Carmelo Anthony, a 10-time NBA All-Star, is open to waiving his no-trade clause to join the Houston Rockets or Cleveland Cavaliers should those teams create a pathway to a deal with the New York Knicks, league sources told ESPN.
Houston has been proactive in pursuing possible trade scenarios for Anthony lately, though its discussions around the league have yet to gain traction on a deal, league sources told ESPN.
Cleveland has remained a preferred destination for Anthony because of the presence of LeBron James.
Anthony had been a consistent target of former Knicks president Phil Jackson, who had been pushing for Anthony to waive his no-trade clause and leave the Knicks. After Jackson’s firing last week, the Knicks have maintained a stance of wanting significant assets back for Anthony in a trade and have resisted the idea of a contract buyout, league sources said. Sources said the Knicks are trying to avoid long-term salary commitments to older players.
In discussions with Houston, sources indicated that the Knicks have been reluctant to consider taking on Houston forward Ryan Anderson, who is owed $ 61.3 million over the next three years.
Anthony has two years and $ 54 million guaranteed left on his contract and a trade kicker that could pay him an additional $ 8.1 million upon a deal. Nevertheless, Anthony does have the option of lowering, or waiving, the trade kicker to facilitate a deal. Given that Anthony largely controls the process, it will be very difficult for New York to demand significant assets in any trade.
ESPN reported Saturday night that the Knicks have had a preliminary phone interview with former Cavs general manager David Griffin and plan to interview him in person within the next few weeks.
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne contributed to this report.