Until further notice Ryan Anderson will be known as “the Melo stopper” because the Houston Rockets forward appears to be responsible for holding up a potential Carmelo Anthony trade.
The Knicks haven’t made much financial sense this offseason; $71 million to Tim Hardaway Jr. and the full mid-level to Ron Baker despite the fact that Baker is a restricted free agent. Who’s the Knicks cap-ologist anyway, Bernie Madoff?
But the Knicks front office, led now and maybe forever by Steve Mills, is making total financial sense by refusing to take on Anderson and his enormous contract in a proposed trade for Anthony.
Anderson is scheduled to make $61.1 million over the next three seasons compared to two years and $54 million owed to Anthony. No way do you pay more for a guy who does less.
Keeping Carmelo is far more appealing than absorbing Anderson’s contract.
This Knicks-Rockets trade could have been completed two weeks ago if the Knicks were willing to trade for Anderson’s contract. Instead, as ESPN reported on Wednesday the Knicks and Rockets are trying to facilitate a deal by recruiting a third team and perhaps a fourth.
A source told the Daily News that the deal is on the “two yard line” but to push the trade to pay dirt some team has to want Anderson. And that’s the tough part.
Anthony is willing to waive his no-trade clause to go to Houston (Chris Paul) or Cleveland (LeBron James). A deal with the Rockets would reunite Anthony with Mike D’Antoni, the coach he helped run out of New York. It doesn’t seem ideal but Anthony has always wanted to play with Paul and after hanging out with James Harden last month in Paris for fashion week, Anthony is convinced it can work in Houston.
There is another scenario that needs to be considered. If the Knicks and Rockets can’t make it work, Anthony could always find himself back in a Knicks uniform.
Terrible idea, you say? Well, consider that Carmelo’s present value is low. If he plays for the Knicks and becomes an All Star again in the post-Phil Jackson era that will only help his trade value. Perhaps by then, Anthony would be open considering other teams.
Garden Chairman James Dolan is giving Mills the authority to make deals, including a potential trade of Anthony. Mills’ first move, signing Hardaway, raised eyebrows league-wide and the Knicks compounded matters by not having a single coach or front office executive attend Hardaway’s press conference.
Not sure who’s advising Mills but the better optic would have been to stand with Hardaway and explain why he made this move.
“Have you guys seen the going rate for starting shooting guards,” Mills could have said to reporters. “Tim is only 25 years old. He’s going to get better. This is a great deal for us.”
Own it. Be defiant, even combative. At the very least, show up.
The Knicks are, yet again, in a state of flux. Mills is in line to be named team president and the way things are going maybe he’ll hire from within; Mark Hughes, Allan Houston or Mark Warkentien are the most logical candidates for different reasons. The one thing they all have in common is that they could work for Mills, who has made two questionable moves already.
Trading Anthony makes sense in terms of fitting into the idea of rebuilding. Fans and owners love hearing “we’re going young” and “trust the process.” That’s what Mills is doing.
Taking back Ryan Anderson goes against that plan. It goes against common sense.
This is one time Mills can’t blink.