It looks like the marriage between the New York Knicks and Carmelo Anthony may finally be coming to an end after six years together.
Knicks president Phil Jackson explored a potential trade to send Anthony to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a swap for Kevin Love; one that the Cavs rejected even though LeBron James demanded that the team get him a playmaker to help the struggling team.
Even though Cleveland rejected the Knicks trade proposal, Jackson is reportedly determined to move Anthony before the February 23 trade deadline and has been in contact with at least two other teams; the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers.
The Knicks and Clippers have been in reported discussions about a deal that would send Melo to Los Angeles for a package that would involve Austin Rivers, Jamal Crawford or J.J. Redick, plus probably draft picks, which would be the most valuable to the Knicks in a re-build mode as opposed to taking veteran players back with contracts.
The Knicks have been trying to rebuild and revamp this roster ever since Jackson took over as the president in 2014 and thus far, it’s been one step forward and two steps backward.
Shedding J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert’s deals, but then giving Anthony a full no-trade clause in a five-year, $124 million deal goes against it. Drafting Kristaps Porzingis was a great part of it. Giving Joakim Noah $72 million for four years was not.
If the Knicks are going to fully embrace the rebuild, ripping the band-aid off and starting the process by trading Melo to a contender is the way to go. It’ll also likely be a domino effect as it could lead the Knicks to trade away other players who don’t fit the re-building process.
But Melo is the key to the rebuild. Trading Melo elsewhere would finally be the signal that the Knicks are accepting the fact that they need to move in a different direction and build the team around their younger star in Porzingis.
The Knicks have tried to avoid this rebuild for months now, but with the Knicks creeping closer towards the bottom of the Eastern Conference, it’s a move that has to get done sooner than later. His value won’t be any higher than it is now, especially as an aging superstar, but one that is still an elite scorer who is still in his prime.
The team that makes the most sense for Melo to win with is the Clippers, as teaming him with Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan in the Western Conference could be enough to compete with the powerhouses in the conference; the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs.
Melo could help Cleveland, but with the Cavaliers running an offense that relies on ball movement, would Melo and his iso style offense hurt them as opposed to helping? Possibly. Same goes for the Celtics, who have been trying to trade for Melo for almost two seasons now.
Jackson has essentially put the NBA, and Melo, on notice, and let them know that he’s open to shaking the team up and rebuilding the roster without his veteran superstar. It’s honestly a move that should have been done a while ago, but getting it done now as opposed to never doing it is a better move and one that will help the Knicks in the long run as a franchise.