Jan 15, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) reacts after being poked in the eye by Toronto Raptors forward DeMarre Carroll (5) in the first quarter at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
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New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony has been included in trade rumors and speculation for the better part of the past two years. Where could he go?
The New York Knicks’ season has fallen apart. The team is losing a lot of games, and the locker room is starting to cave in, as well.
Derrick Rose skipped a game to be with family without telling anyone, Courtney Lee is getting benched for Ron Baker, and Carmelo Anthony’s time with the Knicks seems headed for a finish. This may be for the best, as the Knicks are not contenders with Anthony.
The team needs to build around 21-year-old big man Kristaps Porzingis, who is the future face of the franchise.
Anthony trade rumors have never really been taken seriously, as he has a no-trade clause and loves living in New York. This all changed after the game in Toronto, as Carmelo finally seemed ready to discuss a trade.
In a quote taken by Frank Isola of The New York Daily News, Anthony said the following:
Carmelo: "If they feel like my time in New York is over I guess that’s a conversation we should have."
There are rumors swirling about where Anthony could end up. With his no-trade clause, he controls where he will end up.
The two teams most talked about are the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Clippers. Either of these destinations would allow Anthony to play in the postseason and play with one of his closest friends in LeBron James or Chris Paul.
The trade would also allow the Knicks to get younger and finally move forward. Anthony never got the Knicks close to a championship, but he should be viewed in a positive light as he’s been loyal and has loved playing for the Knicks.
What would a trade look like? Here are three proposals.
March 11, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) moves the ball against Los Angeles Clippers forward Wesley Johnson (33) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
1) ‘Melo Heads West
Clippers Receive: Carmelo Anthony
Knicks Receive: Blake Griffin, Wesley Johnson
The Los Angeles Clippers are one of the teams that Carmelo Anthony would reportedly accept a trade to. The Clippers are 28-14 and a real contender in the Western Conference.
The trade would allow Anthony to contend and play with close friend Chris Paul. The team has managed to win without Blake Griffin, who has been out since the middle of December with an injury.
This is the second straight season the Clippers have had to deal with Blake Griffin missing extended time due to injury.
Even with that, why would the Clippers trade a 27-year-old star in his prime for a 32-year-old star on the decline?
Blake Griffin can become a free agent during the summer of 2017 and speculation exists that he’ll leave Los Angeles. A popular rumor is that Griffin, who’s from Oklahoma and played college basketball at the University of Oklahoma, will sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Going to the Thunder would allow him to team up with Russell Westbrook and go home at the same time.
The Clippers do the trade for Anthony if they think Griffin is going to walk. Wesley Johnson is a throw-in to allow the salaries to work. The trade allows the Knicks to pair Blake Griffin with Kristaps Porzingis and have a duo that can recruit free agents and terrorize the Eastern Conference for years to come.
As previously alluded to, however, it’s unlikely that the Clippers would accept this trade proposal.
Jan 12, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) dribbles the ball being defended by Chicago Bulls center Robin Lopez (8) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
2) Three-Team Trade To Shake Up The Eastern Conference
Bulls Receive: Carmelo Anthony, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart
Celtics Receive: Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson, Knicks 2017 2nd Round Pick
Knicks Receive: Jae Crowder, Amir Johnson, and Brooklyn’s 2017 1st Round Pick (via Boston)
This trade is a lot more complicated. This is three big Eastern Conference teams trading stars and shaking up the playoff picture. Jimmy Butler to the Boston Celtics rumors have been a thing for a while now, as Boston has a ton of assets to pull off a deal.
The Celtics are having a good season, but they can’t win the Eastern Conference without a star alongside Isiah Thomas.
Looking at the Bulls, are they getting enough for Butler? In the trade, Bulls are dealing Butler and Taj Gibson, and getting back Carmelo Anthony, rookie forward Jaylen Brown, and guard Marcus Smart.
I think this is very fair compensation. Jaylen Brown was the third overall pick in the 2016 draft and has shown a ton of upside this season in Boston. Marcus Smart is a scrappy guard who I think any coach would love to have.
Anthony gives Chicago someone who can fill the scoring void left by Butler. Would he accept a trade to the Bulls? He’s very close with Dwyane Wade and almost signed there a couple seasons ago.
The Knicks in this trade are really rebuilding. The team would get Jae Crowder, a young forward who is on a very reasonable salary of $6 million per season. He’s a great defender and would be a good fit alongside Porzingis.
Amir Johnson is an expiring contract, so that helps the Knicks clear cap space for the future. Getting Brooklyn’s first rounder from Boston is the best part of the trade for the Knicks. Brooklyn currently has the worst record in the NBA.
This pick would help the Knicks get a young star to groom alongside Kristaps Porzingis.
Boston would be giving up a ton, but in the end, it’s worth it. A starting lineup of Al Horford, Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler, Avery Bradley, and Isaiah Thomas could definitely compete with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Chicago may be the team that has reason for pause.
Oct 30, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (back) hugs New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) after the Knicks’ 95-90 win over the Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
This trade is probably the least plausible one, but it would be the one that Carmelo Anthony would most likely want. In this trade, Anthony would join the defending NBA champions and team up with good friend LeBron James and star guard Kyrie Irving.
The trio of Anthony, Irving, and James, would be a scary thing for opponents to deal with.
The only issue with this trade is Kevin Love. Would Cleveland really give him up? Love is playing great this season and was a key part of their championship run a season ago.
Love is also four years younger than Anthony. Are the Cavaliers really going to mess with their chemistry and try this trade so late in the season?
The trade helps Cleveland in a few ways. Having ‘Melo at power forward instead of Love makes them more versatile on offense. Anthony can do more than Love, and is just as good as a spot-up three point shooter.
Anthony on the Cavaliers would play an Olympic ‘Melo type role and probably thrive. Anthony has played with Kyrie and James in the Olympics in the past, and played with guys like J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, and Chris Anderson on other NBA teams.
The Cavaliers would also get a true backup point guard—something they have been talking about wanting for a while. Brandon Jennings would strengthen their second unit and is on an expiring deal.
The Knicks would get younger and land a player more suited for the coaching staff in Kevin Love. Love and Porzingis as a duo would be very dangerous on offense and could get a free agent point guard to sign with the Knicks in a hurry.
Richard Jefferson is a big part of the Cavaliers. If he were included for salary reasons, the Knicks would buy him out and let him sign with a contender.