Carmelo Anthony has consistently said he does not want to be traded from the New York Knicks. Anthony has a no-trade clause in his contract, so whatever he wants is what he gets in that regard (and most regards in New York). He belongs to the city, his wife loves it there, it's why he forced his way there when he had a much better team and chance at competing with the Nuggets.

Since coming there, he has made the playoffs twice, and won exactly one series. The Knicks have been a punchline much more often. So with the drama surrounding the team recently as well as a losing stretch that finds them under .500, the conversation has to be revisited. In a column on FanRag Sports, Charlie Rosen, who's a good friend of Phil Jackson and has published several diary entries on the team from the Knicks President of Basketball Operations, wrote a column that says perhaps Anthony is softening on his no-trade ideas. However, he has very specific ideas on where.

Also, while he's never been accused of playing defense, Anthony is intent on saving even more steps on this end of the game to conserve his energy for offense.

He's four months away from his 33rd birthday, his contract is humongous and contains a no-trade clause. It's understood that he'd only accept being dealt to the Cavaliers or the Clippers.

However, since his recurring complaint is that everybody blames him for every game the Knicks lose, perhaps Melo is sufficiently disgusted to accept a trade elsewhere. Perhaps to the young, rebuilding Lakers -- after all, his wife's name is La La.

Source: Rosen: What's Going On With Stumbling Knicks?

Some thoughts:

1. The column is ... tough to discern. You just don't know what comes from Jackson and what are Rosen's own thoughts and what comes from Jackson. The piece is in the bag for Jackson; at the end of it he literally absolves all blame from Jackson and Jackson's disciple Kurt Rambis. Rambis is in charge of the defense, which is bottom-25 in the league ... and yet Rosen says Rambis knows "all there is to know" and pins the failures on the players. He says Hornacek, not a Jackson guy, has done an OK job, but needs to run the Triangle more, because clearly, that's what's wrong.

You can assume that the bit about the Clippers and Cavaliers is informed, but the Lakers piece seems more speculative. Especially on account of the ridiculous correlation between his wife's name and Los Angeles. Surely, they would feel more at home in a celebrity atmosphere, big-city environment like L.A., but let's go on actual behavior.

2. The Cavaliers aren't trading for him, unless things go remarkably haywire. If they implode down the stretch, and, fully healthy, lose before the Finals, then they might consider a Kevin Love trade. But Love has been singularly amazing this season. Yes, Anthony is a close friend of James', but the Cavaliers know the value of defense, even James. It's not totally out of the realm of possibility, but it's one of those fringe alternate realities that would come up very rarely in 1,000 multiverses.

3. The Clippers probably aren't either. They always seem on the verge of a major reconfigure, and Doc Rivers' love of players who were good in 2010 vibes with that kind of decision, but it just doesn't seem to make sense to trade Blake Griffin for Anthony, and no other player makes sense. You can't play Griffin and Anthony together -- that's madness. So that's probably not happening.

4. The Lakers is not a good situation for him. The Lakers are rebuilding, and while there is debate about whether they have a superstar among them, trading any of them for a plus-30 non-defending, high-usage superstar on the decline makes zero sense for either side. He won't contend, they won't improve, it would be a nonsensical move, and while the Lakers have made a number of missteps through the years under Jim Buss, this doesn't seem like the kind they would make.

5. This signals a shift, but where? Let me put it this way. Is it more likely that Anthony is actually wavering on his no-trade clause? Or that this is being leaked for a specific purpose, to try and thaw Anthony on that prospect?

Let's go to the New York Post and long-time beat writer Marc Berman:

If you want further clues on how Jackson may really feel about Anthony, Rosen's piece all but trashes the veteran. Indeed, Anthony finally may miss being chosen for an All-Star Game, and certainly won't be a starter, but Rosen went so overboard George Karl would be proud.

Rosen, the odds-on favorite to pen Jackson's memoir of his Knicks presidential years, wrote Anthony's "legs are going, going, almost gone. As ever, he's still a dangerous scorer, but resists any offensive game plan that limits his one-on-one adventures."

Rosen also wrote: "While he's never been accused of playing defense, Anthony is intent on saving even more steps on this end of the game to conserve his energy for offense." He added, Anthony "has been mostly shooting blanks in the clutch."

And then the damning kicker: "The only sure thing is that Carmelo Anthony has outlived his usefulness in New York."

Source: Why Knicks' biggest problem may be Carmelo -- who won't go away | New York Post.

Basically, there's a lot of reason to believe this is a coded shot across the bow given that it comes from a Jackson confidante. With the team in a slow, gradual spiral over the past month, this reads like a matter of those culpable trying to place blame anywhere but on them.

Could Carmelo Anthony be turning away from New York? USATSI

6. Would trading Anthony make the Knicks better? Honestly, it's pretty likely. They have Kristaps Porzingis, and Derrick Rose looks alive. Other players on the roster are starting to get it together. Their problems are defensively, and while trading one player won't fix their scheme issues -- which have been problems under both Hornacek in Phoenix and Rambis in, well, every time he's been on a sideline -- adding several role players that can shoot and defend at a more balanced level will make them a better team. Melo's a world-class scorer ... which they don't need. He's a terrible defender at a position they really need.

7. Nothing probably changes. Until Anthony signals he wants out, through channels close to him, it's probably a moot point. Given what happened in Denver I don't think we should doubt his ability to effectively leak that info. Anthony's comfortable with his identity at this point. He's a superstar in decline who really has made efforts to be more of a passer the last two seasons and isn't obstructing Porzingis' rise. He's a New York icon, regardless of the failures the team has suffered with him at the masthead. He likes where he's at. Until he starts to really chafe with Jackson, or until he feels an urgency to alter what is a greatly diminished legacy in the game, you have to believe he's not going anywhere.

It's unclear what Anthony was responding to, but he did tweet the following on Saturday afternoon:

But chalk this up as highly interesting and you can bet Melo's going to get asked about it. Soon.

HT: HoopsHype