With two years remaining on his contract, and personal news swirling that his marriage might be on the rocks, star forward Carmelo Anthony's days with the New York Knicks may be nearing a close this summer.
According to TMZ, Anthony and his wife, Alani "La La" Vazquez, are currently separated after nearly seven years of marriage. The news comes just two months prior to rumors swirling that the Knicks might deal the New York native to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Kevin Love, which would have united Anthony with his longtime friend LeBron James.
There was also talk of Anthony potentially being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers, though the Clippers weren't willing to part with any of their top talent.
The Knicks failed to make the playoffs after posting a disappointing 31-51 record and New York has failed to finish above .500 since the 2012-13 season. There had been widespread reports that team president Phil Jackson and the front office have grown impatient with Anthony, despite his star power and past accomplishments. The 32-year-old averaged a solid 22.4 points per game this past season, and 21.8 in 2015-16, but his scoring has not translated into success, even with the emergence of young big man Kristaps Porzingis.
Anthony opened up about the possibility that the Knicks could reopen trade talks this offseason.
"They might," Anthony said last week when asked if he thinks the Knicks might trade him. "There was a point in time when I didn't think I would be back here."
And Jackson has stated that the team may be looking to go in another direction without Anthony. “We’ve not been able to win with (Anthony) on the court at this time,” Jackson said.
“I think the direction with our team is that he’s a player that would be better off somewhere else and using his talent somewhere where he can win or chase that championship,” Jackson said.
It's still possible that the Cavaliers—no matter the result of the 2017 playoffs—renew trade talks for Anthony. The Cavs front office remains very committed to James and it seems reasonable that James would prefer to play alongside his friend Anthony, who has never reached the finals.
Anthony will make $26.24 million in 2017-18 and $27.9 million in 2018-19. There will almost certainly be difficulties for the Knicks to make a deal work due to salary cap restrictions.
There had been speculation for several months that Anthony was having marital problems with Vazquez, who is also a New York native. In August 2015, reports surfaced that Vazquez had cheated on Anthony, though she publicly denied the allegations.yahoo