The Celtics have been in love with Kevin Love for years, the Knicks are in desperate need of draft picks and LeBron wants to play with his buddy Carmelo Anthony in Cleveland. Wouldn’t now be the time for these three teams to made a mega three-way trade?
The Cavs might be the only team not interested at this juncture given that the LeBron to the Lakers in 2018 rumors are hotter than ever. Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert canned GM David Griffin (who is much closer to LeBron than Gilbert) Monday night in what is being viewed as a move of paranoia. Gilbert does not want to see what happened to his franchise in the summer of 2010 happen again, and he may now be in favor of getting future draft picks and young players in return for the likes of Love, Kyrie Irving and/or LeBron himself. Gilbert clearly wants to dictate things right now, and pleasing LeBron by getting Carmelo is likely not high on his “to-do” list.
In the words of Stephen A. Smith … HOWEVAHHH!!!, Chauncey Billups is expected to be the new basketball boss in Cleveland. Billups is a “Carmelo guy,” having advocated for the Cavs to trade Love for Carmelo straight up earlier this season on ESPN TV. Billups also played with Carmelo for three seasons in Denver and New York and is close with the veteran scoring machine. Billups spoke on the “Knicks Blog with Anthony Donahue” a couple years back about his relationship with Carmelo and how Carmelo is not a traditional leader.
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“Melo’s a good friend of mine, one of the best players I ever played with, but he’s not the guy who’s going to stand up in the locker room and give this rah-rah speech and get the team to rally. That’s not who he is,” Billups said in 2015. “One thing he is, he’s going to come to play every single night, he’s going to practice every single day. He is who he is. He’s not that guy [who leads vocally]. But for who he is, he’s great.”
So Billups is clearly a fan, and Carmelo would seemingly welcome being the second or third banana on the Cavs.
Love to the Celtics
Danny Ainge remains a fan of Love and the timing has never been better for him to strike. Just one year ago, the Celtics were trying to pry Love from the Cavs. Real GM reported in June of 2016 that Ainge was “believed to have inquired with Love’s agent Jeff Schwartz about whether a trade for Love could be revisited.”
Longtime NBA reported Jackie MacMullan told WEEI last June that she also believed “Ainge is going to make another run at Kevin Love” and Boston Herald reporter Steve Bulpett reported at that time that “the Celts do have interest in both Love and [Al] Horford; the question is price. And the expectation continues to be that, while the C’s would go higher for Love than Horford, their present teams want more than Ainge will give.”
Gotta think that the Cavs have relaxed their price on Love and that simply Carmelo would do the trick.
Picks, players to Knicks
To make the money work the Celtics would have to give up a package of something like:
The Celtics would also have to give up one of their “big picks” in either this year’s No. 3 pick, next year’s Brooklyn pick or the future Lakers/Kings pick.
Phil Jackson would surely be happy with that type of haul from the Celtics for Carmelo, whose stock has never been lower across the NBA.