Stevens wouldn't mind coaching 'Melo, but Ainge doesn't want him; C's could still be involved in deal

According to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, the Celtics could still be involved in a Carmelo Anthony trade regardless if 'Melo ends up in Boston or not.
While Celtics management told the Knicks they aren’t interested in the nine-time All-Star, the Knicks are pushing to move Anthony, according to an NBA source, and they’re intrigued by some of the Celtics’ players.

A source indicated that Knicks president Phil Jackson has instructed management to move Anthony, who has a no-trade clause but included the Celtics as one of the teams for whom he’d waive the clause. Boston could become part of a potential three-team deal that would send Anthony to another club, perhaps the Clippers.

An NBA source said Celtics coach Brad Stevens would embrace coaching Anthony, but president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has rejected any deal. That hasn’t stopped the Knicks from scouting Celtics players just in case Boston is willing to become part of a trade.

No surprise that the Knicks are interested in some of the Celtics players. The Clippers really have nothing, but garbage to send the Knicks way for Anthony, so it would behoove Phil Jackson to find a 3rd team. But just like Cleveland passed on trading Kevin Love to the Knicks, one must ask what's in it for the Celtics to be involved in a 3 way deal. Surely we don't want guards Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers and their contracts. Doc Rivers loves to trade away first rounders, but due to the Stephen rule, when's the next one they are allowed to trade? 2030?

If Phil Jackson simply wants to move 'Melo in a salary dump, it would make some sense for them to trade Anthony to the Clippers, the Knicks get Austin Rivers back and the Celtics get Jamal Crawford and a Clippers future 1st (for having to get Jamal Crawford and his contract). That would work for the Knicks and Clippers, but that would be a bit of a concession on Danny's part that the Celtics don't expect to sign a max free agent this Summer due to the new CBA strongly benefitting teams retaining their own stars.

Also don't 100% buy the Ainge isn't interested in Anthony bit. He's definitely not interested in Anthony at some ridiculous trade cost, but if all you have to beat in a deal is Crawford and Austin Rivers, all of a sudden Anthony could become more appealing. If you were the Knicks and you could either rebuild with Crawford and Rivers and their contracts or rebuild with a a lot more flexibility if you traded for Amir Johnson and Tyler Zeller and their expiring contacts which would you choose? Yes that's how bad the Clippers offer is. Amir and Zeller trump it.

Now many fans wouldn't want Anthony even if we could get him for free, but apparently that is pretty close to the cost of acquiring him and with Stevens at least "embracing" the idea, it's not out of the realm of possibility. Remember Ainge brought back Antoine Walker after their unceremonious split. He also signed Shaquille O'Neal after supposedly not being interested. When a cost comes down, all of a sudden your interest can change.

Related: The best trade for Boston may be a small one or no trade at all
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Report: Knicks have reached out to Celtics about a Carmelo Anthony trade