Here’s what the Carmelo Anthony-Kevin Love trade rumors really mean

Maybe Phil Jackson is just a big fan of FOX Sports.

On Wednesday, we suggested the Cleveland Cavaliers’ best possible trade proposal to try to acquire Carmelo Anthony would be a straight-up exchange of the New York Knicks star for Kevin Love. Lo and behold, just a few hours later, ESPN reported the Knicks in fact reached out to the Cavs to gauge Cleveland’s interest in just such a swap.

All indications are the Cavaliers responded with a resounding no, as one would expect. At Melo’s very best, he’s as good as Love — not any better — and the Cavs aren’t going to disrupt their chemistry for what one can generously describe as a lateral move.

Really, though, this rumor has nothing to do with Cleveland. The big takeaway is the Knicks are actively looking to move past the Carmelo Anthony Era in New York. No more hemming and hawing and whispers in the media (other than, you know, the fact that this was just a report): it’s time for Melo to find a new home.

After all, team president Phil Jackson had to know two things when he made that phone call to the Cavs:

1.) Cleveland GM David Griffin would say no (if his assistant even bothered to inform him of the proposal rather than laughing in Jackson’s ear);

2.) The Knicks’ interest in a Love-for-Melo swap would eventually end up in the media.

Yet Jackson made the call anyway, which is the clearest indication he and the Knicks no longer care whether Melo is happy in New York. If Jackson is being so bold as to kick the tires on such a high-profile trade, we’re no longer talking in hypotheticals or innuendo when it comes to Melo trade rumors.

On Thursday, we received further confirmation that Jackson “desperately” wants to move Melo, as Yahoo Sports reported the team wants to begin a genuine rebuild around young star Kristaps Porzingis. According to Yahoo, New York has also reached out to the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers about a trade for Anthony.

The Knicks want Melo gone. Period. With the right deal (and the right destination), he’ll be more than happy to oblige.