ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Monday morning that New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony would be willing to waive his no-trade clause.
Big news, right? Yes.
But there’s a catch.
Anthony would be willing to move if he was dealt to either the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Houston Rockets.
The Rockets, whom Anthony has been linked with over the last week, have quickly become a force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference, on paper at least, after acquiring Chris Paul from the Los Angeles Clippers.
In the East, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat considering the rest of the conference has done little to better themselves.
So it’s easy to see why Anthony would want to go to either of those teams as his odds of competing in the NBA Finals would jump exponentially compared to staying in New York.
There’s only one problem: Neither of those teams has pieces that the Knicks should want.
Houston dealt seven players and a first-round draft pick for Paul and one of their best remaining players they would trade, power forward Ryan Anderson, is owed $61.3 million over the next three seasons. That’s a big contract to take after possibly shedding the $54 million Anthony would make over the next two years. On top of that, Anderson is a player that provides mediocre defense and averaged just 13.6 points per game last season.
With Cleveland, the only suitable return the Knicks could get for Anthony would be Kevin Love. Both he and Anderson don’t address much of a need for the Knicks considering Kristaps Porzingis is the power forward of the future. It also makes little sense to move Porzingis to center if Willy Hernangomez continues developing during his second NBA season should the Knicks acquire either of those players.
The best move for the Knicks?
I still think it’s the Boston Celtics. If Anthony could be dealt for a first-round draft pick and Jae Crowder, a small forward who can defend the perimeter, it’s a no-brainer. Obviously, it’s all up to Anthony on whether he’s waive that NTC or not.