Ron Schwane/AP Images

What do we know? We know Phil Jackson wants to move Carmelo Anthony before this month’s trade deadline. We know player/coach/GM LeBron James wants the Cavs to make a move to get better ahead of another title push. We know the Knicks are big on Kevin Love, even though a Love-for-Melo swap doesn’t really make any sense for Cleveland and all rumors about said deal have leaked via the New York side of the media equation.

Advertisement

We know that the New York Daily News has a sense of timing. Last night, during the first half of what turned out to be a wild Cavs OT win in Washington, the paper published a report from longtime MSG gadfly Frank Isola.

According to a league source, LeBron is the one pushing the Cleveland Cavaliers front office to acquire Carmelo even if it potentially means having to include Kevin Love in a deal, which is something Cavs management is opposed to doing.

This was quite the rumor, and it colored the entire rest of the Cavs game, which Cleveland only won—because the universe has a sense of humor—thanks to late heroics from both LeBron and Love. (Just for comparison’s sake, the Knicks got humiliated by the Lakers and everyone made noises about a lack of pride and effort.)

After the game, an even-keeled LeBron addressed the Daily News report.

“It’s trash. And the guy who wrote it is trash too, for writing that, especially during the game like that. So it’s always about outside noise, and that’s just outside noise for us. We got to focus on what needs to be done and that’s to continue to compete for a championship. And we got who we got. Our GM will do a great job of figuring out if we need something else, but right now we’re in a good place.”

Kevin Love responded to the report by Instagramming this:

This is not actually a Winston Churchill quote. So maybe the Knicks rumor is true??

Advertisement

Advertisement

There are few better places for armchair Kremlinology than New York and Cleveland, and half the fun of the trade deadline anyway is figuring out who’s leaking what and what their motives are. I can’t even begin to puzzle out what’s legit and what’s agenda-pushing in this Love/Melo mess, but it’s way more interesting than, say, watching the Knicks.