You want to trade in or sell your 2003 car and get a better model. Chances are you do not initiate sale talks with:
“Well, the car stalls and it never got me where I wanted to go. Essentially, it’s a lemon, so let it be someone else’s headache.
“But I want the top Blue Book price and then some for it.”
Now substitute “Carmelo Anthony” for “car” and you get an idea why some opposing executives scratch their heads at how Knicks president Phil Jackson appears to be handling Anthony’s situation.
“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.’ ”
“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. It sure sounds like the Knicks want to get rid of him, so teams won’t give up any of their core to add him. That would be defeating the purpose.”
One opposing talent evaluator said Anthony is not the player he once was, but believes the soon-to-be 33-year-old forward deserves better.
“This kid has never really said anything horrible in the press where I look and say, ‘… I can’t believe he said that,’ ” the evaluator said. “He got a little sour at the end of the year. Who wouldn’t? All the stupid crap Stephon Marbury said and others. He gets — I don’t want to say bad press — but people have a bad opinion of him.
“He’s a go-to player. That’s what go-to players are: You throw them the ball. They score. He still can do that,” the exec added. “He played hard. He’s never been a good defender, but it’s not like [guys] they put on the other team’s worst player and they stand next to the guy. He actually has to guard his position.”
“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.’ ”
And if the Knicks can’t find a deal?
“He’s not going to help them, that’s for sure,” one veteran scout said. “If I’m him, I’d say, ‘These are the teams I’ll go to. This is where we want to live, so buy me out and I’ll make my own deal.’
“What are the Knicks going to say: ‘We want you to stay’? After Phil basically told him, ‘We don’t want you. Go somewhere else.’ ”