The Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks have reportedly restarted talks of a potential trade involving Carmelo Anthony but the defending champions are not willing to give up Kevin Love to complete the deal.
NJ Advance Media indicated that the Cavs and Knicks are "back in touch" with regards to a trade that would allow nine-time All-Star Anthony to join LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in Cleveland. However, the Cavaliers are said to be unwilling to provide New York their asking price of the four-time All-Star Love.
There are rumors that Cleveland wants to form their own Big Four of James, Irving, Love, and Anthony to match that of West rivals Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, which is why they do not want Love to be included in any Anthony deal.
The Cavaliers are struggling at the moment with four losses in their last seven games. James has been vocal about the team's need to still upgrade their roster in order to repeat as NBA champions.
Despite their struggles, Cleveland has remained on top of the East with a 33-15 record, two-and-a-half games ahead of second-place squad Boston Celtics.
Meanwhile, the Knicks are said to be keen on moving on from Anthony and would like to have Love in exchange for their current leading scorer and former NBA scoring champion, Fox Sports reported.
Anthony has been playing well as of late with 45 points against the Atlanta Hawks and 26 versus the Washington Wizards. However, the team lost both games before he went cold again with 15 points in their most recent match against the Nets, a 95-90 win on Wednesday night.
The report noted it is surprising that the Cavs deem Love as a more valuable player than Anthony despite the latter's better overall résumé, saying that "it could be a sign that teams around the NBA don't view Anthony in the way they once did".
There are also speculations that Anthony and Knicks president Phil Jackson's recent relationship strain may have "damaged his trade value", which is why New York seemed to be on the B-side of their negotiations with the Cavs.