The Knicks will not buy out Carmelo Anthony. Executive President Steve Mills made that clear when speaking to reporters Monday (via the New York Daily News).
When asked if buying out Anthony’s contract is a possibility, Mills responded sternly. “No,” he said, without elaborating.
The problem: Without buying out Anthony, the Knicks are going to have a very hard time trading him. The team is focused on developing its young core of Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Frank Ntilikina and Willy Hernangomez, and the front office doesn't have Anthony in its long-term plans. But without buying him out, the team may have to hold onto him for two more years.
Do the Knicks really want to put back their development of that young core by two years as they keep spinning their wheels with Anthony?
Anthony has agreed to trades to two places: Houston and Cleveland. The Cavaliers cannot afford Anthony in a trade, and the Rockets and Knicks have to have four teams involved to make a trade happen.
“We’ve been in contact with Carmelo’s representatives. We’ve been obviously in contact with other teams,” Mills said. “Our view is if there’s an opportunity that works for Carmelo and works for us, then we’ll look at some kind of trade.
"But we also feel that Carmelo could easily be a part of our team next year, and we have to understand how we’re going to play and what the expectations [are] of how we’re going to play and we’re going to move forward. So it may be with Carmelo or it may be without Carmelo.”