Phil Jackson says Carmelo Anthony wants to stay with Knicks
Phil Jackson on Wednesday weighed in on several issues confronting the perpetually dysfunctional New York Knicks organization. While his confirmation that the team is actively shopping Kristaps Porzingis is garnering the most headlines — and baffled consternation among Knicks fans — Jackson also indicated that Carmelo Anthony has stated his desire to remain in New York.
But that doesn’t mean Jackson isn’t going to continue to shop Anthony as well.
“We’ve expressed the fact that we haven’t been successful and it might be time for (Carmelo) to find an opportunity to go somewhere else,” Jackson said on MSG Network, via Syracuse.com. “He’s come back and said he’d just as soon stay.
“There’ll be conversations after the draft and after the free agency as teams start reorganizing their rosters. So there will be other conversations in the process.”
Jackson, arguably in shocking manner, openly stated in April that both the Knicks and Anthony would be better off by cutting ties.
“We have not been able to win with him on the court at this time, and I think the direction with our team is that he is a player that will be better off somewhere else and using his talents somewhere where he can win or chase that championship,” Jackson said.
Anthony would have to waive his no-trade clause to effectuate a deal, something that doesn’t appear to be in the cards given Jackson’s comments. While the NBA confirmed that Jackson would not be fined for his previous candid comments about Anthony, his openness undoubtedly compromised the Knicks’ negotiating position, perhaps critically.
Along with the no-trade clause serving as a roadblock, Anthony, 33, has $53 million remaining on his contract, not to mention a 15 percent trade kicker. It certainly appears that Anthony wants to stay with to the Knicks, organizational dysfunction and ineptitude be damned. One almost has to wonder why, though.