Report: Knicks ‘Getting Closer’ to Carmelo Anthony Trade Talks

by September 11, 2015

In a long column about possible landing spots for the extremely-unhappy Markieff Morris, Grantland sneaks in a report that the New York Knicks are “getting closer” to engaging other teams in Carmelo Anthony trade negotiations:

Indiana probably doesn’t want another “problem” personality, and the Pacers don’t have much beyond a lowball offer without attaching a first-rounder. Morris would open up the floor a bit in Washington. He’d eat into the Wizards’ Kevin Durant cap room, but they could move him in a pinch after the season. The Kings and Knicks should take a look, even though neither has movable assets that would interest Phoenix — unless the Knicks are ready to engage in Carmelo Anthony trade talks. (They’re not there, yet. But they’re getting closer.)

Melo, according to Knicks president Phil Jackson, is “very into” the Triangle Offense.

The superstar forward also took several teammates to Puerto Rico this summer for some bonding, in addition to reportedly recruiting soon-to-be free agents to Gotham.

As for Morris, Phoenix Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek dropped the diplomacy, and offered some brutally honest thoughts on the 26-year-old:

Morris can already post and pass (“He’s an excellent passer,” Hornacek says), and he hit 31.8 percent from deep last season — just 3 percentage points below the league average. That’s not good enough to scare defenses, and the Suns hoped Morris would have made more progress by now. “We thought he’d be a little better,” Hornacek says. “If he’s right around 30 percent, that’s probably not conducive to him shooting a lot of 3s.”


Draymond Green shot 33.7 percent from deep, and he had free rein to jack five triples per 36 minutes. He even faced criticism for getting gun-shy in the Finals, when the Cavs invited him to fire away. Morris shoots 31.8 percent, and he’s a disappointment who regularly passes up wide-open 3s. […] Green and Morris are nothing alike on defense, of course. Green breathes fire, and Morris too often uses defense as a chance to catch his breath. “Some games he brings it, some games he doesn’t,” Hornacek says. “Maybe it’s conditioning. Maybe it’s him saying, ‘If I put the effort in on defense, then I can’t do it on the offensive end.’”


“He doesn’t draw enough fouls,” Hornacek says. Other Phoenix players have a bad habit of standing still while Morris surveys. That’s partly on those players and the coaching staff, but it’s also linked to where Morris likes to operate. He lives in that weird in-between space a step or two outside the paint, and that clutters up the most natural cutting lanes both inside and outside. “He doesn’t get the ball deep on the block, and sometimes there’s no place to cut,” Hornacek says.

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