The NBA offseason hasn’t been entirely kind to the New York Knicks, first with Kristaps Porzingis ditching team exit meetings, to the subsequent trade rumors involving Porzingis and the eventual firing of team president Phil Jackson. Madison Square Garden has seen more dysfunction within it’s walls this summer since Isaiah Thomas was team president.
Not to mention Knicks franchise player Carmelo Anthony, who reportedly wants to be dealt to the Houston Rockets to play with his friend Chris Paul. Despite that, this summer has only built the legend of Carmelo with his alter ego, “Hoodie Melo”, lighting up gyms coast to coast in a free and unfettered way most haven’t seen in the former Syracuse player since he was in Denver.
So the big question after the Kyrie Irving trade in NBA circles is: Where is Carmelo Anthony playing basketball when the seasons starts? With trade talks involving the Rockets stalled due to issues with who comes back to New York, both the Knicks and Rockets have been trying to find third teams to make a deal happen.
ESPN’s Ian Begley revealed recently that Milwaukee was potentially interested in facilitating three-way deal to shed themselves of a high contract player and Jabari Parker was thrown around in early talks.
The Milwaukee Bucks emerged as a potential third team at one point, per league sources, but there was no traction toward a deal. Milwaukee has been trying to shed salary so, in all likelihood, the idea of taking back the remaining money on Ryan Anderson’s contract (three years, $60 million) in a trade wasn’t enticing.
One name that came up in those (very) preliminary talks? Bucks forward Jabari Parker, per league sources.
It’s unclear which side — the Knicks or Bucks — brought up Parker’s name. What is clear is that Parker would have been part of an outgoing package that included a larger Bucks contract, such as John Henson’s or Greg Monroe’s. If that deal had come to fruition, the Knicks would have received the type of return they’d long hoped for in an Anthony trade: a young player on a below-market contract in Parker
Now that the terms of what the Knicks want in return for the ten-time NBA All star, whether or not they receive the haul they’re looking for is going to be one of the most interesting storylines going forward. Like Koby Altman in Cleveland, this is GM Scott Perry’s first crack at a GM position in the league and his first challenge of getting something quality in return for Anthony might be tougher than landing value for Kyrie Irving was.