By John Schmeelk
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We’ve written ad-nausea about Carmelo Anthony’s future and about what might transpire that would force the Knicks to trade him. If those things do come to pass (which would be a bad situation for the Knicks) here are some possible landing places in the Eastern Conference. They are all unlikely, but something that might work for both teams. It’s also important to note these are not rumors, simply scenarios that work financially for both sides inside the CBA, and could be feasible in a theoretical world. This would also assume that with Melo’s departure, the Knicks would be rebuilding with cap space for two max free agents in 2015. The key would be building towards that.
The Houston Rockets send Omer Asik’s and Jeremy Lin’s contracts, along with their 2014 and 2016 first round picks to the Knicks for Carmelo Anthony.
Why? This gives the Houston Rockets a third star to go along with James Harden and Dwight Howard, something that would be difficult for them to get due to their salary commitments to their current stars. Houston likes to go small and shoot the three, and I think Anthony and Parsons at the three and four fit fine into that formula. The Knicks get two first round picks, but the Rockets also get rid of two very onerous contracts in Asik and Lin. The deal could also put Houston over the top for a legit run at a championship.
Why not? The Rockets do not like trading away draft picks. James Dolan would be averse to bringing back Jeremy Lin considering how the relationship ended last time around. Anthony and Harden starting at the same time could also be a huge defensive liability.
Odds: 20:1 I think this is a decent fit for both franchises, in that both achieve their goals. Dolan’s annoyance with Lin, and Daryl Morey’s dislike for trading picks will likely sink it.
The Phoenix Suns send Eric Bledsoe, Channing Frye, Gerald Green, Slava Kravstov, Emeka Okafor, the Suns 2014 first round pick, and the Lakers 2015 first round pick to the Knicks for Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler.
Why: This is a whopper but the Knicks would be willing to send both Anthony and Chandler in the same trade since they are getting back two numbers ones in consecutive years and the ability to sign Eric Bledsoe to a long term contract this offseason. The Suns get a scorer to go with Dragic and a rim protector in Chandler. The Suns still have plenty of first rounders coming from other teams. They would jump up high in the pecking order of the Western Conference immediately.
Why not? Can the Suns convince Carmelo Anthony this is a place he wants to stay long term? I’m not sure they are quite championship ready enough. They might also be so enamored with Bledsoe they don’t want to trade him. The Knicks might also not want to take a chance on Bledsoe coming off meniscus surgery.
The Golden State Warriors could have been a fit with their style of play, but their 2014 and 2017 first round picks are on the way to Utah. Young assets like Harrison Barnes could have been substituted in their place but besides David Lee, whose contract is too onerous to take back, there is no way to match up salary.
The Dallas Mavericks are the type of team that would work for Carmelo Anthony since Mark Cuban has been trying to find a star to pair with Dirk Nowitzki for a couple of years. They have some short term contracts that the Knicks could use, but they owe their 2014 first round pick to Oklahoma City, making a match difficult to find. They also don’t have any young players the Knicks could use for the future either.
The Los Angeles Clippers would love to add Carmelo Anthony to their current trio of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan but there is no deal to be had here. The Clippers can’t trade a first round pick until 2017, and there are no contracts on the roster the Knicks would find attractive outside of their core trio. Despite rumors earlier in the year, the Carmelo Anthony-Blake Griffin deal is more fantasy than reality.
As you can see there are not a lot of teams in either conference that are real fits for the Knicks if they decide they have to trade Carmelo Anthony and start a genuine rebuild. It’s unlikely they ever go down that road anyway, especially if Anthony decides he wants to stay in New York and take less than the max contract so the Knicks can properly build around him.
You can follow me on Twitter @Schmeelk for everything Knicks, Giants, Yankees and the world of sports.
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