Carmelo Anthony's estranged wife, La La Anthony, said on "The Wendy Williams Show" on Tuesday that the New York Knicks star's top priority going forward is to remain close to their 10-year-old son, Kiyan.
Knicks president Phil Jackson has made it clear that his preference is to trade Anthony this offseason. Jackson said recently that Anthony indicated to the club he'd prefer to stay in New York. Anthony has a no-trade clause and would have to agree to waive it prior to the completion of any trade.
"The most important thing with that is just to stay close to Kiyan," La La Anthony said during the interview, when asked about reports of Anthony being traded. "That's my priority, that's his priority. So wherever he ends up, of course we want him to be happy."
Sources told ESPN's Marc Stein that Anthony's camp -- while acknowledging Anthony's preference to stay close to his son -- has tried to engage the Knicks in recent buyout discussions as it establishes the player's options.
Securing a buyout from the Knicks would allow Anthony to sign with LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers upon clearing waivers. ESPN reported Sunday that the Cavaliers would be the leading contenders to land Anthony in such circumstances, but sources say Knicks officials have thus far rejected the idea of coming to a settlement and waiving Anthony with two years and nearly $55 million left on his contract.
La La and Carmelo Anthony have had marital troubles recently, according to reports, which La La acknowledged on Williams' show. La La also said that she plans to remain in New York.
The Washington Wizards would appear to be an option for Anthony and the Knicks as well -- but Anthony, again, would need to sign off on a trade.
The Knicks, according to sources, would prefer to trade Anthony at this point and view a buyout or using the stretch provision to remove Anthony from the roster as an undesirable option.
Anthony, 33, has gone back and forth recently on whether he wants to remain in New York or would be open to playing in another city, sources say. He hasn't ruled out the idea of leaving New York, those sources say.
At the end of the regular season, Anthony was leaning heavily toward waiving his no-trade clause and leaving the Knicks, per sources familiar with his thinking. But those sources say that Anthony's family situation has caused him to shift his thinking and prioritize that over any basketball decision at the moment, as his wife alluded to Tuesday.
Jackson has said on multiple occasions that he thinks Anthony and the Knicks would be better off parting at this point.
"We've not been able to win with [Anthony] on the court at this time," Jackson said in April. "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."
New York has missed the playoffs for four straight seasons and has lost at least 50 games in the past three, all with Jackson as president. In total, the Knicks are 80-166 in Jackson's three full seasons in New York.