Melo’s camp is reportedly ‘cautiously optimistic’ he won’t have to report to training camp Monday.
In all likelihood, it seems Carmelo Anthony’s protracted will-he-won’t-he saga with the Knicks will come to a head Monday, when New York’s training camp begins and the wayward star returns to the team after a rumor-filled off-season.
Except...maybe he won’t. Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reports the Melo camp is "cautiously optimistic" that the Knicks could get a deal done to send their high-scoring forward to greener pastures, at long last. According to Isola, Anthony is “mentally” in Houston, and his family thought a trade would be done by now. He has a no-trade clause and has settled on Houston as his preferred destination.
It’s been widely known around the league that the Knicks and Rockets were close on a deal in July that would allow Anthony to join James Harden and Chris Paul in Houston. He even played pickup with Harden and Paul earlier this month in New York. The Rockets have been weighed down by Ryan Anderson’s hefty contract. An Anthony deal, long in the making, would be the final straw of a wild off-season that saw a handful of major stars change zip codes.
If not, well...Melo will be showing up to camp, as will Kristaps Porzingis, who also spent his summer away from the team, removing himself from the off-season dialogue back in Latvia and causing a stir with what amounted to a public statement of his unhappiness by skipping his exit meeting.
So, here we go. Basketball returns. The Knicks will be treading carefully no matter what, and Monday will surely prove to be a bit of a circus, with or without Melo. But the proposition of Anthony in Houston to begin the season, well...that’s certainly something.