Reports since last week have signaled that Carmelo Anthony and his camp are eager and optimistic about a trade to the Houston Rockets to be completed by Knicks Media Day, which is this Monday. However, things have changed rather rapidly.
Carmelo Anthony, knowing a trade between the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets seems highly unlikely at this point, has expanded the list of teams that he would waive his no-trade clause for. This opens up many options for the Knicks to trade their former superstar. The Knicks and Rockets could never come up with an attractive deal due to the need for salaries to match up. Because of this, the Knicks would have to take Ryan Anderson who is a serviceable player, but not up to Melo’s caliber even at this stage in his career.
Carmelo Anthony has reportedly added both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Oklahoma City Thunder to his list of preferred destinations. If only he had made this expansion sooner, the Knicks would be looking at some more attractive trade packages. With both teams already making big trades this offseason with Kyrie Irving and Paul George, they do not have much to offer. Had Melo re-considered sooner, the Knicks could have been in the running for Kyrie Irving or even a young piece like Victor Oladipo. I have been told that Portland is also a potential landing spot as the young backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum have been actively recruiting Melo to team up.
So what does this mean for the Knicks? No one is really sure. It is hard to figure who the Knicks will receive in return for any Carmelo trade due to his big contract. One interesting piece is that the Cleveland Cavaliers have stated they would be willing to send their 2018 1st round pick that belongs to the Brooklyn Nets in any trades they may make this season. This would likely be the Knicks best return if they can make salaries work.
If a deal is done with the Nets draft pick coming to New York, the Knicks could have two high lottery selections in a top-heavy draft. This next year’s draft looks to include the likes of Marvin Bagley III, Michael Porter Jr., Luka Doncic, Mo Bamba, DeAndre Ayton, and Mitchell Robinson.
Should the Knicks receive that pick in compensation for Melo, it would be a very successful trade.
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