While trading Carmelo Anthony may not be the best course of action for the New York Knicks, they may just look to deal him. If that’s the case, they should entertain a deal with the Boston Celtics.
The New York Knicks have disappointed many thus far this NBA season. With a record of just 18-23, the reeling Knicks look bound to miss the postseason for a fourth consecutive season. That has many clamoring for forward Carmelo Anthony to be traded. But, that may not be the right thing to do, as Anthony is key to Porzingis’ success.
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He attracts attention from the defense, and that allows Porzingis to get good open looks. However, if this Knick team is going nowhere, then having Anthony on this roster is pointless. While it may not be the best course of action, if the Knicks are going to trade Anthony, they should trade him to the Boston Celtics.
Currently, the Boston Celtics are the three seed in the Eastern Conference, just four and a half games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers. While this Celtic team is highly competitive, they cannot make an NBA finals run with their current roster.
While the speedster Isaiah Thomas has without a doubt put himself in the discussion for being a top five point guard, he alone can’t get the Celtics to the finals. With that said here’s the deal the Celtics and Knicks could make to accommodate both their needs.
Knicks get Jae Crowder, Amir Johnson, Jonas Jerebko, 2017 Nets First Round Pick
Celtics get Carmelo Anthony, Willy Hernangomez, Knicks 2017 First Round Pick, Knicks 2017 Second Round Pick
If the Knicks are going to trade Carmelo Anthony, it’s best to get a good and promising return. They would get just that in this deal.
In forward Jae Crowder, the Knicks get an instant replacement for Anthony, but also a gritty player. Crowder is a gritty guy who never dogs it; he dives after loose balls and plays with a passion that’s at times taken for granite.
He is also a good shooter from the outside, he can put the ball on the floor, but his most important quality is that he’s one of the best on-ball defenders in the NBA. Adding a gritty player like Crowder would do wonders for a rebuilding Knicks team, and his team friendly contract only helps.
Crowder is under contract for three more years at roughly seven million a year. In this deal, though, the Knicks would also acquire the Nets first round pick, which the Celtics have the rights too.
Currently, the Brooklyn Nets have the worst record in the NBA, meaning they have the best chance to win the NBA lottery. If the Nets continue to reel, and if they trade center Brook Lopez, they’ll likely continue to free-fall, making it likely that pick will fall in the top five. Who would the Knicks select with that pick?
With point guard Derrick Rose hitting free agency this summer, the Knicks will likely let him walk due to his recent absence from a recent game and his high contract demands. That’ll put them in pursuit of a new point guard, and the NBA draft will likely offer a bevy of them.
Names who will likely declare for the draft include UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball, NC State point guard Dennis Smith Jr., and Washington point guard Markelle Fultz. All three are freshman, and projected top five picks.
Any of those three guys could serve as the Knicks point of the future to pair with forward Kristaps Porzingis. In addition to acquiring Crowder and a potential top five pick, the Knicks would also acquire two expiring contracts in Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerebko.
The Knicks could trade both Johnson and Jerebko to a team playing for the playoffs and try to acquire a late first round, or maybe a couple early second round picks.
This deal makes a lot of sense for the Knicks, the question becomes why do the Celtics make this deal?
While the Boston Celtics are without a doubt a top team in the East, they don’t stand a chance versus the Toronto Raptors or the Cleveland Cavaliers. Isaiah Thomas and big man Al Horford are both very good assets for Boston, but in order to be considered legitimate title contenders, they need another very good player. Enter Carmelo Anthony.
The Celtics have been long linked to the Knick forward, but nothing has ever come close to fruition, but now may be the perfect time to finally make the move.
While they’d be losing forward Jae Crowder, and big men Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerebko, the Celtics would be acquiring a player in Anthony who provides something the Celtics haven’t had since Paul Pierce; a player who can score at will.
While 32, Anthony is still an elite scoring option and is one of the best scorers of the relatively young century. On the Celtics, Anthony could move to the position he thrives at in power forward.
With Anthony at power forward and Al Horford at center, the Celtics would have a formidable front-court duo to pair with Isaiah Thomas, and wings Avery Bradley and rookie Jaylen Brown. Also, while they’d be dealing the very valuable Nets pick, the Knicks would send over their first round pick, which is looking like a lottery bound pick, as well as young big man Willy Hernangomez, who could help provide some size down low.
Also, while they’d be dealing the very valuable Nets pick, the Knicks would send over their first round pick, which is looking like a lottery bound pick, as well as young big man Willy Hernangomez, who could help provide some size down low.
The one issue in Anthony going to Boston is that he possess a no-trade clause, which allows him to veto any deal he’s involved in. Would he waive that clause to go to Beantown?
If Anthony is serious about winning a championship, he has to allow himself to be traded, and the Celtics would be a great destination. While Anthony would probably prefer to be with one of his buddies such as Chris Paul or Lebron James, their respected teams aren’t a great fit for his services. Also, Anthony has to think about what he wants his legacy to be.
If Anthony teams up with Lebron James and wins a title, he will have finally won his championship ring, but he wouldn’t get a ton of credit for it. In addition to James, the Cavs have forward Kevin Love and point guard Kyrie Irving at their expense to pair with James. If Anthony joins their squad, he’s the third best player on that team, and it could be viewed as if he’s hoping on the bandwagon; if he went to Boston that perception wouldn’t exist.
If Anthony and his new sidekick Thomas lead the Celtics past James and the Cavs, and even go on to win the NBA Finals, Anthony would be forever remembered as the man who brought the chip to the city of Boston. If he carried the Celtics to a championship, Anthony could potentially cement his name in the NBA hall of fame.
If Knicks Are Not A Playoff Threat, Anthony Will Likely Be Dealt
Trading Carmelo Anthony wouldn’t help the Knicks short term success, but if they’re not going to make a playoff run, the Knicks may just look to deal him. If they choose to do so, they should try to make a deal with the Boston Celtics.
In a potential deal, the Knicks would acquire forward Jae Crowder, and more importantly, a probable top-five pick. The Knicks could use that pick to get their point guard of the future to pair with Porzingis for the long haul. Also, by trading Anthony the Knicks could clear some cap space to make a run at a power forward this summer.
In terms of free agent power forwards, Serge Ibaka and Paul Millsap top the list. Millsap may be a reach, meaning the Knicks could put the full court press on Ibaka. Ibaka is a two-way player; he can finish in the paint, stretch the floor, but his most important quality is his defense. Ibaka is one of the best defenders in the league, and he’d help bring a defensive mentality. Albeit the hefty price, Ibaka would be a great addition to the Knicks.
While trading Anthony would significantly harm the Knicks short term success, it may be a matter of time before the Knicks try to deal him due to their struggles. If that’s the case, the Knicks should look to deal Anthony to the Boston Celtics.