Family concerns may keep Carmelo Anthony from accepting trade

NBA.com Staff

The separation of Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks seems inevitable, but it will also be complicated.

The trade has to make sense for all teams involved. As with any trade (involving teams above the salary cap), salaries need to match. Anthony has a 15 percent trade kicker, that would increase his salary from the $24.6 million the Knicks are paying him this season.

And of course, Anthony has a no-trade clause, so he has to agree to go wherever the Knicks want to send him. And as Al Iannazone of Newsday writes, that decision is about more than just basketball:

Carmelo Anthony said all options are open regarding his future and staying with the Knicks is right on top. One of the main reasons is because he doesn’t want to uproot his family.

Anthony said he is concerned about the idea of taking his 9-year-old son Kiyan out of school and to a new environment.

“That’s more about what I care about, my family,” Anthony said following Tuesday’s shootaround. “My son being comfortable in New York at an age now where he’s really getting an opportunity to understand being in New York and having a home there and having friends there. My wife working there and having her opportunities there. I think about that more so than my decision for my career.

“At the end of the day, it will come down to my decision. But I think more about my decision and what they’re going to have to go through if anything would happen.”

Anthony has a no-trade clause in his contract, so he has final say on whether he leaves the Knicks. He continues to say he’s not thinking about it. The trade deadline is Feb. 23, so talks are expected to heat up.

Anthony said he hasn’t told the front office that he would only be willing to go to certain teams. But he and his superstar friends have talked about that happening at some point, and they’re playing for contenders, so it could be even more appealing.

“Those considerations and thoughts will always be,” Anthony said. “That’s something we all think about as athletes, try to play with another. We talk about it from high school and college. These are conversations that we’ve had years before any of this ever came up.”

But Anthony said he hasn’t ruled out anything, starting with remaining in a Knicks uniform.

“Of course. Of course,” he said. “I hear the new report every day. Every day is a new team. Every day is ‘Melo said this, Melo said that.’ Melo hasn’t said anything yet. That’s what I will say, Melo hasn’t said anything.”

Two teams that could trade for Anthony are the Boston Celtics and LA Clippers. On Sunday, the Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn reported that Celtics president Danny Ainge “has rejected any deal” involving Anthony. ESPN.com reported on Saturday that the Knicks and Clippers are seeking a third team to help them facilitate a trade to L.A.

The recent thumb injury suffered by Anthony’s good friend Chris Paul has complicated matters, with the Clippers reluctant to part with two of their healthy guards — Jamal Crawford, Austin Rivers and J.J. Redick — in any trade while Paul is sidelined.

Sources said the Knicks ‎are reluctant to absorb the three years and $42 million left on Crawford’s contract after this season, which has led to the hunt for a third team that might be interested in Crawford. The Clippers, meanwhile, are hesitant to surrender the sharpshooting Redick even if they were at full strength in the backcourt, sources said.

Those various conflicting interests, sources said, have necessitated a search for a potential third team. Also complicating a potential Clippers-Knicks deal is the fact that L.A. is hard-capped this season, which would make it difficult for the club to handle the 15 percent trade kicker in Anthony’s contract that would add nearly $10 million to his 2016-17 season if he is dealt.

And if you missed it, our David Aldridge also addressed the situation on Monday in his Morning Tip column yesterday…

In the old (read: two years ago) days, someone with Anthony’s proclivity for scoring and star presence would fetch you a whole lot of future firsts and/or young players you could build around — like what New York gave Denver in 2011 to land Anthony in the first place. But that kind of deal is increasingly difficult for teams to pull off or justify. In the new NBA landscape, awash with money, teams need to have multiple players in their rotation that aren’t pulling down eight figures per year. That makes Draft picks and young players on cheap contracts even more valuable than they already were.

The list of available and willing suitors just isn’t that big.

There just isn’t a credible path to get Anthony to Cleveland and close friend LeBron James. There’s no way the Cavs are going to deal either Kyrie Irving or Kevin Love or Tristan Thompson, and let’s be honest, there isn’t anyone else on the roster that would be a blip on New York’s radar. (If the Knicks were willing to take a package from Cleveland featuring J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and other pieces, man — hard to see that. But it would indicate how desperate the Knicks are.)