An otherwise somewhat boring NBA season has been saved by a flurry of Carmelo Anthony trade rumors.
The New York Knicks reportedly called the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics over the course of 24 hours to take stock of the Melo trade market — and the results were far from promising for Knicks president Phil Jackson.
If we're being honest, the odds are stacked heavily against a potential Anthony trade. Here are five reasons the Knicks star almost certainly won't be moved before the Feb. 23 trade deadline.
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His no-trade clause is a bigger deal than you think
People act as if Anthony will just waive his power over a trade for just any old deal simply because the Knicks don't want him. At this point in his career, though, Anthony isn't going to leave New York without a very good reason.
The list of destinations Anthony will accept is super-short — in fact, it's probably just Los Angeles and Cleveland — and neither of those teams is in any position to make a real play for the Knicks star.
He makes too much money
Remember: unless a team is under the cap, salaries more or less have to match in an NBA trade. Anthony makes just shy of $25 million this season, so the only way to send enough salary back to New York is either through a messy combination of players or by including a star.
The former creates issues for both teams, as the squad receiving Anthony would have to find replacements for the players they lost and the Knicks would have to cut players with guaranteed salary. Even if two sides agree to the basic framework of a deal, the logistics of a trade might be too big an obstacle.
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY SportsBob Donnan
There's no demand for his services
How many teams would actually improve if they added Anthony, especially if they have to give up real assets in a trade?
No, seriously — how many? The Houston Rockets, maybe? Either Los Angeles franchise, depending on the deal? The Orlando Magic? (And Melo's never, ever going to Orlando.)
There's a reason the Cavs, Celtics and Clippers hung up the phone as quickly as they answered when the Knicks called.
The Knicks have surrendered all of the leverage in this situation; the entire NBA knows they want to move Anthony.
Trevor RuszkowskiTrevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Spor
The Knicks still have hope of adding a huge free agent
New York's cap situation this offseason is complicated — but with the right financial finagling, the Knicks could create enough space to add a max free agent this summer.
And if Phil Jackson can make a real play for Chris Paul, who has to feel like his time with the Clippers is coming to an end, the Knicks would be wise to hold on to Anthony through the season before going for broke in July.
Should they fail in their bid to lure CP3 to New York, then the Knicks can earnestly look into moving Anthony. This season, though? Don't expect Melo to be on the move before the trade deadline.