Carmelo Anthony has taken the New Orleans Pelicans out of the equation. Days after rumors started trickling in that the Pelicans could be a viable option for the disgruntled superstar, Melo supposedly told the Knicks’ brass that he would not waive his no-trade clause for New Orleans.
Rumors of Anthony potentially joining the Pelicans started after DeMarcus Cousins admitted that he has reached out to “some of the biggest names that are on the block right now.” Unfortunately for Cousins and the Pelicans, Melo is intent on joining the Houston Rockets.
The two teams have yet to finalize a trade, however. The Rockets recently gutted their lineup to get Chris Paul from the Los Angeles Clippers to join James Harden in a monstrous backcourt. The trade left the Rockets with only a handful of serviceable players that could be offered for Anthony. However, the Knicks do not want Ryan Anderson, who has a similar game to Kristaps Porzingis. New York also doesn’t want Anderson’s contract, which has three years and $60 million left.
The Rockets have Eric Gordon, but the team would likely rather keep the reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year. Clint Capela, meanwhile, is the team’s defensive anchor in the middle. Anthony is not known for his defense and losing Capela will turn the Rockets into a donut team.
Trevor Ariza has also been mentioned as a likely candidate to be traded. Ariza used to play for the Knicks, and a return to the Garden doesn’t sound too bad. However, Basketball Insiders reported that the Rockets have already indicated that they intend to keep Ariza mainly because of his defense and shooting ability.
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) August 2, 2017
The Knicks have recently secured the services of a talented player who will soften the blow of losing Anthony in case the trade pushes through. Michael Beasley, a former number 2 pick overall, signed a one year contract with New York for the veteran’s minimum. According to Sporting News, the 28-year old Beasley chose the Knicks and its $2.1 million offer over a more lucrative one from China’s Shandong Golden Stars.
OFFICIAL: Michael Beasley signs with the #Knicks. More info ⬇️
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) August 8, 2017
Beasley was drafted by the Miami Heat right after Derrick Rose was nabbed by the Chicago Bulls in the 2008 NBA Draft. Days before the draft, Rose and Beasley were the consensus top two players with either one getting votes as the potential top draft pick. While Beasley’s career didn’t pan out as expected, there’s no question that he has the talent to excel in the league.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers once likened Beasley to Melo, saying Michael “has a Carmelo Anthony ability to score the ball.” While Beasley has yet to achieve an Anthony-like career, he gets another chance to prove himself with the Knicks. His scoring ability will definitely come in handy once Melo is out of the equation. If Anthony is not traded, Beasley will be a capable backup, who can pile up the points when asked and help the Knicks bench improve drastically.
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) August 8, 2017
Incidentally, Rivers was rumored to have turned down a trade that would’ve brought Melo and Sasha Vujacic to the Clippers in exchange for his son Austin, Jamal Crawford, and the now-retired Paul Pierce. Bleacher Report picked up the rumor first reported by ESPN’s Michael Eaves, which said that the supposed botched trade was one of the reasons why Chris Paul wanted out of Clipperland. Paul may still fulfill his wish of playing with his good friend if the Knicks and the Rockets find a way to make the trade work.
The Knicks also recently welcomed a new face to its management team. Craig Robinson, the brother-in-law of former US President Barack Obama, was hired as the Knicks’ new vice president of player development. Robinson previously worked for the Milwaukee Bucks, where he became close to Beasley. That closeness may come in handy in keeping Beasley in check.
While the Knicks are struggling with their superstar players with Melo wanting out and the Rose experiment failing badly, Golden State is eyeing one more. The Warriors are reportedly looking at adding Paul George to its superstar-laden lineup.
In an interview with Adrian Wojnarowski, George admitted that the Indiana Pacers offered him to Golden State in exchange for Klay Thompson. While the Warriors disapproved of the trade, George may still find his way to Dub City.
According to CBS Sports, Tim Kawakami of The Athletic told The Washington Post that Joe Lacob is “going to find a way to get Paul George.”
“I don’t know how that would happen, but I didn’t know how it was going to happen three years ago when they said they were going after Durant.”
The Warriors are already spending a lot on Stephen Curry, Durant, Thompson and Draymond Green. If the team is to go after George, it may be forced to offer one of its star players in a trade with Oklahoma City. The Warriors can also wait until the season is over and make George an offer he can’t refuse.
[Featured Image by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images]