Why the New York Knicks Should Trade Carmelo Anthony

This may seem like a weird idea to propose, but with a rebuilding process underway, the ceiling for getting max value for Anthony will only decrease season by season now. I understand the Knicks want to build around Anthony, but he is 31, coming off knee surgery, and no real marque free agent has said they want to play for you this upcoming free agency. You have a few good players, like Greg Monroe and Reggie Jackson, but no game changers. This article will showcase a few trade proposals that can benefit both sides.

Los Angeles Lakers:

  • Carmelo Anthony
  • Jose Calderon
  • 2017 second round pick

New York Knicks: 

  • 2nd overall pick
  • Julius Randle

This trade benefits both teams really well. The Lakers were major players in the Anthony free stakes in last year’s free agency, and would love to add his talent to pair with Kobe in his final season, as they look to win a championship and send Kobe off in style. The Lakers, with the additions of Anthony gives them the scorer to take the pressure off a Kobe, and a guy to slide into the four. Calderon gives them a capable point guard that is a willing distributor, and brings the ability to stretch the floor as well. The second pick comes in to allow for Los Angeles to acquire talent towards the twilight of Anthony’s career in Los Angeles.

The Knicks do this trade because Phil Jackson realizes this free agency can not save him, and he can then go all in for Kevin Durant or LeBron James in 2016. With the 2nd pick the Knicks could select between Okafor, Russell, and Towns. I think Towns will go number one, leaving for the choice to be between Russell and Okafor. Some would say draft Russell because the 76ers have a set frontcourt, so Okafor could slide to the 4th pick, but one thing is for sure in basketball and Sam Hinkie will trade, and plenty of teams would love to have Okafor. At the second pick, Okafor would be the best choice, as he can step in an be your center for the next decade. At the fourth pick, Russell would more than likely be selected, leaving for you to choose between Winslow, Mudiay, Johnson, Hezonja, Porzingis, and Willie Cauley-Stein. Drafting Okafor makes Stein a highly unlikely pick. Winslow is one of favorite prospects for this draft, and it fits perfectly into the Knicks game plan. With a core or Randle, Okafor, Winslow, Early, Hardaway, and Galloway gives them an extremely young core with unlimited potential as they build chemistry and grow together. With their cap room they could look to add a veteran point guard in free agency to give leadership to these young players. With this young core and a ton of cap room for 2016 the Knicks could sell Durant or LeBron on playing for them, which is a lot more possible in this situation then there current situation.

Boston Celtics:

  • Carmelo Anthony

New York Knicks:

  • 2015 first round pick
  • 2015 first round pick
  • 2017 first round pick from Brooklyn
  • Kelly Olynyk

This trade would be highly unlikely, but with the Celtics looking to add Kevin Love this upcoming free agency, they will need to give him another star to battle LeBron in the Eastern Conference. Adding Anthony gives the Celtics the marquee guy that will make Love really think about coming there. The Celtics might have to do a little roster work to make room for two max players, but their logjam at the four has a lot of pieces that can be traded. As it has been publicly stated, Love strongly dislikes Olynyk so shipping him out of Boston only increases their chances of adding Love.

The Knicks do this trade on the principal of adding young talent and embracing the traditional rebuild mode. With the fourth pick, the Knicks would have a lot of options, but I think the choice comes between Mudiay and Winslow. I think Winslow is the better option since their is plenty of good point guards at the 16th pick. At the 16th pick, I think the choice would come to Jerian Grant, Cameron Payne, or Tyus Jones. Grant is the most likely to be gone at this point so the selection comes between Payne and Jones. Jones would be a better fit in the Knicks scheme so I see that as the selection. With the 28th pick from Boston, I would think the Knicks go for a rim protector. so Robert Upshaw or Mouhammadu Jaiteh would have to come to mind. The accusation of Olynyk is just a small bonus for the Knicks, who could use him at four to space the floor a bit, or flip him for a pick. This trade is not as good as what the Lakers would offer, but still better than trying to build with Anthony.

Phoenix Suns:

  • Carmelo Anthony
  • 2017 second round pick

New York Knicks:

  • Brandon Knight
  • T.J. Warren
  • Marcus Thornton
  • Brandan Wright
  • 2015 first round pick

The Suns do this trade because they need a go to guy. They would have to give up quite a few guys, but Thornton and Wright are for salary reasons. Knight would hurt to lose after trading for him, but he will command a hefty salary this free agency that the Knicks would pay to build around him at the point. Warren is a bit of an unknown showing good potential during the season, but often stuck in the logjam of guards for the Suns. With Anthony and Bledsoe, the Suns would have a dynamic two man punch, capable of potentially leading them to the playoffs in the Western Conference. The Suns would be able to fill out the rest of their roster via free agency and the draft.

The Knicks do this trade because they get a lot to work with. Wright and Thornton can be used as trade pieces or just as fillers for this season. Warren, Knight, and the first round pick they would receive would establish a good young group to build upon. As stated before, I think the Knicks should draft Winslow if they stay at the fourth spot, and then with the 13th pick they have a wide variety of options, but I think getting a frontcourt member would be top priority. The choices would most likely be Myles Turner, Trey Lyles, Bobby Portis, or Montrezl Harrell. Turner offers the highest upside of any of the listed, but also a high bust candidate. Bobby Portis is a favorite of mine as he is a hard worker and offers great upside on the offensive end. I am not huge on either Harrell or Lyles for them seem to have low ceilings for their styles of play, so drafting Portis would give the Knicks a nice stretch four, who I have compared to Paul Millsap. This core of Portis, Winslow, Knight, Warren, and Early, gives the Knicks a solid foundation and just a whole to fill at the five, which could be filled by Wright for a season, or look to add one via free agency.

All these trades are hypothetical of course, for it would take a miracle for Phil Jackson to trade Anthony. With that being said, the best option would be the Los Angeles Lakers, who are desperate to capitalize on Kobe’s last season. The Knicks could take advantage of this, and have another down season, obtaining yet another high draft pick, to go along with a lot of cap room to target Durant or LeBron in 2016. Even if they were unsuccessful in getting Durant or LeBron, they would still have an elite, young group of guys going forward.

By: Mac Crowe, @Mac_Truck17

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