Carmelo Anthony’s dream of playing alongside LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers could happen next season if he is waived by the New York Knicks this summer. According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, the Knicks may be forced to buy out Anthony’s contract if they will not find a trade destination that will be acceptable to the All-Star forward. Earlier, Knicks president Phil Jackson said that Anthony would be better off with another team. He also asked Anthony to accept a trade to a championship contender.

A 10-time All-Star with the Denver Nuggets and the Knicks, Anthony averaged 22.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game last season as New York missed the playoffs with a 31-51 mark.

In his 13-year NBA career, he averaged 24.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 3.1 assists.

Anthony can use no-trade clause to his advantage

Anthony has a no-trade clause in his contract with the Knicks, meaning he can veto any trade that the team will make. Anthony can capitalize on this provision by forcing the Knicks to buy out his contract rather than send him to another team. Bondy said a buyout would give Anthony a chance to become a Free Agent, making him free to join the Cavaliers, where he can join James in a quest to win his first NBA championship.

However, there will be hindrances before Anthony makes it out of New York. First, buying out Anthony’s contract with the Knicks will be tedious as he stands to earn over $54 million in the next two years.

If the Knicks find a trade partner that Anthony will approve before July 1, his cap hits will be at $30.3 million next season and $27.9 million in the 2018-19 season. If the Knicks ship Anthony to another squad after July 1, his cap hit will be at $34.4 million next season.

Knicks look to trade Anthony to Clippers for Griffin, JJ Redick?

Before last season’s trade deadline, the Knicks planned to trade Anthony for Los Angeles Clippers shooting guard J.J. Redick. However, it never materialized as Jackson felt that the deal “didn’t make sense.” With Anthony now on the trading block, the Knicks may revisit a possible trade for Redick or explore another deal involving power forward Blake Griffin, who will be a free agent this summer.

A change of scenery will be a welcome development for Griffin after years of playoff disappointments with the Clippers, who never went past the Conference Semifinals in the last six seasons despite owning one of the most formidable starting units in the NBA. Aside from Griffin, point guard Chris Paul will also be a free agent in the summer, and both can demand a maximum salary more than $200 million in five years from the Clippers.

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