Sources: Carmelo Anthony open to waiving no-trade clause for Rockets or Cavaliers

ByAdrian Wojnarowski via ESPN logo
Monday, July 3, 2017

Carmelo Anthony, a 10-time NBA All-Star, is open to waiving his no-trade clause to join the Houston Rockets or Cleveland Cavaliers should those teams create a pathway to a deal with the New York Knicks, league sources told ESPN.

Houston has been proactive in pursuing possible trade scenarios for Anthony lately, though its discussions around the league have yet to gain traction on a deal, league sources said.

The arrival of All-Star guard Chris Paul to join MVP runner-up James Harden has catapulted the Rockets into contention for Anthony and established his interest in joining the Rockets, sources said.

Paul has said that he wants to play with Anthony, sources told ESPN's Ian Begley, making that point before the February trade deadline and late last month.

The Knicks and LA Clippers had discussed an Anthony trade after the draft that was contingent on Paul re-signing in Los Angeles, sources told Begley.

Cleveland has remained a preferred destination for Anthony because of the presence of LeBron James.

La La Anthony, Carmelo Anthony's estranged wife, said in an interview on Bravo TV that Anthony leaving the Knicks is a "real possibility."

"We'll see what happens," La La Anthony said. "... My hope is that he ends up somewhere where he's happy and he can win because he's such an incredible player and he deserves to win."

Anthony had been a consistent target of former Knicks president Phil Jackson, who had been pushing for Anthony to waive his no-trade clause and leave New York. After Jackson's firing last week, the Knicks have maintained a stance of wanting significant assets back for Anthony in a trade and have resisted the idea of a contract buyout, league sources said. Sources said the Knicks are trying to avoid long-term salary commitments to older players.

In discussions with Houston, sources indicated that the Knicks have been reluctant to consider taking on forward Ryan Anderson, who is owed $61.3 million over the next three years.

Anthony has two years and $54 million guaranteed left on his contract and a trade kicker that could pay him an additional $8.1 million upon a deal. Nevertheless, Anthony does have the option of lowering, or waiving, the trade kicker to facilitate a deal. Given that Anthony largely controls the process, it will be difficult for New York to demand significant assets in any trade.

ESPN reported Saturday night that the Knicks have had a preliminary phone interview with former Cavs general manager David Griffin and plan to interview him in person within the next few weeks.

ESPN's Ian Begley and Ramona Shelburne contributed to this report.

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