The New York Knicks announced on Monday that they traded Anthony, a 10-time All-Star, to the Oklahoma City Thunder for center Enes Kanter, forward Doug McDermott and theChicago Bulls' 2018 second-round draft pick.
"This is a deal we feel works for both this franchise and Carmelo. We thank him for his seven seasons in a Knicks uniform and all that he accomplished off the court for the City of New York by using his platform to address social issues," Knicks president Steve Mills said in a statement released by the team. "We will continue to focus on this team looking forward towards the immediate and long-term future. As we have said recently, this is a new beginning for the New York Knicks."
The trade ends Anthony's 6-season tenure in New York. The Knicks had been talking to teams about an Anthony trade for several months, beginning under Phil Jackson's presidency. The deal was agreed to on Saturday afternoon, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, after Anthony, who has a no-trade clause, included the Thunder and the Cleveland Cavaliers on the list of teams to which he'd accept a trade.
"Thank you to All My Fans who supported me through Thick and Thin," Anthony wrote in a letter to New York on his website. "And those who continued to support The Knicks regardless of the outcome. Thank You to Jim Dolan and the Knicks organization and all the hardworking people that don't get the credit they deserve. And most importantly, Thank you to the City of New York for allowing me to represent OUR city."
Both the Knicks and Anthony had hoped to complete a trade prior to NBA media day on Monday to avoid potential distractions surrounding ongoing trade talks involving Anthony, per sources.
Anthony, 33, now joins an Oklahoma City club featuring 2017 NBA MVP Russell Westbrook and All Star Paul George.
Knicks general manager Scott Perry said that Kanter and McDermott fit the profile of young players the club hopes to acquire. Both Perry and Mills have said that Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Willy Hernangomez, 2017 first-round pick Frank Ntilikina and guard Ron Baker make up the young group that management wants to build around. The Knicks have missed the playoffs in each of the past four seasons.
"We acquired two 25-year-old players in this deal that we can develop, while sticking with our overall strategy of emphasizing youth and athleticism. With this trade, we have added scoring and aggressiveness to our frontcourt, and bolstered the team's perimeter shooting," Knicks general manager Scott Perry said. "We are glad to have finalized a trade that made sense for all of us."
Anthony finished his Knicks career as the team's seventh all-time leading scorer with 10,186 points and No. 3 on the franchise's scoring average list at 24.7 points per game. He also holds the club and Madison Square Garden scoring record (62 points on Jan. 14, 2014 versus the Charlotte Bobcats).
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