If you thought the New York Knicks’ regular season was full of drama, just wait until the offseason. It probably won’t involve Charles Oakley – at least we hope – but it will almost certainly involve Carmelo Anthony.
Phil Jackson has been crystal clear about his desire to trade Anthony, but that’s easier said than done.
“There’s no question that they’re going to have to revisit trade talks prior to the draft,” The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on CBS Sports Radio’s Reiter Than You. “I’m sure they’ll try to reengage the Clippers, but I don’t see a scenario where he accepts a buy-out because then he’s going to have to give back money – and why would he give back any money?”
Anthony, who turns 33 in May, averaged 22.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists for the Knicks (31-51), who missed the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. He has cap hits of $26.2 million and $27.9 million, respectively, over the next two seasons and has, of course, a no-trade clause.
“I think either he’s going to stay or they’re going to trade him and he’s going to find a trade that he’s agreeable to,” Wojnarowski said. “But he has never shown a great motivation to want to leave New York. Despite all that’s gone on, he likes living here. I don’t think ring-chasing is important to him. The Knicks better prepare for the idea that he’ll be in training camp. It’s not impossible. It’s not like he’s going to just agree and he’ll be gone. It’s possible he does, but I think it’s just as likely that he shows up to training camp and he makes Phil deal with him.”
Kristaps Porzingis, meanwhile, is reportedly frustrated with all the drama within the organization and skipped his exit interview with Knicks brass.
That’s quite a statement for a 21-year-old to make.
“It’s not just Phil Jackson. It’s not just Jeff Hornacek,” Wojnarowski said, assessing all that is wrong in New York. “It’s from top to bottom in the organization and the constant distractions and constant drama. The sense around the Knicks – and this didn’t start with Kristaps Porzingis; it’s gone on really through James Dolan’s tenure – there are too many employees in that organization who are survivors. They are not about winning. They aren’t about creating an atmosphere that’s the best possible atmosphere for the players to win. It’s about their own self-preservation, it’s about being tattle-tales to ownership or telling on people and keeping their own jobs. Until a lot of that is cleared out in New York – Phil hasn’t been able to clear it up, Derek Fisher wasn’t able to clear it out, Donnie Walsh wasn’t able to clear a lot of it out. A lot of that speaks to just the cultural malaise that continues no matter who is there.”
That malaise doesn’t figure to go away anytime soon.
“Listen, a great deal of it’s been Phil, but it starts with James Dolan, it ends with him, and as long as he owns this team, I don’t know if a lot of that goes away,” Wojnarowski said. “I think Dolan is just predisposed to a dysfunctional environment, and either doesn’t know better or it’s not important enough to him.”