Updated 06:46 AM EST, Tue, Nov 24, 2020

New York Knicks Trade Rumors 2014: Mostly Everyone Tradable; Time to Shop Carmelo Anthony is Now

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Courted by championship-caliber teams last summer, Carmelo Anthony decided on calling the Big Apple home another five years and took a pay cut to make it happen.

The Knicks were ecstatic to be keeping their man. Anthony happily continued building his brand in New York. And team president Phil Jackson was just relieved to retain the pivotal cog in his and head coach Derrick Fisher's triangle offense.

Two months into the "team friendly" five-year, $124 million deal has all parties second guessing themselves.

New York is a disaster. They're off to an egregious 5-21 start that's seen all of one winning streak and two losing streaks of seven or more games. Six players, including Anthony, were held out of workouts Monday because of various illnesses and injuries; the latter a season-long problem that's left Fisher with a skeleton crew. Their frustrations reached a head last week when Anthony and Tim Hardaway Jr. nearly scuffled over Carmelo's inability to play team basketball.

While Fisher's artless triangle offense is key to this disastrous run, any chemistry the Knicks had or may have diminishes with Anthony's presence. According to ESPN, he told Hardaway he was going to beat him up after Hardaway allegedly yelled "Get the rebound!" against Brooklyn on Dec. 2. Knicks players confronted Anthony about his pedestrian defense and shoot-first mentality. Jackson attributed the tension to "resilience to discipline and order and cultural change." In all reality, it's because of Carmelo's lack of leadership.

According to Bleacher Report's Howard Beck, every Knick aside from Anthony is expendable, going as far as to say "rival executive say that everyone else at the Garden is available, possibly even the ball boys." That isn't to say Anthony can't be convinced otherwise.

Though he's adamant about sticking to his no-trade clause, a trade seems imminent. It's obviously easier said than done. Anthony's lost the locker room and may lose the remainder of his season by option for left knee surgery. He'll lead a team into the postseason but ineptly hits a wall soon after (he's has lost twice as many playoff games as he won). Factor in a 15 percent pay raise if traded and Anthony looks near unmovable.

One of few options would be to negotiate within a big market club; one that appeals to Anthony's business side as well as his competitive side. One willing to pay his mega contract. More importantly, one willing to take a flyer on an embattled superstar.

Anthony averaged 25.3 PPG entering the season. Only ten players in NBA history held a higher average. He gradually improved as his workload increased, averaging 20.9 PPG in his first two full season and 28 PPG from 2012-14, and he's managed to do it without a significant injury playing in at least 65 games per season.

Until now. Back spasms forced Anthony to miss time in late November. Knee soreness he's played with throughout the season may require surgery, though it can be postponed until the summer. In that time he's averaged 18.8 attempts per game, third most behind LaMarcus Aldridge and Kobe Bryant. In NBA history, only four players have a higher career usage rate; Anthony is utilized in 31.7 percent of a team's possessions, dating back to his time in Denver.

Anthony may be in the prime of his career, but he can't bear the Knicks' workload with a bum knee.

With Bryant nearing his swan song, a move to Los Angeles shouldn't be out of the question. The Lakers need a super star in place of the "Black Mamba" in order to keep TV revenue coming in, and it's not like they weren't willing to give Carmelo a contract similar to what he agreed to with New York. Anthony visited the Lakers on his free agency tour but may have been alienated by Bryant missing the meeting.

For that to work, the Lakers would have to be willing to give up a Julie Randle-caliber talent along with draft pick compensation. They might be desperate enough to do it, just like the Knicks are desperate enough to rebuild.

They Knicks have nine players' salaries coming off the books soon. They won't have a first-round draft pick in 2016 having dealt it to Denver for Anthony, but do have a selection this June. If they're going to make a change for the future, if they really want a fresh start, they will make that pick and the amount of free up cap space count.

Anthony and the Knicks' relationship was doomed from the moment he put pen to paper last July. He's an All-Star on a team nowhere near success with him around. The only way this ends happily is with each party going their separate way.

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