If the New York Knicks can swing a deal with the Boston Celtics involving Carmelo Anthony, both teams and Melo could benefit from the trade.

According to Dan Feldman of NBCSports.com, New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony would be willing to waive his no-trade clause to play for the Boston Celtics. While Feldman also reports the Celtics are not currently interested since they believe the Knicks asking price is too high, a lot can change in the coming weeks before the trading deadline.

The Knickerbockers need to keep gauging interest from their Atlantic Division rivals because it is the Celtics, and not the Cleveland Cavaliers or Los Angeles Clippers, who would be their best trading partner for Melo.

Let’s face it, the Knicks are nowhere close to contending for a title, and trading Anthony for Kevin Love won’t change that. This is a team that has no shot at competing with the league’s elite teams such as the Cavs, Celtics, Toronto Raptors, Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs. New York needs to start building around Kristaps Porzingis through the draft so they can be ready to contend in a few years when hopefully those clubs’ windows for championships are starting to close.

The Celtics have the draft picks the Knicks need. Boston holds the right to swap picks with the Brooklyn Nets in this summer’s draft, along with their pick in 2018 as part of the trade that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn in 2013. There’s a good chance the Nets pick this summer will be in the top five of the draft, and it’s fair to expect their 2018 selection to be a lottery pick as well.

If the Knicks can convince the Celtics to give up at least one of those picks in a trade for Melo, they will finally be on the path to a strong rebuild.

The Knickerbockers have suffered from losing first round draft picks over the last few years. They lost their pick in 2014 as part of their trade for Anthony with the Denver Nuggets in 2011, and gave up their selection last summer to the Raptors as part of their trade for Andrea Bargnani in the 2013 offseason.

This type of trade would also make perfect sense from the Celtics perspective. Boston currently sits two-and-a-half games behind Cleveland for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Especially given the Cavs struggles over the past month, the Celtics are one star player away from being equally as good as, or maybe better than, the defending champs.

Enter Melo.

Jan 18, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) reacts after his three-point basket against the Boston Celtics in the second quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, people will say that he’s too selfish a player or he’ll crumble under the pressure of playing in Boston, a city that has been known for its winning over the past decade-and-a-half. However, Anthony would not have to deal with the pressure of being the number one guy who is always expected to take that last-second shot the way he has been with the Knicks. In fact, one could make the case he’d be the third-best player on the Celtics behind Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford.

Melo could thrive playing with a point guard like Thomas – a floor general who can score and dish the basketball. Instead of being expected to be the savior of a team, Melo could be the final piece to the puzzle of winning a championship.

There are many who speculate that Danny Ainge, the Celtics President of Basketball Operations, is reluctant to give up the draft picks his team acquired from the Nets. However, if Ainge realizes Anthony could be the difference between winning a title and only reaching the Eastern Conference Finals, he could change his stance if he realizes those picks will be what it takes to acquire the nine-time All-Star.

From Melo’s standpoint, this is an ideal landing spot for him. Not only would he finally have a legitimate shot at winning a ring, but he could silence all of his critics in the process. He would be that final piece that Boston needs.

Assuming the road to the Finals will go through the Cavs in the East, he would also be able to say he beat LeBron James instead of joining forces with him to win a title.

Even if it’s weird seeing Anthony in a Boston uniform, this is still an ideal trade for himself along with the Knicks and Celtics. If Eric Lindros can play for the New York Rangers, Melo can play for the Celtics.

Even if the Knicks help their rivals win a title, who cares if it will make them a serious contender in the future.

 

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