The trade deadline has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean that the idea of Carmelo Anthony eventually joining the Los Angeles Clippers has gone away. In town to face the Clippers on Monday, the New York Knicks forward addressed the topic yet again, saying that there was an “opportunity” before the deadline but he tries not to think about it.
From the New York Post’s Marc Berman:
“Nah, don’t start,’’ Anthony said when asked if he envisions making L.A. his workplace. “I haven’t thought about it. There was an opportunity during the deadline. There was always talk the last couple of seasons being connected to Clippers or Lakers. Somehow always been connected. First it was the Lakers. Now it’s the Clippers situation. I try not to think about it — especially now when I’m still playing with the New York Knicks and got to prepare to play against these guys.’’
There’s 13 games left before Anthony’s critical exit meeting with Knicks president Phil Jackson. According to a source, Jackson hopes Anthony is at least open to seeing if the Knicks can find an agreeable trade in the summer.
That the club fell apart after Christmas has gnawed at Anthony and could finally be his breaking point — the way he sounded. The Knicks are 27-42. It’s the third straight year they’ve been out of the playoff race by mid-March.
“I’ve come to grips with that,’’ Anthony said. “I had times to think about that over how many weeks it’s been, trying to utilize time to clear my mind and be at peace with it — our situation.”
Asked if he thinks if it will ever happen here, Anthony said, “Honestly I think about it a lot. I try to put everything in perspective. I think about it all. I think about here. I think about it. The postseason. My teammates. I think about everything. I think about it a lot and put everything in perspective and hear other peoples take on it. At the end of the day, it’s on me.’’
Anthony admitted the storybook scenario of always being with the same team is unrealistic.
“Even when back in Denver, yeah, I’m never leaving here,’’ Anthony said. “I want to be that guy who plays on one team the rest of his career. The way that the game is and business is, I think it’s highly impossible to accomplish that. The guys who accomplish that, you have to take your hat off to. A lot of things have to fall into place for that to happen.’’
Honestly, the biggest news here is that New York president Phil Jackson reportedly wants to talk to Anthony about a potential trade in their exit meeting. These are two of the most important people in the organization, and they have not exactly communicated well this season. That exit meeting could essentially determine what the Knicks look like next year.
Anthony has now been a Knick since 2011. He played in the playoffs in his first three seasons with the team, with New York winning 54 games and advancing to the second round in 2013. Everything has gone downhill since then, and the team looks likely to finish this year with an even worse record than it managed under coaches Derek Fisher and Kurt Rambis last season. The team should probably rebuild, and Anthony, who turns 33 in May, obviously isn’t happy about falling short of the postseason for the fourth straight year.
I’m not sure if there’s much of a chance that Anthony will play in Los Angeles next year. No one knows what the Clippers will look like in a few months — there’s a ton of pressure on them to perform well in the playoffs before Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick hit free agency. It would be logical, though, for Anthony and the Knicks to explore every possible trade option. Given that Anthony spends time in L.A. every summer and is friends with Paul, they might as well start the conversation there.