In his recent opus, Phil Jackson mouthpiece Charley Rosen called trading Carmelo Anthony an “absolute necessity.” That jibes with everything we’ve heard from the Knicks president, who can’t string together more than five sentences without reminding the world that his star forward would be better off somewhere else. The situation has become so toxic that most observers simply assume Melo will be gone in a few weeks time.
But there might be a slight snag in Phil’s plan, according to a recent piece by Frank Isola. What if Melo simply doesn’t want to go? He has a full no-trade clause, and his list of preferred trade destinations continues to narrow as he realizes he doesn’t want to spend a season far away from his family.
According to a person familiar with Anthony’s thinking, Carmelo is no longer enamored with playing in Los Angeles if it means having to be away from his son for an extended period of time.
Anthony, according to the same source, was toying with the idea of orchestrating a move to either Philadelphia or Washington, which would keep him close to New York. However, Anthony’s mindset now is to stay in New York and play for the Knicks . . . even though Jackson doesn’t want him.
At this point it seems as if Melo is all but untradeable. That leaves only a potential buyout—please, for the love of God, avoid the stretch provision and just take the cap hit now—but there’s no guarantee Melo agrees to that.
Isola goes on to speculate that owner James Dolan might not be willing to eat all of Melo’s salary, particularly if the veteran doesn’t actually want to leave. Don’t forget: Melo was a part of Dolan’s legendary Kazoo Crew. I personally don’t care to try and guess what Dolan is thinking, but it seems clear that Melo might just make it extremely difficult for Phil to get him off the Knicks. Let the games begin.