A Carmelo Anthony trade to the Cavs is back on the table, but for the New York Knicks, it’s still a bad idea.
During a typical New York Knicks press conference on Friday, general manager Scott Perry told reporters the team expects Carmelo Anthony at training camp. Not only that, but they expect him to be professional too. Anthony wants no part of the media circus waiting for him on Monday.
The ten-time All-Star decided to buckle on his former demand to only waive his no-trade clause on a deal to the Houston Rockets. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Anthony expanded the list of teams — one being LeBron James‘ Cavs. Ian Begley went on to state that the Oklahoma City Thunder were also on the list.
Neither team is an ideal trade partner, but Cleveland — a repeat offender — is a nightmare scenario for New York. For that matter, it doesn’t make sense for Cleveland either. The Cavs have a squad that’s built to compete with the mighty Warriors — as much any team can be — and Anthony won’t help them in that quest. Especially not if they give up Kevin Love.
As for the Knicks, what could they possibly want on the Cleveland roster? Melo for Love was a popular rumor during the season when LeBron gave his infamous I “need a ******* playmaker” speech, but New York should want no part of Love.
New York’s problem is that Love is the only player who’s of remotely equal value on that roster. A reunion with J.R. Smith or Iman Shumpert wouldn’t be nostalgic, the Cavs don’t have any young pieces, and any draft picks they can provide wouldn’t be worth it. Love’s he’s a very good player, but so many factors make him unappealing to this Knicks team.
Love’s under contract for three more seasons at just under $23 million per season. New York already has over 30 percent of their cap committed to Joakim Noah and Tim Hardaway Jr. for the next three seasons. Adding on more salary to a team that’s not going anywhere is a terrible idea. Knicks fans don’t want to hear this, but it’s in the squad’s best interest to tank the upcoming season.
The new regime has played up this whole youth movement to be built around — among others — Kristaps Porzingis and Willy Hernangomez. Whatever you think of that duo in the long-term, right now the Knicks view them as the starting frontcourt. Love is a starting power forward who can play some center. The Knicks aren’t desperate for another big man right now.
Love is a player who makes sense on a championship contender, not a rebuilding squad. The four-time All-Star still in his prime at age 29, but there’s concern with injuries. He had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and missed six weeks of the 2016-17 season. He didn’t look like the same player after missing 13 games.
In 14 regular season games, he shot just 41.9 percent from the field and 32.9 percent from three-point range. Love averaged just 15.8 points per game. He shot the three well in the playoffs at 45 percent, but only averaged 16.8 points per game.
What’s that tell you? It’s been a long time since Love’s been asked to be a dominant force on offense. With James and Kyrie Irving, he’s been a third wheel/spot up shooter for the past three seasons. Making the quick transition back to offensive centerpiece would be too difficult.
This move doesn’t make sense for the championship contending Cavs either. The Eastern Conference champs struggled to defend the younger and more athletic Warriors. Anthony won’t help them with that problem. If anything, he could make things even more difficult.
Say whatever you want about Love, he’s been a dominant rebounder which has been a huge help for James. Love is a better shooter than Anthony too. The Cavs don’t need Anthony.
The Houston Rockets do; The Portland Trail Blazers do; The Oklahoma City Thunder do. New York should be focusing their efforts on Portland and trying to convince Melo how nice it is to live there. The new regime is dreaming if they think they can pry that Boston pick away from Cleveland for Melo.
The Knicks played the first chess move when they claimed that Melo would be at training camp. They knew that the superstar scorer would need to make the next move, and he didn’t wait long. Anthony retaliated with this list of teams via the NBA’s top reporter.
He wants no part of training camp. That’s clear. Another thing that’s clear is that a swap of Anthony for Love makes no sense for Cleveland or New York.