New York Knicks‘ forward Carmelo ‘Melo’ Anthony is projected to be a free agent at the end of the 2013-2014 season. ESPN The Magazine‘s Chris Broussard wrote an article Saturday morning that the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers have discussed a trade involving Melo and forward Blake Griffin.
Since Feb. 23, 2010, Melo has consistently been the best player on the Knicks. He has averaged 25.8 points, with a 44.5 percent field goal percentage, 6.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.5 blocks per game with the Knicks, thus far.
Last season, Melo helped the Knicks advance to the Eastern Conference Semifinals. This was the first time they had advanced past the first round since the 1999-2000 season.
There was a lot of optimism surrounding the Knicks heading into this season. They have been one of the biggest disappointments in the NBA this season, thus far.
The Knicks are tied with the Orlando Magic for the second-worst record, 10-23, in the NBA this season. Melo has been one of the lone bright sports for the Knicks this season.
This season, Melo is averaging 26.2 points, with a 44.8 field goal percentage, 8.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.7 blocks per game.
The Houston Rockets defeated the Knicks 102-100 on Friday night. Shortly after the game, early Saturday morning, Broussard’s article about a potential Melo for Griffin trade appeared on ESPN.com.
Broussard reported that both teams have discussed the ‘blockbuster’ trade internally, but a deal does not appear to be imminent.
Griffin is in the midst of a very good season with the Clippers. This season, he is averaging 22.1 points, with a 52.0 field goal percentage, 10.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.7 blocks per game
Broussard reported that the “one source close to the situation said the Clippers’ latest internal discussion ended in favor of keeping Griffin.” It appears that the Knicks are more insistent on the trade than the Clippers are.
Melo is a free agent at the end of this season and has given the Knicks no indication that he will return next season. The Knicks probably discussed the trade to see what they could get for him.
The trade offer does not make sense for the Knicks. This season, they rank 25th in points per game, 95.2.
One reason why they have struggled so much offensively is that players like guard J.R. Smith have statistically regressed since last season.
Last season, Smith averaged 18.1 points per game and shot 42.2 percent from the field. This season, he is averaging 11.7 points per game while shooting 34.7 percent from the field.
Melo has a huge advantage over Griffin offensively because he has the ability to create and make nearly any shot on the floor. Melo can be a very good jump shooter or he could post up smaller defenders.
Griffin’s offense does not extend outside the free throw line. The majority of his shots occur inside the paint.
He is known for his finishes on alley-oops and dunks. The trade offer also does not make sense for the Knicks on the defensive end.
This season, they rank 11th in points allowed per game, 99.4.
Defensive minded players like guard Iman Shumpert and center Tyson Chandler have helped the Knicks excel on the defensive end.
Griffin at 6 feet 10 inches and 251 pounds is two inches taller and weighs 21 more pounds than Melo. Despite this size and height advantage, Griffin has barely outperformed Melo this season in rebounds per game.
Melo has averaged the same number of blocks per game as Griffin this season. Melo has progressed on the defensive end this season with a career high in rebounds.
Griffin is a little better than Melo on the defensive end, but he would not be a good fit next to Chandler.
The Knicks have 7 feet 0 inch Andrea Bargnani playing next to Chandler. That means if the Knicks traded for Griffin, he would have to play small forward.
The Clippers have reportedly lost star point guard Chris Paul for at least the next three weeks. Paul’s success this season as a dynamic play maker has led to him being in the discussion for MVP.
Paul’s injury could lead to the Clippers reconsidering the Melo for Griffin trade.