League sources have told ESPN that the Knicks put the discussions of the transaction on pause and instead want to talk to him about staying with the organization.
The franchise has been in discussions, related to Anthony's departure, for months with the Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers. The Knicks told both franchises that they are taking a break on the trade talks for a "short time," according to the report.
On Wednesday, sources told ESPN that the Rockets and Knicks were working on trade scenarios that could involve four teams. Anthony, 32, is reportedly willing to waive his no-trade clause. He is due $26.2 million next season, while the Rockets are currently $15 million over the projected salary cap for 2017.
Sources told the New York Post that the Knicks would not make a move on Anthony until the franchise hired a news general manager and president. The Knicks and Sacramento Kings vice president Scott Perry agreed to be the franchise's new general manager on Thursday, according to multiple reports.
Steve Mills is expected to stay on as the Knicks' president. He is currently "acting" in that role.
The Knicks' pause comes at a surprising time. On Wednesday, a source told the Daily News that the Anthony deal was on the "two-yard line." The hitch appeared to be finding a team willing to take on the Rockets' Ryan Anderson, who is on the books for $61 million in the next three seasons.
Another odd factor in the deal is Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni. He coached Anthony and the Knicks from the 2010 season through the 2011 season, before resigning.
Sources told NBA.com at the time that part of the reason for D'Antoni's departure was a disagreement with owner James Dolan about wanting to trade Anthony. D'Antoni wanted to ship Anthony to the New Jersey Nets for Deron Williams, but Dolan declined.
ESPN reported that Anthony told the Knicks that the franchise needed to choose between D'Antoni and himself. D'Antoni quit shortly after that ultimatum.
D'Antoni recorded a 121-167 record as the Knicks' coach. Despite going 55-27 last season with the Rockets, much of that roster is now gone after the team acquired Chris Paul to play alongside James Harden. The Rockets currently have Trevor Ariza slotted at small forward, Anderson at power forward and Clint Capela at center.