Jeff Hornacek said what you’d expect an NBA coach to say less than 48 hours before the league’s trade deadline: He doesn’t think the New York Knicks are going to make any moves.
“Most of the time, there’s all kinds of talk, and only one or two things ever happen, so we expect these guys to be here,” Hornacek said Tuesday night.
Hornacek is right in one sense: There have been plenty of talks between the Knicks and opposing teams about their players, and several veterans have drawn interest from around the league. Whether any trades come to fruition is ultimately up to team president Phil Jackson.
Here’s a look at where things stand for the Knicks as of Tuesday evening:
Let’s start with Derrick Rose. The Minnesota Timberwolves are among several teams that have reached out to the Knicks to express interest in Rose, as reported here. It’s unclear what Minnesota has offered in a potential Rose deal; according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Timberwolves are motivated to move Ricky Rubio because team president and coach Tom Thibodeau sees rookie Kris Dunn as the franchise’s point guard of the future.
A Rubio-for-Rose swap works under the salary-cap guidelines, as explained by ESPN’s Tom Penn.
Some in the Knicks organization are wary of taking back any player who has multiple years remaining on his contract, according to sources familiar with the team’s thinking. That might factor in if Rubio is being offered — the 26-year-old is under contract for a total of $29 million over the next two seasons — though others who have been in touch with the Knicks recently came away with the impression that Jackson is a fan of Rubio.
Rose, who is a free agent this summer, said Tuesday that he understands that being the subject of trade talks is part of life in the NBA.
“You never know what’s going to happen. You’ve got to be a professional about it,” he said. “Whatever it is, I’ll be prepared.”
O’Quinn has played well this season and is on a team-friendly contract. Jennings is in the final year of his contract and has proved durable this season after missing nearly 12 months with an Achilles injury.
It’s worth noting here that the Knicks, under Jackson, have been steadfast in not trading future first-round picks. There’s no reason to believe that will change this year, so the Knicks should have their 2017 first-round pick — and all first-rounders thereafter — in their possession after the deadline.
Then, of course, there are the Carmelo Anthony trade talks. The Knicks have had discussions about potential Anthony trades with at least three teams (Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, Cleveland Cavaliers).
In an interview with The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears after Sunday’s All-Star Game, Anthony sounded like he wasn’t prepared to waive his no-trade clause and uproot his family to another city. Some members of the organization told teams earlier this month that they did not believe Anthony would waive his no-trade clause; one theory among some in the organization is that Anthony doesn’t want to give Jackson the satisfaction of having run him out of town.
But Anthony has said several times that no one from Knicks management has approached him with a potential deal. It is unclear if anything has changed on that front since Sunday night. Opposing executives around the league were under the impression Tuesday evening that neither the Clippers nor the Celtics had completely ruled out potential trades for Anthony.
If nothing happens by Thursday, that doesn’t necessarily mean the trade rumors surrounding Anthony will subside. If he doesn’t agree to be traded by Thursday, some in the Clippers organization believe Anthony will be willing to waive his no-trade clause and come to Los Angeles to join Chris Paul this summer, per league sources with knowledge of the situation.
We’ll find out in the coming months if that will come to fruition. As for what might or might not happen by Thursday’s deadline, Hornacek expects both Rose and Anthony to be in uniform when the Knicks play the Cavaliers on Thursday.
“Yeah, absolutely,” he said.
Which is exactly what you’d expect him to say.