Most Celtics fans are quick to call New York Knicks swingman Carmelo Anthony a selfish ball-hog who has never won a damn thing in the NBA. Come to think of it, Anthony is probably the last All-Star caliber player in the league that most Celtics fans would want Danny Ainge to build a team around.
But ’Melo as a second option? A third option? That would likely be something fans could get behind.
There is growing suspicion that Ainge is about to do exactly what he did in the summer of 2007 – when he found a way to get two ringless superstar players to Boston to put around the Celtics’ incumbent star. New rumors pop up everyday regarding Kevin Love’s potential trade to the Hub, but for Love to fully embrace Boston, he would likely need assurance that a third All-Star –level player would join him and Rajon Rondo.
The Knicks are obviously trying to convince Anthony to not opt out of his contract this summer, but the odds say ’Melo will at least explore a more desirable situation (read: a place where he could win AND get paid immediately).
The NBA salary cap is expected to increase from $58.6 million to $63.2 million in 2014-15. The luxury-tax threshold will rise with it. As it stands currently, the $14.2 million the Celtics seemingly are free spend this summer and the $10.3 million trade exception from last year’s deal with the Nets, will in no way land Anthony and Love in Boston. But Ainge and his front office number crunchers have gotten creative in the past.
One thing is for certain – the last week of this month is going to be the wildest NBA rumor stretch in the history of the league. Will LeBron opt out? What about Wade? What about Bosh? What’s ’Melo going to do? Will Love be dealt?
For now it’s all speculation … but Celtics fans can dream and/or readjust their negative thoughts on a certain Knicks swingman.
Follow Metro Boston sports editor Matt Burke on Twitter: @BurkeMetroBOS