The future of Carmelo Anthony in New York is expected to be more complicated after Knicks owner James Dolan decided to pick up the remaining two years of Phil Jackson’s contract as team president. Will Anthony demand a trade from the Knicks this summer?
The 2016-17 NBA season will be the third season of Phil Jackson as Knicks president. His first three years with the Knicks didn’t go well as he failed to bring them back to the playoffs. Last summer, Jackson succeeded to surround Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis with quality players.
These include Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee, and Brandon Jennings. With their loaded starting lineup, some people considered them as a “Super Team”. Unfortunately, the Knicks failed to live up to expectation and missed the playoffs for four straight years.
Carmelo Anthony and Phil Jackson rift causes Knicks’ downfall
During the season, Jackson frequently criticized Carmelo Anthony for holding the ball longer and for his defense. Before the trade deadline, the “Zen Master” decided to engage Anthony in trade talks. The 10-time NBA All-Star has a no-trade clause in his contract but willing to waive it for few teams.
Jackson talked to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers, and the Boston Celtics about a possible deal but nothing has materialized. According to ESPN, some NBA executives believe Anthony’s trade value would be higher if Jackson hadn’t endorsed a column that was critical of Anthony in February.
“That one was surprising,” said an executive of a team who spoke to the Knicks about an Anthony trade. “I think [Jackson] really hurt himself there.”
The dispute between Anthony and Jackson somehow contributed to the Knicks’ struggle this season. It didn’t only affect Anthony but also his teammates’ performance. As a team president, Jackson also made himself involve in coach decisions, especially in executing his preferred offensive strategy the triangle offense. Anthony expressed his opposition to the system but Jackson still wins in the end. After the All-Star break, the Knicks decided to use the triangle offense and plan to fully execute it next season.
Coach Jeff Hornacek revealed that they will evaluate players who fit in the system by the end of the season. Aside from his rift with Jackson, the Knicks’ decision to use the triangle offense may force Anthony to demand a trade this summer.
Knicks prolong misery with decision to pick up Phil Jackson’s option
In a radio interview, Knicks owner James Dolan committed to honoring Phil Jackson’s five-year contract as team president. Despite their recent struggle, Dolan still believes in Jackson’s capability to revive the Knicks. In the upcoming offseason, they plan to rebuild their roster via the draft and free agency.
Jackson may have succeeded in acquiring quality players last summer. However, the way he treated some of his players like Carmelo Anthony may affect their chance of acquiring their targets this summer.
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