By George Ayad
Published: February 15th, 2017
In the middle of another poor season, the New York Knicks once again find themselves in turmoil with their star player, Carmelo Anthony. After signing a five-year, $124 million extension in 2014, the Knicks currently find themselves trying to get rid of Anthony, according to the innuendos to the actions of the President of Basketball of Operations of the club, Phil Jackson.
What’s the problem? Melo has a no-trade clause in his contract which not only allows him to dictate where he wants to be traded, but whether or not he wants to be traded at all. At 32 years old, Anthony is still putting up some pretty productive numbers with averages of 23 points per game (ppg) on 44% shooting. Those are all extremely serviceable numbers for a player of his age. Considering he had major knee surgery a few seasons ago, he’s showing that he can still grind for his team when it matters most.
Anthony does not have the proper supporting cast to help propel him to that stage. That of course falls on Jackson for not doing a better job of giving Anthony the players he needs to help him win. Signing Joakim Noah to a fouryear, $72.5 million contract may have initially seemed like a good idea, but it has proven to be a move that will come back to haunt the Knicks for years to come. Noah is clearly a shell of his former self, as his defensive efficiency has taken a huge hit. It has also been rumored that Noah is expected to be moved to a bench role next season.
Trading for Derrick Rose also seemed like a good idea at the time, but yet again, proved differently in time. Rose’s defensive deficiencies are making the Knicks suffer tremendously on that end of the floor. As for the rest of the team, apart from Porzingis, there is not enough fire power to get the Knicks to the playoffs, let alone the NBA Finals.
There have been rumors swirling around the few teams the Knicks have had contact with regarding a trade involving Anthony. It is rumored that the Knicks have discussed possible trade scenarios for the nine-time All Star with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers, and the Boston Celtics.
Kevin Love’s name has come up numerous times in these reports as well, but the Cavs have adamantly denied that Love is on the market. Other than Love, who wouldn’t even be a great fit due the Knicks’ defensive shortcomings, the Cavs have nothing else to offer. They don’t have any desirable young talent, nor do they have any desirable draft picks that the Knicks would need to start a rebuild.
That is where they should strongly turn their attention to the Celtics. Boston is in possession of the Brooklyn Nets’ pick this year, and the Nets are on a one way path to a lottery pick in this year’s draft. Despite a history between Anthony and the Celtics organization, this is the most feasible option for the Knicks who should accept nothing less than a first round pick for Anthony. After the Celtics denied interest in Anthony to begin with however, this fit may be just too good to be true.
Then the emerging Clippers come into play. Los Angeles has one very special player who can fulfil that extra superstar need the Celtics have had for the whole the season in Blake Griffin. Despite Griffin’s success, the Clippers need a change due to their shortcomings in the playoffs. Chris Paul is out of the question and Deandre Jordan’s offensive deficiencies will turn the Celtics off.
An ideal trade situation: the Clippers would receive Carmelo from the Knicks, filling that small forward void that has haunted them for so many years. They would get a reliable go-to scorer for late-game situations. The Celtics get an all-around star that will absolutely help Isaiah Thomas come playoff time. Finally, the Knicks get the Celtics’ draft pick from the Nets, possibly along with one or two more picks.
With the deadline quickly approaching, it does not seem too likely that this or any other deal will come to fruition, due to the way Jackson is treating Anthony. Due to that no-trade clause in his contact, Anthony must approve any trade involving him. After recently attacking Anthony on Twitter, Jackson’s relationship with Anthony has been strained at the worst possible time. His devaluing of Anthony has not only hurt his trade value, but has hurt the credibility of the Knicks as they continue to tumble into irrelevancy.