New York Knicks: Trading Carmelo Anthony Solves Nothing

Nov 30, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during a game at Target Center. The Knicks defeated the Timberwolves 106-104. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 30, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during a game at Target Center. The Knicks defeated the Timberwolves 106-104. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports /

If the New York Knicks trade Carmelo Anthony, it would not solve any of their problems.

The 2016-17 NBA season has been a struggle for the New York Knicks, to say the least. Before Thursday night’s win versus the Chicago Bulls, the Knicks lost nine of their previous 10 games, and even with Thursday night’s win, they are still a dreadful 18-22.

Their struggles have also brought about questions in regards to whether they should look to trade forward Carmelo Anthony. Trading Anthony would be a poor decision by the team.

Kristaps Porzingis Cannot Yet Lead This Team

The thought behind an Anthony trade is to pass the torch to big man Kristaps Porzingis and begin to build around him. While he has definitely improved this year, Porzingis is not capable of being the go-to guy on the Knicks; not yet at least.

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While he can play out on the perimeter and is a shot blocking presence, Porzingis has a big flaw in his game, which make him incapable of carrying the scoring load. Despite his 7’3″ frame, he is not the world’s greatest rebounder, but more importantly, he cannot create this own shot.

While he can get his shot up over anybody, Porzingis isn’t adapt to creating his own shot, and playing in the post. Why is it that Porzingis is still averaging just under 20 points a game then?

Anthony Is Crucial To Porzingis’ Success

While he’s a unique threat on the offensive end, Porzingis’ success is heavily reliant on Carmelo Anthony’s presence. Even at 32 years old, Anthony is still the best player on this Knick team.

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He is a post presence, can create his own shot at will, but he also attracts a lot of attention defensively, which allows Porzingis to get good open looks. When Anthony dribbles around and operates in isolation, he attracts double teams, which takes attention off of Porzingis.

Also, last year Carmelo Anthony missed ten games, and the Knicks loss every one of them. The Knicks inability to fill in for his absence shows just how important Anthony is to this team, despite what some want to believe. While many will still clamor for Anthony to be dealt, it’s very important to consider the limited market he has.

Anthony’s Trade Market Is Slim

After the 2017-18 season, Anthony can opt out of his five-year deal which he signed with the Knicks back to 2014. With the salary cap increasing yet again, Anthony will most certainly look to cash in.

As a result, he could become a free agent about a year and a half from now. Also, another key liability in an Anthony trade is that he possess a no-trade clause, meaning he can veto any deal he’s involved in.

That makes trading him extremely difficult; however, while highly unlikely, an Anthony deal is not impossible, but it would have to involve a team that Anthony would want to play for.

Potential Anthony Trade Partners 

When it comes to potential trade partners, the Knicks will likely have to look at a big market team for Anthony. One team that comes to mind is the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers have All-Star point guard Chris Paul, and elite big men Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, but in order to make a trade for Anthony, Griffin would have to be included for salary reasons.

The Knicks would do that deal in a heartbeat. Griffin would put fans in seats with his above the rim play, and with his contract expiring at year’s end, the two sides could see if they’re a fit for one another. But, if it doesn’t work out, the Knicks can say goodbye and would have over $20 million more to spend in free agency this summer; the issue is the Clippers side of this deal.

In theory, Anthony reuniting with his good friend Paul and teaming up with Team USA big man Jordan sounds nice, and would give the Clippers a formidable starting five. But, the question remains on if would Anthony okay the deal. It’s said that Anthony loves New York and that he has no intentions of leaving, but if he were to leave that he may accept a deal to the Clippers, and maybe even the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Ever since Kevin Love resigned with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2015, many have speculated about a straight up swap of Love for Anthony; however, that move now makes little sense for the Cavs. With Love playing at an elite level, and the Cavs looking to run away with the Eastern Conference, a deal for Anthony would be highly unnecessary. While it’s been a dream for Anthony and Lebron James to play together, the Cavs would be foolish to make such a move.

Love is playing some of the best basketball of his career, and even if the Cavs chose to deal big man Tristan Thompson instead and add a third team to match the salaries, their interior defense would be thin. A deal for Anthony is now a lost cause for Cleveland.

Trading Carmelo Anthony Solves Nothing 

Despite many clamoring for Carmelo Anthony to be traded, his departure doesn’t help the Knicks in the short or long term. His presence helps open up Kristaps Porzingis’ game, and while on the back nine of his career, Anthony is still an elite scorer.

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Anthony’s age, and his way too friendly player contract, make him a very hard player to deal. Anthony’s departure would make the Knicks significantly worse, and wouldn’t help their long term future all too much.