The Clippers remained engaged Friday in talks with the New York Knicks about a possible trade for Carmelo Anthony, including attempts to get a third team involved to help facilitate a deal.
The talks started last week and have continued, with the Knicks initiating the calls, and the Clippers have held firm that DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and J.J. Redick won't be a part of any deal, The Times confirmed Friday.
Clippers guard Austin Rivers, who makes $11 million this season, and Jamal Crawford, who makes $13 million, are the two primary players whose names are involved in the talks regarding Anthony, whose $25-million salary would increase to $29 million because of his 15% trade-kicker.
One NBA official, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, said the third team came up because the Knicks are hesitant to take on Crawford and his contract, which has two more years after this season for almost $30 million.
The same official said the Clippers are also somewhat hesitant to trade Rivers and Crawford because it would leave them with just Redick and Raymond Felton in the backcourt until point guard Paul recovers from left thumb surgery. Paul is due back in mid-March.
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers, asked before the team's practice Friday about reports of a possible Anthony trade, said, "Wow, that's a shock. Us and everybody else."
The Clippers have made in-season trades in the past. Last season, they acquired forward Jeff Green from the Memphis Grizzlies for Lance Stephenson and a future first-round draft pick.
"But I think that's because you cover us," Doc Rivers said of the trade reports. "You can go to Boston, New York, Philly and they have the same thing. It's just because you cover us. That's just part of it."