3 Realistic Trades for Carmelo Anthony: the future of the New York Knicks
Talking about trades for Carmelo Anthony is all the rage now that we have a blue-chip prospect in Kristaps Porzingis, but finding the right fit is more difficult than deciphering what the hell Clyde is talking about half the time during broadcasts. The New York Knicks have been pretty much synonymous with dysfunction and disappointment over the better part of this century. From trading away valuable draft picks for the worst Italian since Mussolini to signing clinically obese, immobile big men to multi-year, cap-destroying deals, this team has had little to be excited about for a long time. The Knicks are a hapless collection of oxymorons– a big market team in a center of world culture that nobody wants to play in, a team with a huge payroll and minuscule win total, a team that plays in the “Mecca of basketball” but usually loses to whichever team makes a pilgrimage there– so it’s only fitting that the one time in the past two decades that they’ve had a legit superstar is also the one time when the best thing to do for the franchise is trading him.
Although the Knicks are in no shape to compete for a championship as currently constructed, some of the ingredients are in the cupboard. There’s the scoring machine that can get buckets against any defense, a budding defensive stopper with unlimited range, and some young, tough guards that can stroke it from deep. But for everything that is in stock there is something missing, and the store probably won’t be stocking it any time soon. This team has everything except enough talent and coaching to win ball games.
Right pieces. The wrong time.
Seeing as how the timelines of the team’s best pieces don’t really align( Melo being 31 and Kristael JORD-zingis merely 19), it could be that the team won’t be in contention until Mr. Anthony is too old. While he can be this generation’s Paul Pierce(a star who never had enough help to play with the big boys until late in his career), do we really want to chance that? On the other hand, the organization is finally showing some signs of sensible management and finally has a bright future, do they really want to trade the best player the team has had since Patrick Ewing while he is still in his prime?
Depending on how you look it, it might be the best thing to do. IF they strike gold in free agency, say, Nicholas Batum, Mike Conley or both and a few solid veterans, then maybe there is hope that they can go down in a blaze of glory to the Lebron James Eastern Conference Championship corporation in the conference finals, but if they strike out again, then the landscape is bleak. Melo will be going on 33 with no sign of hope coming for another year or two at least. While he is still worth something, the Knicks could do well by trading him, accumulating draft picks and growing around a new core of young players. Which brings us to:
Crafting the right trade for Melo isn’t easy. First, he has a no trade clause, but that doesn’t worry me much seeing as how the current roster would send me screaming to the nearest competitor if I were an NBA superstar on the backend of my prime. Second, we would need to get solid young players and picks. The problem here is that the teams that Melo wants to go to probably won’t give us the type of pick we are looking for. That means getting the best young player possible, accumulating some solid picks, and tanking when we have our own pick next year while letting Magic-staps John-zingis develop by having free reign to devour unsuspecting defenses with his dragon-like wings and fire breath.
Step 1) Which teams might Melo go to?
First you need a contender or a team on the brink of contention in a place that doesn’t suck (sorry Orlando, Sacramento, and Utah). Certain places like Indy and OKC might not appeal to a city boy, can overcome their prairie issues with their sheer basketball abilities in my opinion. Current NBA chainsaw, Golden State won’t be making any changes, so they’re out. That leaves us with(in no order):
Houston, Cleveland, Indiana, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, OKC, Memphis, Dallas, LAC, New Orleans, Washington and Phoenix.
Step 2) Who has something we want?
We want a nice young player(or at least not old), cap relief and picks. That is going to eliminate Cleveland, Indiana, Memphis, Dallas, and LAC right off the bat. Sorry, but they have nothing we want. Now we have Houston, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, OKC, NOP, Washington and PHX.
Step 3) Find the real suitors
Sadly, Phoenix has a bevy of nice young assets but getting Melo wouldn’t vault them into contention. Same with Washington since we’d want Bradly Beal or nothing. I’m afraid they both need to be scratched from the board. New Orleans doesn’t really have any interesting players or picks aside from Jrue Holiday, who is oft injured and might actually be too good too quickly and win us more games than we want( DAMN YOU FISHER FOR WINNING THOSE GAMES AT THE END OF LAST SEASON!), so they are gone. All of OKC’s nice picks are gone when we need them, and they don’t really have anyone young that could help us or be anything good in the future, so that leaves us with Houston, Chicago, Miami and Atlanta. But Atlanta has a good thing going, and Melo wouldn’t fit there ball movement style of play( you know? those teams that pass the ball?!?). So now we are down to 3 measly little teams that would suit Melo, the Knicks and themselves in a trade: Houston, Chicago and Miami.
The Trades for Carmelo Anthony
New York trades Carmelo Anthony, Jose Calderon and Lou Amundson
Houston trades Ty Lawson, Patrick Beverly, Corey Brewer, K.J McDaniels and Terrence Jones + a 2018 first round pick and a 2020 first round pick.
Why for New York?
The Knicks go into full rebuild mode and nab two future firsts + a very intriguing youngish player in Terrence Jones. He can hit the corner 3, run the floor, and is a great athlete. He just needs playing time and an open system. Beverly is a known quantity but a solid player that can shore up our PG defense, and with Beverly, Gallo, and Porzingis locked up long-term we will be set on that end of the floor. K.J has shown some promise at times, and could be a solid rotation player in the future. Ty Lawson is an alcoholic that would have fit in great with the Ray Felton era Knicks where they could hit the town and get arrested together, but would probably be cut by this new Knicks squad. And Corey Brewer is….from Tennessee.
Embrace the tank, go young and cheap, get some picks, and pray.
Why For Houston?
Houston has all of the elements of a contender but hasn’t put it together so far this season. Many pegged them as a the hipster pick to make the finals this season after their run last year, and with their star wing/big duo plus solid wing defenders in Beverly, Ariza, Brewer, there was no reason to think otherwise…until the season started. Melo would give them more raw offensive talent than any team in the league outside of the state of Oklahoma, and they’d still have enough depth to weather the storm during bench time. This is the proverbial all-in push as they say. It sucks losing their two pg’s in this trade, but seeing as how Ty Lawson isn’t even really running the point much anyway when he even gets playing time and Calderon is coming over, there is no reason to think this trade wouldn’t make them one of the best teams in the West. They might have to take a flyer on a free agent or d-league guy just to shore up their PG or SG spot but having Melo would be worth it.
#2 The Chicago Bulls