The New York Knicks have agreed to trade 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a 2018 second-round draft pick that was acquired from the Chicago Bulls, as first reported by the Vertical’s Shams Charania.
The trade is not expected to be made official until Monday when Anthony officially waives his no-trade clause, per Charania.
It looks as though the Melo saga has finally come to an end as the 33-year-old’s future was basically in limbo for the past few months.
Anthony originally approached the Knicks to inquire about the possibility of buying out the final two years, $54 million of his contract. While then-president Phil Jackson was ready to oblige, owner James Dolan was not, which led to the dismissal of Jackson.
Steve Mills was bumped up to team president while Scott Perry was named general manager where they were greeted by an Anthony trade proposal. He was willing to waive his no-trade clause if he could join either the Houston Rockets or Cleveland Cavaliers. But once Kyrie Irving demanded a trade from Cleveland, Anthony took the defending Eastern Conference champions off his list.
While Anthony wanted to join Chris Paul and James Harden in Houston, the Rockets did not have the necessary pieces to supply the Knicks with a suitable return. The best they had to offer was power forward Kyle Anderson, whose contract was too much to bring on (3 years at over $60 million) and could possibly cut into Kristaps Porzingis’ playing time.
With training camp rapidly approaching and no deal in sight, Anthony expanded his list of accepted teams, adding the Cavaliers once again, and the Thunder, who displayed an interest in him back in July.
Anthony’s arrival in Oklahoma City gives the Thunder an imposing big three in an attempt to compete with the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets. He will join reigning MVP Russell Westbrook and newly-acquired four-time All-Star Paul George, who came over from the Indiana Pacers.
For the Knicks, Kanter provides another option at center to support Willy Hernangomez, who has shown plenty of promise coming off the bench last season with 8.2 points and 7.0 rebounds per night while averaging just 18.4 minutes per appearance.
Backing up Steven Adams in OKC, Kanter averaged 14.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.
McDermott is also another depth signing to help fill the void of the Knicks losing Anthony. While Tim Hardaway Jr. could play either the 2 or 3, the 25-year-old will be worked into the rotation coming off the bench alongside Lance Thomas and Mindaugas Kuzminskas.
The Knicks open up their season on Oct. 19 against none other the Thunder in Oklahoma City.