According to reports, the New York Knicks have agreed to trade perennial All-Star small forward Carmelo Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for forwards Enes Kanter and Doug McDermott, as well as a 2018 second-round draft pick (which originally belonged to the Chicago Bulls).
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN broke the news Saturday afternoon:
New York has agreed to a deal to send Carmelo Anthony to OKC for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a draft pick, league sources tell ESPN.
Sources: OKC will send New York a 2018 second-round pick via Chicago.
New York Knicks Trade Carmelo Anthony to OKC Thunder
In order to complete the deal, Anthony will have to waive the no-trade clause (NTC) in his contract. Originally, he reportedly would only waive the NTC if he was sent to the Houston Rockets. However, in recent days, Wojnarowski and others have mentioned that Anthony was willing to head to Portland, Cleveland, and Oklahoma City.
Anthony is also expected to waive his trade kicker, which would’ve boosted his salary after being dealt. The Thunder couldn’t have been keen on accepting an even larger contract, as they will already have a reported tax bill of $27.8 million next season. OKC has been criticized in the past for not being willing to pay to maintain the best possible talent.
Despite the Knicks’ struggles, Anthony still remains one of the best small forwards in the NBA. The All-Star averaged 22.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game last season for New York. These numbers are consistent with Anthony’s career averages of 24.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game.
The multi-talented Anthony has the versatility to blend seamlessly into a variety of offenses. He can hurt teams in multiple ways on that end of the floor. In single coverage, Anthony can go against the best of them. Effective off the dribble, in the low post, and off-the-catch, Anthony still remains an elite offensive player. His ability to create his own shot and draw double-teams from defenses allow opportunities to open up his teammates. Russell Westbrook and Paul George, whose presence certainly influenced Anthony’s decision to waive his no-trade clause, will reap the benefits of playing with such a talented scorer.
One criticism of Anthony’s career has been the lack of playoff success, especially during his tenure with the Knicks. In Anthony’s seven years in the Big Apple, the team only reached the playoffs three times. The Knicks’ last playoff appearance was in 2013, when they were defeated by the Indiana Pacers in the second round. During that playoff run, Anthony averaged 28.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game.
A Fresh Start
After Anthony’s relationship with now-former Knicks president Phil Jackson deteriorated rapidly, Oklahoma City will be looking to give the 14-year veteran a fresh start. This deal ends Anthony’s long wait for a trade, which went on all summer. While the Knicks will look to rebuild, the Thunder are hoping that Anthony is the missing piece in their quest for an NBA championship.
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