When you reach a certain level in your career you should be allowed to pick and choose. You’ve put in the time and the achievements and are giving the big contacts but more importantly, you have the no-trade clause.
When Carmelo Anthony was given one by the New York Knicks it was seen as protection for both parties. But with the Knicks struggling this season and Melo not sure how to dig them out of their hole both parties should revisit that option.
The Knicks begin the year as favorites to challenge the Cleveland Cavaliers for top honors in the Eastern Conference. The addition of Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and Courtney Lee seemed to be the perfect antidote for the Knicks struggles since Anthony joined the team in 2011. But it has not gone that way. It’s a strong possibility the Knicks could miss the playoffs again, and the finger will be pointed towards Phil Jackson and Anthony.
What the Knicks must decide is what’s more important. Winning or selling? Since his arrival in NY, the Knicks have had three winning seasons and the same amount of playoff trips. Anthony is a top draw with the Madison Square Garden faithful but, in all honesty, if he wasn’t there the Garden would still sell out. The fans what to cheer for all winner and well, Anthony is not that guy.
The future of the Knicks is Kristaps Porzingis. As long as Melo is there ball-hogging, we may never get to see his full potential. What a no-trade clause does is put the Knicks in a bind. Let’s say the New Orleans Pelicans or Sacramento Kings offer a great package of players and picks for Anthony. Anthony can veto the trade and rob the Knicks of a bright future because he has no desire to play for a rebuilding team.
Last season the Brooklyn Nets were in this same situation with Kevin Garnett. But Garnett took the high road and waived his no trade which allowed the Nets to acquire Thaddeus Young, in which they traded to the Indiana Pacers for a draft pick. But none of that would’ve been possible if not for Garnett seeing the bigger picture and waiving his NTC.
Anthony wants to win and there is a hand full of teams he will be willing to waive his for. The issue with that is, those teams do not have the assets to offer the Knicks in return. What that does is leave the Knicks holding on to a player that can’t win with.
Anthony must put his pride to the side and remember why he plays in the first place. He may love the Knicks and the city, but by holding his team hostage he will hurt them and his legacy in the long run. The marriage between the two is not working, Anthony has to be the bigger person and say: ” what can I do”. At that point all Jackson has to reply with is: ” waive it”.