It’s hard for the New York Knicks to plan for the future if they don’t know what’s going on with Carmelo Anthony.
The veteran star is willing to waive his no-trade clause if he is dealt to either the Houston Rockets or Cleveland Cavaliers, but neither team doesn’t have much to offer in terms of a fair return. Their largest assets are power forwards, which is the least of the Knicks’ problems considering Kristaps Porzingis should be the team’s starting 4 for the foreseeable future.
The only other options the Knicks could take without dealing Anthony is buying him out, which would amount to $54 million.
But New York could use a third team to make a deal for Anthony work. The possible returns could be much better than what Houston and Cleveland have to offer:
Cleveland Cavaliers get: Carmelo Anthony
Denver Nuggets get: Kevin Love
New York Knicks get: Gary Harris, Trey Lyles, 1st-round pick
According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe (h/t T.J. McBride of BSN Nuggets), the Nuggets offered Harris, Lyles and a protected first-round pick to the Cavaliers for Kevin Love in the beginning of the month. Given that the deal hasn’t gone down, it’s safe to assume the Cleveland was not into it.
However, the Knicks could help rekindle and facilitate this deal. By sending Anthony to Cleveland, the Cavaliers get their man and Denver will receive the same by acquiring Love. For the Knicks, they get a much-needed first-round draft pick along with an upgrade at the shooting guard position in Gary Harris and a developing point guard that adds depth to the position in Trey Lyles.
Houston Rockets get: Carmelo Anthony
Phoenix Suns get: Ryan Anderson, 2nd-round pick
New York Knicks get: Brandon Knight, 2nd-round pick
While Anthony gets to team up with Chris Paul and James Harden, the Suns get much-neede veteran support in a frontcourt that looks to be reliant on Marquese Chriss, Josh Jackson and Dragan Bender moving forward.
Brandon Knight, who has been lost in the shuffle amidst Phoenix’s embarrassment of riches in the backcourt, could become an immediate starter in New York while Frank Ntilikina develops.