It’s quite possible that Carmelo Anthony played in his final game with the New York Knicks during the season finale Wednesday night.
Even he admitted after a 114-113 win over the Philadelphia 76ers that New York “might” trade him this offseason, per ESPN New York’s Ian Begley.
His potential departure has been an ongoing saga in New York for the past few months as the Knicks held discussions with other teams at the trade deadline.
Even the 10-time All-Star was close to waiving his no-trade clause in order to leave town.
According to Begley, Anthony will meet with Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek and president Phil Jackson on Thursday about his future with the team.
If the two parties decide to go in different directions and Anthony waives the no-trade clause, he’ll likely garner plenty of interest from the league, but only a few could truly be a good fit:
Anthony and LeBron James have practically grown up together in the NBA. The two were drafted in the same year and have maintained a friendship alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul.
James has already tried to get Anthony join him in Cleveland, reportedly pushing Cavs management to trade Kevin Love for him at the deadline. But friendship aside, Anthony could turn Cleveland into a temporary juggernaut.
Slotting him in at the small forward, Anthony would provide a lethal tertiary scoring option with James and Kyrie Irving. He would bring an outside presence alongside J.R. Smith and Kyle Korver and could carry an offense if either of Cleveland’s marquee names were having an off night.
Anthony was attempting to carry an offense in New York for the last seven years. Imagine what he could do with stable support and not as the central figure?
Of course, this means that Anthony will see less of the ball, which could provide a blow to his ego. But if he was content with not playing hero ball, then he could do wonders for LeBron and company.
Oklahoma City Thunder
As much as he might not want to admit it, Russell Westbrook needs some kind of help; even though he’s done a historic job making sure that the Thunder remained a playoff team after Kevin Durant’s departure.
The likely 2016-17 MVP doesn’t have much to work with on an Oklahoma City squad that went 47-35 this season. Behind Westbrook’s 31.5 points per game, Victor Oladipo was the Thunder’s second-leading scorer with just 15.9 and then the offense had to rely on the stache brothers of Enes Kanter and Steven Adams.
You’re not going far in the Western Conference playoff picture with that kind of support for Westbrook.
Anthony would at least add the prospect of All-Star-caliber scoring and make the Thunder’s opposition think twice before sending all of its defensive forces toward the point guard.