankIsola) January 15, 2017
If this is Anthony’s attitude, this is a conversation that the Knicks must have with their star.
Anthony would be a valuable asset for most of the NBA’s contenders. He’s averaging better than 22 points and six rebounds per game, while shooting at a 42.5%-35%-85.2% clip.
If he’s on a team with other players who demand the attention of opposing defenses, Anthony can park out and routinely benefit from wide open shots.
The problem is that he’s absolutely useless in New York. In addition to being a huge hit to the salary cap, Anthony will be 33 in May. Realistically, if the Knicks keep Anthony and do everything else right (don’t count on it), they’re still 2-3 years away from being a contender. By that point, Carmelo’s contract will be up, and he’ll likely be too old to be a true impact player, anyway.
By expanding the trade targets beyond the Clippers and Cavaliers, New York would increase its chances of getting multiple valuable assets back.
The Knicks need to face some facts. Anthony has been they’re best player since he was acquired midway through the 2010-11 season. In that time, New York has made the playoffs only three times, made it beyond the first round only once, and never made it past the second round. The Knicks have missed the playoffs for three consecutive seasons. The current campaign will likely be No. 4.
Keeping Carmelo around would be refusing to break something up that was never all that great.
Anthony might simply use his no-trade clause and stay in New York. The Knicks can’t do anything about that. But they owe it to themselves to try.