For Carmelo Anthony to be traded on NBA trade deadline day Thursday, Knicks president Phil Jackson has to be ready to be skewered worse than he ever has been in his entire Zen existence.
Jackson will try to trade his superstar Thursday, but there are no teams right now willing to offer up fair compensation for the 32-year-old scoring machine. What this will come down to is how desperate the Knicks boss is to rid the franchise of Anthony, who has been far from a winner since he was traded to New York on Feb. 22, 2011. Since that date, the Knicks have gone 190-232 as a franchise.
The Knicks and the rest of the NBA know that Anthony’s value has never been lower despite him still being a top 15 scorer (averaging 23.4 points per game in 2016-17). Expect teams like the Celtics to low-ball the Knicks for Anthony on Thursday and hope Jackson bites.
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The Celtics could offer up this type of package for Anthony:
Amir Johnson, Jae Crowder, Kelly Olynyk, and their own 2017 first round pick (expected to be mid-late 20s in a deep draft) and hope Jackson gives in.
If Jackson asks for more than that, Ainge will surely hang up the phone.
The Stevens effect
As much as Donald Trump is trying to make it so, this isn’t 1985. Boston hasn’t been considered a “cool place to be” in NBA circles in a long time – even during the Kevin Garnett – Paul Pierce years (Garnett rubbed plenty of players across the league the wrong way).
But the tide is turning.
The Celtics actually acquired a big-time free agent last summer in Al Horford and the NBA’s predominant info source, The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, recently said that Boston now has a very good reputation around the league.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens was also able to cash in when it comes to touting Boston’s virtues this past weekend. Stevens showed a pregame video to the Eastern Conference All-Stars before Sunday’s game that showed the East players in their younger years. The video was extremely well received by the players, according to Frank Isola of the NY Daily News.
“Stevens, according to two sources, showed a pregame video featuring all 12 Eastern Conference All-Stars as younger players up until to present day. For example, the clips of Carmelo Anthony including one of Melo in braids.
“LeBron James, who had been to 12 previous All-Star Games, was said to be impressed with the thought and time Stevens and the Boston Celtics coaching staff put into the video.
“It doesn’t mean free agents will run to Boston in droves but you have to wonder what impression Stevens made on three players – Jimmy Butler, Paul George and Anthony – who have all been linked to various deals in advance of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.”
In the East’s All-Star game practice session, which was broadcast live on NBA TV this past Saturday, Stevens was seen chatting with Anthony (to be fair, he chatted with most every player – this one was caught on camera).
“What number is this for you, ‘Melo?” Stevens asked, in reference to the amount of times Anthony has played in the All-Star game (10).
“I remember you here in ’03,” Stevens also said to Anthony, in reference to Anthony leading Syracuse to the National Championship in New Orleans in 2003.