Over the past few weeks, there has been chatter with regards to whether Carmelo Anthony will be a member of the New York Knicks for the foreseeable future. One rumor stated that Anthony may want out of New York and that he would only accept a trade to the Los Angeles Clippers or Cleveland Cavaliers. However, any deal that would send Anthony out of New York would be quite complex due to his no-trade clause. The clause gives him the right to veto any trade in which he’s involved. That makes a Carmelo Anthony trade tough to facilitate, but not impossible. Here are some potential deals.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Trade: Knicks receive: Blake Griffin Clippers receive: Carmelo Anthony
The thought behind Anthony heading to the Clippers is him teaming up with his pal Chris Paul – one of the best point guards in the NBA. Anthony would play forward for Los Angeles and team up with a defensive demon at center, DeAndre Jordan. By acquiring Anthony, the Clippers would have to sacrifice long-tenured Clipper Blake Griffin. However, with Griffin hitting free agency this summer, moving him for Anthony may be wise.
Acquiring Anthony allows the Clippers to not run the risk of losing Griffin for nothing in free agency, and Anthony would be a great alternative. On the other hand, the Knicks may have a tougher time making this deal.
Anthony has stated on several occasions that he wants to remain in New York and ride out the remainder of his deal. However, Griffin would bring energy and an excitement factor to the Madison Square Garden crowd. Griffin and Kristaps Porzingis would make a formidable frontcourt duo, but at what cost? While trading Anthony for Griffin opens up cap space for the Knicks, they would be running the risk of losing Griffin for nothing in free agency. That, along with Griffin’s injury history, makes an Anthony-Griffin swap somewhat complicated, but not impossible.
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are yet again the team to beat in the Eastern Conference, but would they still entertain a deal for Carmelo Anthony? James and Anthony have long envisioned playing with one another, and if Anthony joined the Cavs, they could potentially win the chip. However, who would Cleveland give up? Kevin Love?
Love has long been at the forefront of trade talks, and a straight up swap of him for Anthony works financially, but why would the Cavs deal him? He’s playing arguably the best basketball of his career, and trading him would be foolish. As a result, big man Tristan Thompson and guard Iman Shumpert would likely be the ones sent to Gotham City.
Thompson is a rebounding machine, and he would be a force behind Porzingis, but acquiring him would depend on the Knicks finding a taker for center Joakim Noah. Also, while he would be returning to the team that drafted him, Shumpert and team president Phil Jackson separated on loose terms. That means the Knicks would likely deal him away to a team on a title hunt, in exchange for expiring contracts to clear some cap space. Thompson would be a good piece for the Knicks going forward, but is he really worth trading Anthony?
The Trade: Knicks receive: Jae Crowder, Amir Johnson, Jonas Jerebko, Nets 2017 first-round Pick Celtics receive: Carmelo Anthony, Willy Hernangomez, Knicks 2017 first-round pick, Knicks 2017 2nd Round Pick
When you consider the assets they possess, the Boston Celtics make a great trade partner for the Knicks. They own the Brooklyn Nets‘ first-round pick in the upcoming draft, which is looking like a lottery pick. They also have two-way forward Jae Crowder, who would be a great building block for the Knicks going forward. Additionally, the Knicks would be taking back the expiring contracts of Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerebko to match salaries. However, in order for the Knicks to acquire those assets, they’d have to throw in some assets of their own.
To sweeten the pot, the Knicks would have to deal away their own first-round pick, their 2017 second-round pick, and big man Willy Hernangomez. The question becomes whether or not the Celtics make the deal.
While they’re a high-seeded team in the East, the roster the Celtics have assembled cannot beat the Cavaliers in a seven-game series, let alone win the NBA Finals. If they’re serious about making a run at the chip this year, trading for Anthony may help Boston get over the hump. He’d give them an elite frontcourt scorer, which they haven’t had since Paul Pierce. Though they’d be losing some valuable assets, the Celtics would be getting a fair return in a deal for Anthony.
The Charlotte Hornets haven’t rekindled their 2015-16 success this year. They are the seventh seed in the East, but their record is just 21-21 (.500). If the Hornets want to make a jump in the conference and escape the first round, they may entertain a deal for Anthony.
On the Hornets, Anthony would play the four, alongside Nicolas Batum on the frontline. Anthony would be a post threat and a player who could operate in the paint for Charlotte. The trio of Anthony, Batum, and star point guard Kemba Walker would be lethal.
Anthony’s shoe deal is another thing to consider. Anthony is signed with Jordan brand, and the owner of the Hornets just happens to be Michael Jordan himself. Being closer to Jordan for branding – both on and off the court – might help convince Anthony to waive his no-trade clause.
On the flip side, the Knicks would get a key young piece in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. While he hasn’t lived up to superstar expectations, Kidd-Gilchrist has blossomed into a nice player. He can rebound the ball, finish at the rim, and defend at a high level. A change of scenery could be just what the doctor ordered for him, and maybe the bright lights of the Garden would help him take the next step in his game. The Knicks would also take on the contracts of Spencer Hawes and Brian Roberts in the deal in order to match the salaries.