Phil Jackson just gave the strongest indication yet that the New York Knicks will trade Carmelo Anthony before the 2017-18 NBA season.
Anthony has been the subject of trade rumors for a while, but Jackson basically showed him the door Friday, telling reporters the All-Star forward “would be better off somewhere else” as the Knicks close the book on their fourth consecutive losing season.
“We’ve not been able to win with (Anthony) on the court at this time,” Jackson said, via ESPN.com. “I think the direction with our team is that he’s a player that would be better off somewhere else and using his talent somewhere where he can win or chase that championship.”
Anthony has been one of the NBA’s premier scorers since the Denver Nuggets drafted him third overall in 2003. The Knicks haven’t made the playoffs since the 2012-13 season, though, which is especially troubling given that New York expected to return to the postseason this year after adding Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah last summer.
Anthony, who turns 32 in May, is set to make more than $26 million next season, after which he could opt out of his contract if he’d like. He also owns a no-trade clause, although sources told ESPN earlier this week that Anthony was “leaning strongly” toward waiving it if the Knicks presented him with an amenable destination.
Anthony, a 10-time All-Star, is coming off a season in which he averaged 22.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. The Knicks finished with a 31-51 record.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images