The NBA trade rumors that surfaced months ago involving Carmelo Anthony to the Cleveland Cavaliers are being revisited by some sports sites. The trade rumors suggested months ago, just around the time of the NBA All-Star break, suggested that Anthony would be heading to Cleveland in an exchange for forward Kevin Love. At the time, Love was banged up and sitting out. In fact, his NBA All-Star spot ended up going to Carmelo Anthony in a bit of irony. Now those rumors are popping back up with the 2017 NBA Finals less than a week away. Could a deal end up happening that unites Melo with “King James” in Cleveland?
As Sportsrageous speculated in their recent trade rumors article, an upcoming NBA deal could involve the New York Knicks sending Carmelo Anthony to the Cavaliers. In return, Cleveland would send Kevin Love and Kay Felder to New York City to play basketball. Love has been having one of his best seasons in recent memory, while Anthony is coming off another disappointing campaign with the Knicks. The team failed to make the playoffs despite having rising star Kristaps Porzingis and adding new roster pieces such as Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. Meanwhile, the Cavs are trying to win a second-straight NBA title and Love is a major component of that.
As Vegas Insider reports, the Warriors are 5-12 favorites to win the Finals this year. Failing to capture the NBA Championship might make the deal more likely to take place for Cleveland. It will almost be like the ultimate game of “one-upmanship” as the Golden State Warriors added Kevin Durant this offseason in order to defeat Cleveland. If the Cavs can’t win the title, they would look to make their roster stronger in hopes of overcoming Golden State. However, that would mean subtracting the strengths of Kevin Love by adding Carmelo to the roster. While LeBron holds the power to make this deal happen, one has to wonder if this move really makes sense.
If Anthony were to end up playing on the same roster as LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, he’d need to learn to take a reduced role in order to help the team succeed. A knock on Anthony has been that he may be a tough teammate to play with, but with the bond that James and Melo have, things might work out. In addition, Kyrie Irving is quickly becoming considered amongst the best point guards in the NBA. Having him on the floor with two guys capable of scoring in different ways would make a huge difference.
New York has wanted to bring Kevin Love to the Big Apple, so they probably would not hesitate on this sort of deal. For those wondering about the other player involved, guard Kay Felder was the No. 52 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft from Oakland University. Felder played in 42 games with the Cavs this past season and averaged four points, along with over one assist and one rebound per game. His addition to the deal is simply one that was plugged into ESPN’s Trade Machine to make things work out in terms of salaries involved. It’s always possible he could emerge as a solid reserve for the Knicks bench.
It’s well-known by now that Knicks head honcho Phil Jackson has wanted to trade Carmelo Anthony in favor of rebuilding his team in New York. However, Melo’s “no-trade” clause in his contract would need to be waived by Anthony. The Knicks superstar has mentioned he would only do so if the trade involves him moving to an NBA title contender such as the Los Angeles Clippers, Cleveland Cavaliers, or Boston Celtics. One of those teams is competing for the championship while the other two are headed back to the drawing boards.
The Boston Celtics were the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference this postseason, but it didn’t mean much as they lost 4-1 to the No. 2 seed Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. As Elite Sports NY reported, it’s possible that Boston general manager Danny Ainge could be desperate to add a bonafide superstar to his team like Anthony. However, it would be rare to see the Knicks trade such an asset to an NBA team in their division. Depending on what players and assets the Celtics suggest, it could sway Jackson to pull the trigger on a deal to help rebuild the Knicks.
Still, the intrigue of Carmelo Anthony ending up with the Cleveland Cavaliers may have some fans excited to see what could happen. He’s been in the league for 13 years now and is on the downward stage of his NBA career. Most guys become hungrier than ever for that NBA Championship as their career winds closer to its end. Melo may see that his best opportunity is to join the best player in the league, his good friend LeBron James. Whether or not the Cavaliers go for such a deal and gamble by moving one of their top stars will be interesting to see. The end result of this year’s NBA Finals may give fans more insight into the possibility of such a trade happening.
[Featured Image by Al Bello/Getty Images]