While Phil Jackson is spending time soaking up the sun in Southern California – or wherever the hell he is these days, the New York Knicks continue to struggle under his tenure. From the start, Jackson has struck out seemingly with every move he’s made – save for phenom Kristaps Porzingis, which is also debatable considering he was trying to trade the pick to move back in the draft. However, his latest strikeout probably was one of his better moves in acquiring Derrick Rose.
But with the Knicks struggling again with a 18-23 record – which includes their embarrassing blowout loss to the Toronto Raptors, New York looks more like a team that will be hovering around 35-40 wins more than a true playoff contender. The real question is whether Phil Jackson is willing to blow the team up again with the hopes of starting over completely fresh. This would mean the team would have to trade Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose – and basically accept that nobody is going to trade for Joakim Noah and probably Courtney Lee seeing that they are on the wrong sides of their career and have big contracts.
Several media outlets have said this is looking like a real possibility with the news of Melo willing to waive his no-trade clause. This all coming following Jackson ripping Anthony of shooting blanks in the clutch and that his legs are gone.
If you want further clues on how Jackson may really feel about Anthony, Rosen’s piece all but trashes the veteran. Indeed, Anthony finally may miss being chosen for an All-Star Game, and certainly won’t be a starter, but Rosen went so overboard George Karl would be proud.
Rosen, the odds-on favorite to pen Jackson’s memoir of his Knicks presidential years, wrote Anthony’s “legs are going, going, almost gone. As ever, he’s still a dangerous scorer, but resists any offensive game plan that limits his one-on-one adventures.”
Rosen also wrote: “While he’s never been accused of playing defense, Anthony is intent on saving even more steps on this end of the game to conserve his energy for offense.” He added, Anthony “has been mostly shooting blanks in the clutch.”
And then the damning kicker: “The only sure thing is that Carmelo Anthony has outlived his usefulness in New York.”
Apparently, this has Anthony stumped because he said that if Phil wants him gone, then that’s a conversation they need to have. But news around the ol’ camp fire is that Melo is willing to be traded to at least two teams, possibly three.
Nevertheless, Charley Rosen, one of Jackson’s longtime friends, wrote in a Thursday column on FanRag.com, in an unsourced piece: “It’s understood that [Anthony would] only accept being dealt to the Cavaliers or the Clippers” and possibly could be sold on the Lakers.
ESPN also suggested that both players could be traded and that even Kristaps Porzingis might not be “untouchable.”
Should — and will — the New York Knicks trade Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose? Is Kristaps Porzingis untouchable?
Our NBA Insiders debate what moves New York should make before the trade deadline.
What teams would be interested in trading for Anthony? And what teams would he really be willing to go to matters greatly. Chances are the Cavaliers aren’t going to trade for Carmelo and Jackson certainly isn’t going to gift wrap LeBron James his buddy. Would the Cavaliers give up Kevin Love for Melo?
Derrick Rose is turning out to be a potential big trade chip for the Knicks if he continues to play this well. And for the Knicks, they might want to trade him sooner rather than later considering his injury history.
These two players would draw interest from teams, but it wouldn’t make sense for New York to just trade them for the sake of completely starting over. If New York can’t get assets and young players, then they would be better off letting Rose’s deal expire and look to trade Anthony over the summer when his 15 percent trade kicker goes away.