The Carmelo Anthony trade saga continues. Will the New York Knicks trade their aging “star”? Will Carmelo Anthony finish his career with the New York Knicks, or will he finish it elsewhere, in a last-ditch effort to chase a championship? There are a great many questions facing the New York Knicks as an organization, but it seems, with the NBA trade deadline looming, no question is quite as pressing as to whether or not Carmelo Anthony remains in the Big Apple.
The latest suitor in this Carmelo Anthony trade scenario has been rumored to be the Los Angeles Clippers. However, before we get into any specifics, there are a number of things that need to be addressed when speaking of the Knicks, from their front office to their personnel.
Without pulling any punches, the Knicks have been a disaster (and that’s not just speaking of this current season, either). The last time that the New York Knicks finished first in the Eastern Conference was the 1992-93 NBA season. The following year, they finished second in the East, and also finished second in the NBA Finals. In the lockout 1998-99 NBA season, they went into the playoffs that year with the eighth and final playoff spot, making it all the way to the NBA Finals before coming up short yet again.
The point is, the New York Knicks have a bigger problem than just Carmelo Anthony, and to blame everything on him is not only unfair, but also unfounded. Outside of those two “winning” seasons, the New York Knicks as an organization have been abysmal overall. Also, losing twice in the NBA Finals doesn’t exactly qualify those two seasons as “winning,” anyway. As the old adage goes, second place is the first loser, and unfortunately for the Knicks, over the course of the last 25 years, that’s the highest point the players, the franchise, and the fans have ever known.
A big part of what has plagued the Knicks in recent years is that they have a habit of acquiring “talent” once that talent is already over the hill, and has already experienced its best years elsewhere. Stephon Marbury and Amare Stoudemire both had their best years in Phoenix, Carmelo Anthony had his best years in Denver, and even in this current season, both Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah gave their best years to the Chicago Bulls. When you combine these aging players with draft busts (Eddie Curry), and bad coaching (Isiah Thomas, Derek Fisher), you essentially get what the Knicks have gotten: no winning seasons, and futile playoff campaigns.
A quick search of online forums and various Knicks Facebook groups will net you one of two responses: it’s either get rid of Carmelo Anthony now, try to get what’s available, and rebuild, or, quiet down and ride it out. While there are passionate fans on both sides of the argument, something’s got to give, one way or the other.
Those in favor of a rebuild see a scenario in which the Knicks get what they can for Carmelo Anthony and rebuild around Kristaps Porzingis. While Porzingis is certainly the face of the future, he isn’t quite there yet, so it’s plausible that some would think to keep Carmelo Anthony around to finish out the rest of his contract while the young Porzingis is still coming into his own. Also, while Derrick Rose has been serviceable overall, most Knick fans agree that meeting his demand of a max contract is ludicrous.
There has always been criticism of Knicks owner Jim Dolan, and recently, a good chunk of criticism has also found its way to Phil Jackson. While Phil is arguably the greatest NBA coach of all-time (behind, or just slightly ahead of Red Auerbach, depending upon who you ask), his success on the bench (or even as a player) has not exactly translated to the front office.
In terms of the present and near future of the franchise, moving or not moving Carmelo Anthony is merely a symptom of a much larger problem. The fact is that the New York Knicks have not had a winning culture since the ’90s — not since players like Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley, John Starks, and Allan Houston were in uniform. In fact, one could even make the argument that, if you were to bring these players out of retirement (even at their accelerated age), they’d still have a better record than these current Knicks.
So, while there are rumors that the Los Angeles Clippers may bite on a potential trade that would involve players like Jamal Crawford, J.J. Redick, and Austin Rivers in a deal for Carmelo Anthony, it has been reported by NBC Sports that the Clippers are also shopping around for a third team to enter the fold. Carmelo Anthony and the Boston Cetics were also linked, however, the Celtics have removed themselves from the Carmelo Anthony discussion.
Either way, if the Knicks don’t address the larger issues at hand, moving Carmelo Anthony, at best, would only be putting a band-aid on a much bigger problem.
I'm Thankful for ALL of it. The Highs. The Lows. The Blessings. The Lessons. The Setbacks. The Comebacks. The Love. THE HATE. Everything. pic.twitter.com/ST7Nbu2E5I
— Carmelo Anthony (@carmeloanthony) January 14, 2017
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