Reports: New York Knicks pause Carmelo Anthony trade talks

NBA.com staff reports

UPDATE, 12:20 p.m. — The New York Knicks may be frustrating Carmelo Anthony with their recent hesitancy to trade him to the Houston Rockets, writes Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:

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.”

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.

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.

* * *

The New York Knicks have paused talks with the Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers involving a Carmelo Anthony trade, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski.

Discussions have taken place over the past month and New York has been unsatisfied with the current offers. The organization also reportedly decided to halt conversations due to the upcoming hire of new general manager Scott Perry, hoping to convince Anthony to stay now that a new front office is on board.

Here’s more from ESPN:

The departure of Phil Jackson as president — and the impending arrival of Sacramento executive Scott Perry as general manager — has pushed the franchise’s top basketball executive Steve Mills to reconsider the Knicks’ intentions on trading Anthony, league sources said.

It is believed the timing of that communication with Houston and Cleveland coincided with the clandestine negotiations that were ongoing with Sacramento and Perry, the Kings VP of basketball operations.

The Knicks have reached an agreement in principle on a deal to make Perry the team’s new GM, but consummation of the hiring is pending the Knicks and Kings arriving at terms on compensation, league sources said.

The Knicks want Anthony to meet with the new front office and coach Jeff Hornacek in the near future, but it’s unlikely that Anthony will respond with eagerness about a plan to reincorporate himself into a franchise that has been pushing him — publicly and privately — to accept a trade out of New York, league sources said.

As Marc Berman of the New York Post reports, the Knicks are hoping Anthony will further expand his wish list of teams he’d accept a trade to:

According to a source close to trade talks with the Rockets, the Knicks, with no deal on the table with Houston that makes sense, are hitting the reset button, regrouping and have stalled talks with Houston general manager Daryl Morey.

According to the source, Knicks acting president Steve Mills wants to meet with Anthony to see where his head is at before proceeding any further.

The primary hope, according to the source, is Anthony decides to open up his wish list beyond the Rockets and Cavaliers, as he has a no-trade clause. The Celtics would’ve been in play, but they traded for Gordon Hayward.

If the Knicks can’t strike a deal to gain meaningful future assets or future cap space, the thought process of letting Anthony return is logical. He likely would opt out of his contract after next season and give them full salary-cap flexibility.

Anthony, Houston’s Chris Paul and LeBron James, who are close friends, all could become free agents in 2018 and decide to unite, as they have talked about before.

In an Anthony deal, the Knicks goal is to get a draft pick, a young player and clear cap room. With the extra cap room, it would be easier for the Knicks to make a trade for a veteran point guard.