Is Carmelo Anthony one of the greats? No! Is he a really good player? Yes, without a doubt! Was he good in Denver? Yes! Was he good in New York? Yes! Is he currently good in New York? For the most part, yes!
By all means, I don’t think anyone should blame Melo for anything that hasn’t gone right with the Knicks. They had some decent players on the team to play alongside Melo, however things didn’t work out. They changed GM’s, they changed coaches, they drafted bad, they most recently drafted good, but the one thing to remember, and I’ll bring this up on another post, a team, especially good teams, need consistency from the top of an organization all the way to the bottom. (I actually thought the page was turning when Glen Grunwald was the General Manager, but that didn’t last very long). The Knicks haven’t really given Melo consistency and unfortunately, this experiment if you even want to call it that, has failed. They had a great chance to have a ‘hometown’ kid do his thing and shine, but unfortunately that never transpired.
Now what to do with Melo? Since they missed the opportunity to deal him during the 2016 NBA trade deadline and remain status quo, the best case scenario now is to make a trade during draft day, or during the off season.
Where to go, where to go? If it was before the trade deadline there were a few options, especially with expiring contracts. In the off season, those no longer exist because, yeah that’s right, they’ve expired. So trading partners have dwindled, to say the least. In my option, the first option would be joining the Los Angeles Clippers. A straight up trade for Blake Griffin. Both teams get rid of massive contracts and players that change the locker room dynamic. Melo would fit nicely right into the starting line up for the Clippers and finally have an all star point guard in Chris Paul, an all star center in DeAandre Jordan and a veteran/champion coach in Doc Rivers. As for the Knicks, they would get that instant high flying player they’ve so desperately wanted and needed. A couple of issues to keep in mind Knicks fans… they would need to sign an above decent point guard to facilitate the play making and would the coach move Kristaps Porzingis to the starting small forward position? That would be a pretty big front court of Porzingis, Griffin and Lopez. Hey I’m sure the Knicks will try to make it work.
Another team a trade can work with is the Miami Heat. The Heat would give up point guard Goran Dragic, forward Josh McRoberts (to make the salaries match) and possibly a couple of second round draft picks. This would make sense for both teams. Knicks get a solid point guard they’ve anxiously needed for years and the Heat get a solid small forward to play alongside Wade, Bosh and Whiteside. Note on this for Heat fans… they’ll have to sign a free agent point guard to complete the starting five. As always, I’m sure Pat Riley will work his magic.
Other teams a trade could work with but would have to seriously be considered include the Lakers and the Cavaliers. But with these teams, other moves may have to be made, as in the case with Cleveland possibly moving Kevin Love to rework the starting five. The last option would be teams with cap space willing to absorb the contract, however these teams probably won’t have much to trade in return with the exception of draft picks and possibly some young talent. Do the Knicks go in full rebuild mode?
Regardless of what happens moving forward, the New York Knicks franchise has to turn the page on the Carmelo Anthony chapter and look ahead. Carmelo Anthony will have to so the same and hope third time’s the charm.
*Photo courtesy Yahoo Images and Fox Sports