Carmelo Anthony doesn’t know if he’s going or staying mostly because the Knicks continue to send mixed messages and change directions almost daily.
It appears that Anthony remains committed to finalizing a trade to the Houston Rockets despite the Knicks’ sudden hesitation to complete the deal in the wake of the proposed hiring of new general manager Scott Perry.
According to an executive of one the four teams involved in the proposed trade, all sides, including Anthony, are frustrated over reports that Knicks president Steve Mills is having second thoughts. In fact, ESPN reported that the Knicks want the chance to talk to Anthony about possibly remaining in New York, which at this stage in the process seems highly unlikely.
“That’s crazy,” a source told the News. “From what I understand Carmelo is under the belief that he’s going to the Rockets. That’s what the Knicks have been telling us; that they’re trading him. I can’t imagine that after all he went though last season with Phil (Jackson) he’s happy with this.”
It is interesting that Jackson, the former Knicks president, spent most of last season trying to run Anthony out of New York. Anthony would not budge until last month, but now that he’s has agreed to leave the Knicks have cold feet.
This latest development could be seen as Mills just wanting to give Perry a chance to settle into his new job before pulling the trigger. Mills has already signed Tim Hardaway Jr. and Ron Baker to free agent contracts without having a general manager in place.
That has raised questions over how much actual power a new general manager would have under Mills. By delaying the deal, it creates the perception that Perry was consulted.
If the Knicks are doing this to gain additional leverage the move could backfire. Anthony agreed to waive his no-trade clause to go to Houston and has been preparing himself for that move for nearly two weeks.
Anthony’s long time friend, Chris Paul, was scheduled to hold his introductory press conference in Houston on Friday. Last month, James Harden actively recruited Anthony to the Rockets during a trip to Paris.
Anthony is concerned about his public image and doesn’t want a messy divorce from the Knicks. He is said to be dismayed over the events of the past 24 hours.
According to a source, Anthony went to the Knicks prior to the NBA Draft and requested a buyout. He was denied, but Jackson said the Knicks would work with Anthony on a trade.
Anthony then agreed to waive his no-trade clause to Houston and Cleveland. Even after Jackson was fired, the Knicks, with Mills now in charge, intensified efforts to get a deal done.
The parameters of a deal are in place but there are some details that need to be finalized.
Neither Anthony nor his agent, Leon Rose, were available for comment. Rose also represents Paul and is in Houston for the press conference.
Two people familiar with the talks believe a trade will be completed.
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