Report | Knicks-Celtics trade involving Carmelo Anthony a real possibility

The New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony reacts after dunking in the fourth quarter against the Miami Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. The Knicks won, 114-103. (Pedro Portal/El Nuevo Herald/TNS)
Pedro Portal/El Nuevo Herald/TNS

The Boston Celtics are involved in a very tough first-round playoff matchup versus the Chicago Bulls, but the rumors of Boston acquiring forward Carmelo Anthony in a trade with the New York Knicks continue to circulate.

The New York Post reports that the Celtics’ coaching staff actually wanted to trade for Anthony at the trade deadline, but Boston general manager Danny Ainge hesitated for several reasons. His top concern was having more salary cap space available for signing free agents this summer.

However, with the Celtics losing two games at home to begin the postseason, the New York Post believes that Ainge could change his mind this summer. The publication also reports that the Knicks are interested in current Celtics’ small forward Jae Crowder. Knicks’ president Phil Jackson apparently loves his defensive game and the small forward can also shoot well from three-point range.

If a trade is going to happen, though, it won’t be until July. Boston’s expiring contracts include Amir Johnson, Tyler Zeller, Jonas Jerebko and Gerald Green while the pacts will become frozen on June 22. If the Celtics renounce the contracts of those free agents, then Boston will have space for Anthony should they not sign any other free agents.

Of course, if this move is contingent on a Celtics’ first-round exit, then that should absolutely be put on hold after the Bulls ruled out point guard Rajon Rondo on Friday afternoon. Despite a rough regular season, Rondo has been dynamite for the Bulls in the first two playoff games, but he won’t play for the rest of the series because of a fractured thumb.

Even in a 2-0 hole, the Celtics could bounce back and still advance to the second-round and put their desire for Anthony on the back-burner.

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