No matter how many times New York Knicks’ superstar Carmelo Anthony says he wants to stay in New York, the rumors keep coming.
The New York Knicks have lost 10 of 11 games heading into the All-Star break, and are still reeling off the surprising move by Phil Jackson to fire his hand-picked head coach and protege Derek Fisher. As if that wasn’t enough, the drama continued this weekend with rumors of you guessed it: A Carmelo Anthony trade!
Carmelo Anthony on trade rumors: "I'm not going anywhere," he says on Sirius XM NBA Radio. More here: https://t.co/Gakgdht0Xi
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) February 13, 2016
Frank Isola of the NY Daily News reported a potential blockbuster three-team trade involving New York, the Boston Celtics, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. According to Isola, the Knicks would be shipping Anthony to the Cavs, while the Celtics would end up with the Cavs’ Kevin Love, and the Knicks would end up with an assortment of picks and players in return. The rumor led to Anthony’s comments during his Sirius XM NBA Radio interview.
Via ESPN.com’s Ian Begley, Anthony said, “There’s always some trade s— going [on],” and added “I’m not going anywhere.” The nine-time All-Star continued about his plans for the future, “I want to win a championship. At this point in my career, that’s the only thing that I really care about.”
Anthony has developed into one of the greatest scorers in NBA history, but takes Kobe Bryant-type criticism due to his style of play. No matter what he does, Anthony takes heat from fans and pundits about his game, and despite his contributions the superstar is viewed more as a trade chip than a potential asset for the team’s future.
This has been Anthony’s most complete season as a Knick, helped largely by the fact that he is closer with his current set of teammates than any other Knicks from the previous tenure. It’s easy to notice that Anthony is a much more willing passer this season — helped largely of course by the incredible play of rookie Kristaps Porzingis and the surprising sophomore season from Langston Galloway — but he still remains one of the best rebounding forwards in the league.
Despite all the attention that Porzingis has received, Anthony is still the Knicks most valuable player, remaining efficient and effective in categories across the board. He’s fifth among small forwards in real plus-minus. He’s second among qualified small forwards in rebounding rate behind the scarcely used Quincy Acy, fifth in PER, and fifth in estimated wins added, via ESPN.com.
Anthony leads the team in assists with a career high of 4.2 per game, and is third in assist percentage, via Basketball-Reference.com. That’s right, Carmelo Anthony leads his team in assists. One of the greatest highlights for the formerly “selfish” superstar this season, has been his chemistry with Porzingis. When the two are on the court together, they are plus 3.5 points per 100 possessions, and have bonded as close friends off the court.
In the 1,670 minutes with their superstar on the court, the Knicks have an offensive rating of 104.6, which slips to a 98.0 in the 955 minutes he’s off the court, via NBA Stats. That drastic 6.6 difference is by far the highest on the team. When Anthony is off the court, the team has a Net Rating of -7.6. That mark is the worst on the squad, even more than Porzingis. In total, Anthony accounts for a plus 8.1 points per 100 possessions difference when he’s on the floor. Many teams aren’t lucky enough to get that type of value from any one player.
Anthony’s shooting percentages have been down this season, which is part of the reason he has been less reluctant to pass, but he is still responsible for an astounding 2.6 offensive win shares, which also leads the team lead. As usual, he is ice cold in the clutch, per Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal. Since Herring’s post that number has shot up even higher, to 48 percent.
— Chris Herring (@Herring_NBA) February 10, 2016
According to NBA Savant, Anthony has been average, shooting the ball from every area on the court. The fact that the Knicks have won as many games as they have at all is surprising. He’s slightly below the league average from the restricted area and on his favorite three-point shot from the top of the key, and slightly above the league average on mid-range jump shots.
Anthony’s shot chart makes his contributions seem normal but his scoring, passing, rebounding, and always underrated defense has made him an All-Star for the 9th time. The Knicks (23-32) are desperate after a promising start has left them doubting their future, and Carmelo Anthony needs to be a part of the solution.