The New York Knicks reticence to trade Carmelo Anthony is deflating his worth and instead offering a boon to whatever third team facilitates his anticipated arrival in Houston.
At this point Carmelo is demanding a trade to Houston and publicly stated his willingness to waive an $8 million trade kicker to facilitate a deal. While teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers and Portland Trail Blazers continue to express interest all the power remains in Carmelo’s hands due to an ironclad no-trade clause.
These realities mean the Knicks are the lame member of the NBA herd. Their ability to reap a harvest for Carmelo has plummeted as the spotlight has increased on their situation. They can make all the demands they want, it won’t change the fulcrum their future rests in.
Squirming publicly about how the Knicks believe they can keep Anthony is NBA performance art. They’re playing a Poker Stars online tournament while streaming their session on Twitch.
Carmelo’s departure will still net the Knicks draft picks and one or two players they’re interested in, but their anticipated haul isn’t increasing. It’s only becoming more and more likely they will either end up with Ryan Anderson or no influence over what player(s) they get in return.
If the trade happens then the third team, which facilitates the trade, now has the best chance to get what they want out of it. Be it unloading a bad contract, getting picks out of Houston or turning what they once thought was a possibility into the trade they wanted.
The longer the saga goes on the more likely Portland unloads Meyers Leonard on the Knicks or Phoenix gets draft picks out of Houston and a pick swap out of New York.
New York’s refusal to accept reality isn’t earning them anything extra. The big winner is going to be whoever facilitates the trade. And Carmelo Anthony. Who can force his way off a toxic team and onto a competitor.