When looking at the Denver Nuggets roster, there are remnants of the trade that brought Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler still remain in the Mile High City and were two of the players involved in the blockbuster trade. Meanwhile, it doesn’t appear that either side has benefitted from the deal. The Nuggets saw the greater return in terms of players exchanged and were able to see slight success the following year, landing the third seed in the Western Conference. As for the Knicks, well...they’ve been the Knicks.

The lackluster Knicks

In theory, it’s fantastic for a team -- and better yet, a large market team -- to have a superstar.

After all, what team couldn’t use a Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, or Kevin Durant? Still, it’s clear that Anthony has not been able to lead the Knicks to much success, even while averaging over 20 points per game each year. The Knicks have not gotten further than the second round of the playoffs with Anthony and have only made the postseason in half of the 11-time All-Star’s seasons in New York.

One could argue that a core of Anthony, J.R. Smith, Amar’e Stoudemire, Raymond Felton, and Steve Novak would never have gotten far anyway. But even now, with a highly revved core of Anthony, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee, and Kristaps Porzingis, the Knicks see their playoff hopes diminishing.

With the Knicks on the brink of missing the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year, it makes one wonder if the team is all talk, and no action. After signing with the Knicks, Rose proclaimed the Knicks a “super team,” and for a while, that seemed to hold true. At one point this season, New York had an impressive 14-10 record, but since then, have fallen to 19-25, 11th place in the Eastern Conference.

Can the Knicks move on?

The Knicks’ poor performance also brings into question whether the team should move in a different direction. Sophomore Porzingis has already displayed flashes of becoming the Knicks’ superstar in the long run. Better yet, most Knicks fans seem to like him, which could be an accomplishment in itself considering he was booed on draft night.

However, it’d take a lot to convince Anthony to waive his no-trade clause, considering how much he loves the city of New York and what it means to play in such a glorified location. Who would want to give up taking the court in the World’s Most Famous Arena?

No-trade clauses themselves are rare in basketball, but they’re tied to franchise players, with the likes of Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki, and of course, Carmelo Anthony. Players waiving trade clauses are even rarer, but Garnett did it twice: the first time to allow the infamous deal between the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets to happen; the second time to rejoin the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2015. In terms of Anthony, he’s expressed zero intent to remove his no-trade clause, making it impossible for the Knicks to move on from him.

The question of loyalty

There’s always drama associated with the Knicks and every season, because of the Knicks’ lackluster progress, Anthony’s loyalty to the team comes into question. In another attempt to dispel further doubt, Anthony recently met with Phil Jackson, who actually signed Anthony to the contract with the no-trade clause in 2014, and expressed interest in remaining with New York.

Depending on how you look at it, this drives both edges of the sword because of the Knicks’ meager achievements with Anthony, but Anthony satisfying fans by showing his loyalty could be seen as a positive sign. Anthony calls the shots in New York, for better or for worse. That’s just the unfortunate case -- as long as Anthony has a no-trade clause attached to his name, there’s nothing Jackson and the Knicks organization can do.

With Anthony already at 32-years-old, the Knicks’ time for a championship window with the famed superstar is closing. But the Knicks will be forced to stick it out with Anthony, no matter what.

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