NBA trade rumors are beginning to die down this summer, but there are still some blockbuster deals that could come to fruition before training camps open in a few weeks. The most recent potential trade that has surfaced in the rumor mill would be monumental, if it does indeed happen.
According to FOX Sports, a deal that sends Carmelo Anthony to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Kevin Love would give the Cavs the ammunition they need to challenge the “new look” Golden State Warriors in a possible NBA Finals rematch. The New York Knicks would receive Love, who would allow the team to get bigger and younger.
It is not often that the defending NBA Champions feel like they need to improve their roster to keep up, but after Kevin Durant signed with Golden State, that notion became a reality for the Cavaliers. Many observers feel that Cleveland’s current lineup would not be successful against the Warriors’ “super team,” so changes need to be considered. In order for the Cavs to match up well with the new Golden State lineup, they may be looking to get smaller and quicker at the power forward position.
Carmelo Anthony would be an ideal fit next to LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, particularly against smaller lineups like the ones the Warriors employ. The Cavs would still have plenty of size to contend with more traditional lineups, even without the six-foot-ten Love on the roster. Tristan Thompson, Channing Frye, and Chris Andersen give the Cavaliers front line depth and size when the team needs to “go big.” Anthony would give Cleveland another elite scorer to aid in their attempt to retain the NBA Championship next season — on paper, this post-trade lineup looks deadly.
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Kevin Love’s fit in New York would be a bit more tricky. The power forward and center positions are currently held by Kristaps Porzingis and Joakim Noah. Trading Carmelo Anthony would open up the small forward position, which is not a spot Love can play. One option the Knicks have would be to play Love at power forward and move Noah to the bench to anchor the second unit. Another possibility would be to play all three together, with Porzingis guarding the smallest of the opposing team’s frontcourt players. That would be an odd lineup, but one that could work with the seven-foot-three Porzingis’ mobility.
Carmelo Anthony was expected to be a star when he was taken No. 3 overall in the 2003 NBA Draft by Denver, and he has delivered, at least individually. Anthony is one of the best pure scorers in the league, boasting a career average of 24.9 points per game. Anthony led the NBA in scoring in 2012-13, posting 28.7 points per contest that season. Anthony may be underrated as a rebounder and passer as well, coming off a season in which he averaged 7.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game for New York.
The main knock on Carmelo Anthony has been that he has never been able to lead any of his teams to deep playoff runs, a fact referenced by the New York Post. If he joined the Cleveland Cavaliers, he would be presented with a wonderful opportunity to shake his reputation as a guy who puts up big individual numbers, but doesn’t win.
Kevin Love also entered the NBA with high expectations, and he has proven that he is a big-time player, and also the type of player who will sacrifice personal glory to achieve team goals. When Love was with the Minnesota Timberwolves, he was dominant, scoring 26.1 points per game in 2013-14 and leading the NBA in rebounding during the 2010-11 campaign (averaging 15.2 boards per game that year). Love’s production has decreased since joining the Cavs, but he is now part of an NBA Championship team after spending six seasons toiling for the lowly Timberwolves.
What the Cavs plan to do with Kevin Love.https://t.co/mL2jivwwFu— Cavs Nation (@CavsNationNet) August 24, 2016
NBA trade rumors are circulating that the Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks may be considering a swap of big-name players (Kevin Love and Carmelo Anthony). The Cavs would likely push for a deal like this, while the Knicks would seemingly need a bit more incentive to ship Anthony to Cleveland.
[Photo by Tony Dejak/AP Images]