Executives of other NBA teams have been baffled by the way Phil Jackson has spoken publicly about the status of Carmelo Anthony with the New York Knicks.
With Anthony possessing a no-trade clause, Jackson has appeared to antagonize him into leaving the Knicks via trade.
“Phil made a statement basically that Carmelo’s a losing type of player. Well, if he’s a loser for the Knicks, he’s going to be a winner someplace else? That obviously didn’t help,” one Eastern Conference executive said.
“Tremendously,” another exec said when asked how much Jackson may have damaged Anthony’s trade value. “He essentially said, ‘I want to dump this guy.’ ”
Jackson spoke in negative terms about Anthony at the end of the regular season and again at the combine.
“Most owners would just roast you if you said something like that,” the Eastern exec said, theorizing the return for Anthony could be a protected first-round pick.
The Los Angeles Clippers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics have most been mentioned as possible trade partners for Anthony.
“People have done their homework and watched Carmelo and how he interacts and plays,” the first Eastern exec said. “Carmelo obviously needs a change of scenery, probably does a better job in a different city, but you’ve got to look at how he would fit. But I don’t think people are going to break the bank and give New York what they initially want.
“Carmelo can fit in with anybody with the right role. Hell, he’s a talented guy. Not many guys can score like him, but he’s not the All-Star he was. He’s a very talented player and if he goes to the right team and they tell him what role they’d like him to play, he could figure it out. … He has to accept, ‘OK, I’m not going to be the star, but I can play off a couple guys.’ ”