Playoffs and lottery will decide where Melo goes next

Melo and LeBron have a friendship that goes back more than a decade. Gregory Shamus/NBAE/Getty Images

Phil Jackson can hold all the press conferences he wants and say Carmelo Anthony "would be better off somewhere else," as he did in Friday's season wrap-up. It won't matter until the New York Knicks can find a team that meets two criteria: a willingness to offer value in return for Anthony, who turns 33 in May, and a destination for which Anthony would waive his no-trade clause.

While Anthony has sounded increasingly open to a possible trade, and there was interest before this year's trade deadline, he also said the Knicks never came to him about approving a trade. So clearly Jackson and the front office haven't found the right match yet. Whether they do this summer could depend on the events of the next few months.

Here's what Jackson should be hoping transpires during the playoffs and beyond:

The Cleveland Cavaliers don't repeat as champions