The basketball world is abuzz with NBA trade rumors that suggest Carmelo Anthony may be traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. Despite playing alongside one of the league’s best young big men in Kristaps Porzingis, the veteran small forward and U.S. Olympian is in a losing situation with the New York Knicks, and a move west to L.A. would give him a strong chance to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2013. This may also lead to a “Big 4” lineup for the Clippers, a “super-team” with four established All-Stars and/or All-NBA selections in one team.
For those who need background on what has been going on so far, the Clippers and the Knicks have been talking trade over the past few days, with the prospect of nine-time All-Star Anthony, who is currently averaging 22.6 points and 6.1 rebounds for the 21-27 Knicks, going to the Clippers, who are seeded fourth in the Western Conference with a 30-17 record. And while one may think that such a trade may involve Los Angeles giving up someone from their “Big 3” – Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, or DeAndre Jordan – to acquire Melo, a new report from the New York Daily News suggests that the Clippers won’t have to trade away any one of these superstars to get another.
“The Knicks, according to a source, are open to trading Anthony to Los Angeles even if they don’t get one of the Clippers’ Big 3 in return.
“In fact, the Knicks are prohibited from acquiring Blake Griffin due to a complicated rule in the collective bargaining agreement. The rule states that a team cannot have two Designated Rookie Max extensions on your roster acquired via a trade at any time. Derrick Rose falls under that category.
“In order to do so the Clippers would have to trade approximately $27 million in salary to fit Anthony under their cap.”
According to the Daily News, getting Carmelo Anthony traded to the Clippers may require L.A. to ship one or two high-priced guards to New York, with Jamal Crawford, J.J. Redick, and coach Doc Rivers’ son Austin Rivers looming as prime candidates as trade bait. The Inquisitr also reported yesterday that the Knicks and Clippers may be in search of a third team to take part in the trade.
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But is it a good trade? CBS Sports believes it’s a very risky one, with a lot of boom-or-bust potential, and many reasons why it might not turn the Clippers into a super-team.
Writing about the possible ramifications of the trade should it push forward, CBS Sports opined that there are several problems with a possible trade for Anthony. The first reason was the prospect of trading away shooting guard J.J. Redick, whose ability to move well without the ball and create spacing cannot be replaced by Melo. Salary cap issues were also brought up, as Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are in their contract year, and are likely to ask for a maximum contract to stay in L.A.
It was the third reason, however, that stood out, considering the long history of star-studded “super teams” failing to live up to expectations. According to CBS Sports, it may be hard to keep everyone happy and give them all the touches they need, if Carmelo Anthony is traded to the Clippers as a fourth star player alongside Paul, Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan.
“There is only so much ball to go around. Griffin has to get touches. Paul will have touches constantly. Jordan needs a share to keep him happy. If they made this deal, someone would get grumpy. That would be bad eventually. There’s a really good chance this super-team combusts.”
As for the New York Knicks, CBS Sports believes they won’t be looking good either if the trade is made, considering the likely players they may be getting. Crawford turns 37 this year, fellow veteran Redick has been a competent starter but never a star, and Austin Rivers, despite playing well as the injured Chris Paul’s replacement at the point, isn’t a “(hot) young prospect” with All-Star potential.
“There’s little about this deal that makes sense for New York.”
Although we’ve seen teams like the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat win championships with “Big 3” super-teams, we’ve also seen teams like the 2012-13 Los Angeles Lakers get billed as such, yet fall well short of the NBA Finals due to a lack of chemistry, ego-driven infighting, and other potential pitfalls of having three or more superstars on the same team. As such, Carmelo Anthony getting traded to the Clippers has potential of putting them on more even footing with the dominant Golden State Warriors. But it also comes with just as much risk of having them follow in the footsteps of their inter-city rivals and their ill-fated Dwight Howard experiment from four years ago.
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