The Cavs are in talks on a three-team trade that would net them, Paul George. Oh yeah, they also want Knicks‘ Carmelo Anthony.
New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony and Indiana Pacers star Paul George have a lot in common. Anthony was traded during his eighth season with the Denver Nuggets after making it known for a long time that he no longer wanted to be in Denver. George just finished up his seventh season with the Indiana Pacers, and he wants out. Melo was 26 when he was dealt to The Big Apple. George just turned 27 last month.
Both had playoff success when they were very young. Remember Knicks fans, Melo played in the Western Conference Finals when he was 24-years-old. Now, when Anthony and George clashed in the 2013 playoffs, it wasn’t exactly memorable. The Knicks, then the No. 2 seed, were pummelled by the swarming defense of George’s Pacers.
Neither star played great in that series. Anthony did everything he could against an incredible defense. He scored over 28 points per game but shot just over 43 percent from the field. George, on the other hand, struggled mightily. He averaged less than 20 points per game and shot sub 40 percent from the field and sub 30 percent from three-point range.
Anthony hasn’t been to the playoffs since that drubbing, and George wants to get back to the elite level where his teams used to be. Apparently, the duo might be playing together next season.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein and Chris Haynes, Anthony could be right there with the soon-to-be former Pacer at his next destination. ESPN says that the Cavs are working on a three-team trade with the Nuggets that would dump Kevin Love. However, it would net them George and make them top contenders for Anthony in the buyout process.
The Anthony to the Cavs talk appeared to be dead as disco. All the buzz since the NBA Finals was about George and Jimmy Butler. Now that Butler is no longer an option, since his draft day blockbuster trade reunion with Thibs and the Timberwolves, the Cavs have zeroed in on PG-13. As well they should. Their banana boat buyout scenario with Anthony and Dwyane Wade doesn’t look promising.
Wade just posted his lowest points per game average since he was a rookie and the lowest field goal percentage of his entire fourteen-year career. He’s not helping anybody beat the Warriors in their starting lineup.
The only way LeBron signs Anthony and Wade is if George is already in the bag. Even then, it might not happen. It’s nothing personal guys you’re just not as good as him anymore.
The reason the idea of Melo joining George in Cleveland is so fascinating is that he’d be the fourth-best player on a team. Carmelo Anthony has never been the fourth-best player on a basketball team in his life. How would he handle it? Could he handle it?
Maybe he’d just do what Derrick Rose did to Kristaps Porzingis this year and said I don’t care if you’re better I’m the veteran, so I’m taking more shots. Melo could play always big dog Paul George or Kyrie Irving.
It’s four star players we’d be talking about on the same squad, and star players all have big egos. They all dominate the ball and take a lot of shots. LeBron James is the most selfless superstar of all time, but he had a usage percentage last season of 30.0 percent, and he took nearly 19 shots per game.
All four players were in the top 20 in field goal attempts and usage percentage in 2016-17. Anthony had a relatively low usage season for him. Everyone always says that if Anthony changed his game, it would be to play for/with LeBron. We could finally get a chance to see if that’s true in 2017-18.
Right now, Anthony and George are going down similar career paths. George is forcing his way out of the city that drafted him and embraced him. His president, Larry Bird, quit rather deal with the rebuilding the effort. George just got whooped by James and the Cavs in the first round of the playoffs. It was a first-round sweep.
Anthony has missed the playoffs for the last four seasons. Anthony’s been unlikable for a long time, so he can teach George how to deal with it. These guys could end up needing each other on and off the court.