Most Celtics fans don’t seem too thrilled with the idea of trading for Knicks swingman Carmelo Anthony as his ball-stopping play and bloated contract could very well stunt the team’s rise to the cream of the crop in the NBA just as much as it could help it.
But, unlike a year ago when Carmelo to Boston rumors were first leaked, the Knicks now seem desperate just to get Anthony out of town. That desperation could very well lead to the Knicks pulling the trigger on an Anthony trade without even being able to obtain Boston’s Holy Grail (the 2017 Nets pick).
Knicks fans would surely riot if they weren’t able to pry some young talent from Celtics, so Boston would have to have the trade centered around either Marcus Smart or Jaylen Brown. The Celtics seem extremely high on Brown, and he’s just a few months into his NBA career, so sending him to New York would be a highly-risky, Pitino-like move. Smart seems like the more logical choice to be traded, but his value is considerably less than Brown’s.
Would this trade work for both sides? It does work money-wise.
Carmelo Anthony (3 years, $24,559,380)
Marcus Smart (2 years, $3,578,880)
Avery Bradley (2 years, $8,269,663)
Amir Johnson (1 year, $12,000,000)
On Tuesday, Anthony again poo-pooed the idea of being traded, leading many to believe that he would not waive his no-trade clause. But at this point, destination seems to be the only thing in play – and there’s plenty of reason out there to believe that Anthony would, indeed, accept a trade to Boston.
Jimmy Butler update
The Chicago Tribune, in their rumor mill section this week, posted a brief that said the Celtics and Bulls will likely re-open trade talks surrounding Butler when we get closer to the Feb. 23 trade deadline. From the Tribune:
There are rival executives who believe the Bulls and Celtics will rekindle trade talks centered on Jimmy Butler before the Feb. 23 deadline. The teams held serious talks in June, and the Celtics own the same assets – Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart, the Nets’ first round picks in 2017 and 2018 – the teams discussed then.
Butler could be in line for a five-year, roughly $230 million extension in 2018 that would begin in 2019-20 should he qualify for the designated player exception. Trading a player of Butler’s stature typically takes place near the draft, when draft positions are known and projected picks slotted.
But last weeks’ drama and a tough upcoming trip could change the direction of the season and generate internal debate anew.
Obviously, Butler’s value is much higher at this point than Carmelo’s, so the C’s would have to give up the Nets pick in the latter scenario. All told, though, it seems Ainge’s master plan is going as planned. These are both trades that were discussed last year, and now both the Knicks and the Bulls seem to be backing down on their demands.
“I don’t think any move of significance gets done before the deadline without Danny being given the chance to put his fingerprints on it,” an NBA GM told the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett.