New York Knicks: A world without Carmelo Anthony
Jan 2, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) looks on during the second half against the Orlando Magic at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

If the New York Knicks do not turn their season around, a world without Carmelo Anthony in a Knicks jersey could be closer than we know.

The New York Knicks (16-19) are currently seeded tenth in the Eastern Conference. Two of the biggest issues surrounding this team are their lack of consistent effort on defense and minimum ball movement on offense.

Carmelo Anthony is the leader and franchise superstar. It’s the position he wanted and deserves. So, it makes sense that he would receive criticism when it comes to how the team has been playing.

The problem is that Anthony’s detractors are spinning it to be solely an issue of his instead of the entire team. The goal it seems is to push the agenda to the point where Anthony is willing to waive his no-trade clause and is sent packing.

The Knicks world would look a lot different without Carmelo Anthony in it.

Realistic Trade Partners

The first step in this hypothetical scenario would be to get Anthony to waive his no-trade clause and the only way he would do that was if the team were a championship contender located in a favorable city.

Sorry Milwaukee, Portland, and Memphis that rules you out. The three most realistic options are the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers and the Boston Celtics.

The only way that a deal with the Cavaliers would work would be through a three-team trade and at this point it’s doubtful that Cleveland would do anything to mess up their chemistry. That leaves the Clippers and the Celtics.

Anthony would likely prefer Los Angeles, but Boston would provide a greater return. Boston has the rights to swap picks with the Brooklyn Nets in next year’s draft.

Brooklyn currently possesses the worst record in the NBA, giving Boston the best odds at the No. 1 overall pick. A package of that pick and Jae Crowder should be enough to get the deal done.

Moves that would follow

Now that the deal is done and the wheels of a full rebuild are in motion, other moves would need to be made.

There would be no reason to keep Derrick Rose for the remainder of the season. The Knicks are not going to re-sign him if they are no longer in a “win now” mode and Rose could be a missing piece for a contender like the Utah Jazz or the Milwaukee Bucks. There is no reason to think that New York could not get a first round pick for Rose.

The Knicks are not going to re-sign him if they are no longer in a “win now” mode and Rose could be a missing piece for a contender like the Utah Jazz or the Milwaukee Bucks. There is no reason to think that New York could not get a first round pick for Rose.

The other move that New York would need to make is more complicated. There is no place in a full rebuild for a 31-year-old injury prone center on a four-year, $72 million dollar contract. There will not be a large number of teams looking to obtain the services of

There will not be a large number of teams looking to obtain the services of Joakim Noah if any. The problem is that the Knicks would not be able to shed Noah’s contract unless they are willing to accept pennies on the dollar. Of course, in a full rebuild that may not be the worst outcome.

Conclusion

All of this is, of course, hypothetical. The Knicks are only three and a half games out of the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. It is too early in the season for New York to throw in the towel and enter a world without Carmelo Anthony. The option, though, should not be ignored.

The Knicks are on a six-game losing streak. When the trade deadline arrives, if New York is out of the playoff picture then it would be better for all involved to move on. This a great draft to have two or possibly three first round draft picks.

 

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