Carmelo Anthony is still a wanted man, albeit depending on the New York Knicks’ asking price. Marc Beerman of the New York Post believes the Boston Celtics is still a viable destination for the All-Star forward, who clearly needs a new environment after another drama-filled season with the Knickerbockers.

Melo to Celtics

Beerman reported the Celtics’ coaching staff was pushing for a trade to land Melo at the mid-season trade deadline, but general manager Danny Ainge was iffy to pull the trigger on the potential blockbuster deal because of Anthony’s huge contract. The Celtics’ top decision-maker was concerned that Anthony’s $25M per year deal might hinder their financial flexibility heading into the summer of 2017, where Gordon Hayward and Danilo Gallinari will be available.

However, NBA insiders – including Bobby Marks of the Vertical – feel the Anthony-to-Celtics deal is still possible, especially if Ainge fails to land a marquee free-agent this offseason. Boston can simply renounce the expiring contracts of Amir Johnson ($12 million), Tyler Zeller ($8 million), Jonas Jerebko ($5 million), Gerald Green ($1.4 million) to create a $25MM to $30MM cap space, enough to accommodate Melo’s base salary.

The Knicks have openly expressed their intention of moving Anthony to another team as they look to make Kristaps Porzingis the centerpiece of the franchise. Beerman claimed, per league insider, that Jae Crowder will likely be Anthony’s replacement at a small forward spot in case the trade finally materializes.

Knicks president of basketball operations Phil Jackson is very intrigued with Crowder, who has built a reputation as a gritty defender with the respectable three-point shooting.

“The Post has learned that in talks with the Celtics, their defensive small forward Jae Crowder would be a major player of interest for Knicks president Phil Jackson,” Beerman stated in his article.

Phil-Melo Dynamic

Jackson, the 11-titme championship-winning coach, never has minced words in expressing his desire to move on from Anthony. According to a source close to the situation via NY Post, Jackson was never a fan of Anthony’s isolation play, as it contradicts with his move-the-ball-to-the-open-man philosophy.

In the Knicks exit interview, Jackson hinted that he has already given up with Anthony as the top guy on the team.

“Obviously, it hasn’t worked out. This partnership together, somehow or the other, didn’t click here with this team. But he has done his role and played his role quite well,’ said Jackson, who will be armed with a top-10 pick and a projected starting cap space of $13 million this offseason.

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