New York Knicks: Trade Rumors Take Over Practice

Feb 8, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) inspects the basketball before a game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Tension and uncertainty filled the air at New York Knicks practice just one day away from the NBA trade deadline.

The New York Knicks returned to practice from the All-Star break with more than just their upcoming matchup with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The constant rumors surrounding several players leading up to the trade deadline made going over plays and scrimmages seem meaningless.

The recent rumor of guard Derrick Rose drawing interest from the Minnesota Timberwolves for a possible trade has dominated the Knicks headlines. The former league MVP spoke with reporters following practice giving his thoughts on all the talk leading up to the trade deadline.

“I hadn’t heard anything about it until I came back here. Like I said before, you never know what is going to happen. You’ve got to be a professional about it. Whatever it is, I’ll be prepared. I love it here, but it’s not up to me. It’s up to the front office, I don’t have a problem with the coaching staff. I don’t have a problem with my teammates. I love it here, like I said, but this is a business.”

The name Carmelo Anthony has been associated with trades for the past few months, but it appears during this practice the 10-time All-Star finally put the speculation to rest. Anthony was very open with reporters about being relaxed and focusing more on the team’s future as well as the recent trend on Twitter that said “Melo To The Celtics.”

“I don’t think that’s something that I’m worried about or thinking about at this time, If something is going to happen, it’s going to happen. I haven’t heard anything as of right now, so that’s not something that I’m concerned about. I haven’t seen anything other than what’s on social media, Other than that, nobody has reached out to me, nobody has called me, nobody has called my team. That’s why I’m not too concerned about it.”

The pressure of the trade deadline for players can be intense as seen by the volume of talk surrounding Anthony this season. Knicks guard Brandon Jennings has had to go into almost complete shutdown mode as he tries to avoid the rumors in his everyday life. Jennings spoke with the media after practice addressing his way of handling fans leading up to the trade deadline.

“Just needed a break from it. Being a Knicks player, you get all type of weird tweets and stuff, So I just wanted to get off social media for a minute. That’s all. Calm it down a little bit. It was just like, ‘Listen, I don’t have the answers. I don’t know why you guys keep asking me.”

Jennings, along with teammate Kyle O’Quinn, are being thrown around in possible trade scenarios as teams look to make a playoff and championship push. Like Rose, Jennings will be able to become a free agent next season growing plenty of trade value for contenders and hope for the Knicks to add future draft picks.

It will be interesting to see who will take the court in Cleveland after the dust has settled on trade deadline day. The players that remain will need to find a way to turn around a tough first half of the season.

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