Carmelo Anthony has been linked with a move away from the New York Knicks since last year and it is expected to gain more steam this summer. The Knicks are looking to trade Anthony this offseason to finally start their rebuild. One potential destination for Anthony is the Portland Trail Blazers and they have several 2017 first-round picks to offer.
The Blazers have three first round picks in the 2017 NBA Draft, the 15th, 20th, and 26th overall selections. According to Sean Deveney of Sporting News, several teams including the Knicks are reportedly interested in acquiring one of the Blazers’ first-round selections to add to their own eight overall pick. The Knicks can offer a player like Carmelo Anthony in exchange for a couple of young players and a first-round pick.
“The Knicks have inquired about some combination of the Blazers’ picks, a source said, and those talks are ongoing. New York has the eighth pick and could trade down for a combination of picks, though the preference for the Knicks is to keep their pick and add one of Portland’s.”
However, Portland’s main priority this offseason is to dump some salary to avoid paying the luxury tax. The Blazers handed out $340 million in contracts last summer to players such as C.J. McCollum, Allen Crabbe, Meyers Leonard, Maurice Harkless, Evan Turner, and Festus Ezeli. The move has backfired since the Blazers regressed but they managed to make the playoffs where they got swept by the Golden State Warriors.
Tommy Beer of Basketball Insiders suggested last month that the Blazers are one of the potential destinations for Carmelo Anthony. Beer pointed out that it makes sense for both teams and it could be even good for the career of Anthony. The Blazers will have additional firepower alongside Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum in Anthony.
The 33-year-old superstar is still one of the best scorers in the world and they can go toe-to-toe with the Warriors on offense. Their defense still needs work since Lillard, McCollum, and Anthony are not known for their defense. Portland also has center Jusuf Nurkic, who could play defense while also being a great passer.
On the other hand, the Knicks finally get rid of Carmelo Anthony and team president Phil Jackson can start a proper rebuild around Kristaps Porzingis. The Knicks can acquire one of the Blazers’ first-round picks along with Allen Crabbe or Maurice Harkless, Noah Vonleh, and Shabazz Napier, as suggested by Beer. A third team like the Brooklyn Nets could help both teams since they need all the role players or draft picks they can get.
Phil Jackson has made it clear that he wants Carmelo Anthony gone from New York. He has criticized Anthony in several press conferences and interviews. However, Anthony still has a no-trade clause and he has to waive it first in order for a trade goes through. Several reports noted that Carmelo prefers destinations like the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics.
According to Ian Begley of ESPN, the trade talks between the Blazers and Knicks are in the early stages and it is unknown if Carmelo Anthony is part of the discussion. It should be noted that the Blazers are committed to surrounding Lillard with talent.
Lillard wants the front office to reload the roster with players that can at least challenge or make life harder for the Warriors in the West. Carmelo Anthony may no longer be the player he once was but he is still capable of scoring in bunches. Anthony averaged 22.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 2.9 assists in 74 games this season.
On the other hand, the Knicks are expected to draft a point guard with the eighth overall pick. Frank Ntilikina, Malik Monk, and Dennis Smith are the Knicks’ options while they can draft forwards like Justin Jackson and Tony Bradley. Nevertheless, these are still rumors at the moment and nothing has been confirmed. Take it with a grain of salt.
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