While the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors battle it out for the NBA Championship, the other 28 remaining teams are looking towards the future. The Portland Trail Blazers and New York Knicks have discussed a trade that would bring the Knicks one of the Blazers later-Round One picks but for whom? While conventional wisdom would be Carmelo Anthony it may not be that easy.
Anthony has the infamous No Trade Clause that allows him to veto any trade the New York Knicks bring to the table. Anthony has said that he has a list of teams he would like to play for and while the Blazers were not on that short list, they should be and here’s why.
Carmelo Anthony has a bond with Chris Paul but who’s to say that Paul will be with the Los Angeles Clippers next season? If Anthony wants to win, then New York is not the place. It’s not a knock on the Knicks talent but it’s clear he’s no longer wanted or needed there. Let’s say the Blazers were to give up either their No.15, 20th or 26th pick to Phil Jackson. If I’m GM Neil Olshey of Portland, I’m asking for Carmelo. Jackson is not letting Kristaps Porzingis go and the Blazers would be foolish to ask for him. What the Portland Trail Blazers need is a veteran. They need someone who has been through the fire and will do whatever it takes to win.
According to numerous reports, Anthony has never been that guy. Well, times may have changed for obvious reasons.
For one, Carmelo has to hate seeing his friends in the NBA Finals every year. That fire has to burn in him to want to be a part of that. The Knicks haven’t been to the playoffs in 4 years, however, if Melo was smart he would request that he be added in whatever deal with the Blazers. The Blazers are the perfect match for Carmelo Anthony and they can provide the Knicks with the necessary talent to rebuild.
With the Blazers in a good position Draft wise, they can afford to take a risk. The team is loaded with talent at all positions with Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, Al Farouq-Aminu, Jusuf Nurkic and more, they can afford to give up role players and a draft pick for an All-Star who has a chip on his shoulder. NBA Rumors have it that Lillard and McCollum would love to have Paul George but PG-13 seems intent on taking his talents to the Los Angeles Lakers.
With that said, a starting unit of Lillard, McCollum, Anthony, Maurice Harkless and Nurkic will give any team in the West a run for their money. Fans may not feel that lineup but the Blazers could possibly have their own version of a Big 4.
On the Knicks side, they could get the 20th pick coupled with Aminu and Alan Crabbe just to offset the salaries. This may be the best deal the Knicks will get for Anthony and what this does is help their foundation. If the Knicks are serious about a Ricky Rubio trade, coupled with the No.8 pick and adding a great scorer in Crabbe, all-around player in Aminu plus the 20th pick, the Knicks will be in good shape.
Portland Trail Blazers fans may not be happy about losing Crabbe but think of what you’re getting in return. An All-Star player that can go toe-to-toe with LeBron James and think of how dangerous Lillard and C.J. will be with defenses focusing on Melo on the wings. And not forgetting to mention, the Blazers still will have possibly either the 15th, 20th and 26th pick, deciding which one they give up. It’s a win-win for both teams. The Knicks will rid themselves of Melo and begin the Porzingis era and walk away with younger and cheaper talent.
This is a move both teams must consider.