By Richard Pryor III
Q: I’m a huge New York Knicks fan, and there have been many rumors recently about whether Carmelo Anthony will be traded before the trade deadline. Do you think this will happen, and if so, how will it affect the team?
- Shooting Hoops in Smith
A: Well, Shooting Hoops, this is a loaded question. I do believe that Melo will be out of New York in the next year or two. There are three different trade ideas that we can look at. We’ll be measuring the trades using one metric, Wins Above Replacement (WAR). This looks at how many wins a player contributes to their team over the average player.
The first trade, and the one I’ve seen the most, is a three way deal that sends Melo to the Clippers, Blake Griffin and Paul Pierce of the Clippers to the Lakers, and Lakers players Jordan Clarkson, Brandon Ingram, and Larry Nance Jr. to the Knicks. This trade results in the Knicks losing 3.14 wins, the Lakers gaining 3 wins, and the Clippers gain 0.14 wins. I believe that this trade is the most likely one to occur. According to FanRag’s Charley Rosen, this is one of the two teams that Melo would waive his no trade clause to go to (the other are the Cleveland Cavaliers, and they aren’t messing with their starters at this point in the season). While the Knicks do see a loss in wins, they get three players all 24 or younger, and they could grow into a powerful unit with the addition of current Knicks player and one of last year’s NBA All-Rookie First Teamers, Kristaps Porzingis.
The second option sees Anthony go up the Acela Corridor to Boston, in return for Amir Johnson, Jae Crowder, and Jonas Jerebko. Not only does Anthony get a guaranteed spot to start at small forward with the loss of Crowder and an opportunity to serve as the mentor to a younger team, the Knicks get a young star in Crowder to pair with Porzingis and two contracts that expire at the end of this season. The Knicks will gain 4.23 wins, and the Celtics lose the same. For this to go through (and it most likely won’t unless Melo decides to waive his no-trade clause, which for the Celtics, he seems to have no inclination of doing), the Knicks would probably have to sweeten the deal with a first round draft pick sometime in the next two years.
The final option, and the most unlikely out of these three, is Anthony being sent to the Cleveland Cavaliers for J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert, with the Cavaliers also getting Sasha Vujacic. This trade would favor the Cavaliers, giving them an increase of 1.9 wins, however, this would mean that either Anthony, LeBron James, or Kevin Love would have to go to the bench and not start. The other option is a 1-for-1 trade, sending Love to the Knicks in exchange for Anthony. This trade favors the Knicks, giving them an increase of 1.81 wins. This trade moves James to Power Forward, a position he tends to excel in. However, unless the Cavs drop the ball in the next few weeks, I don’t think David Griffin and Tyronn Lue would suggest doing this.