NBA trade rumors are cranking up for the New York Knicks after they were blasted 117-88 on opening night by the defending NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers. The Boston Celtics have been eyeing a potential trade for a star player for months, according to multiple sources. Sportsgrid has reported that the Celtics have already tried to pry Carmelo Anthony away from the Knicks, but Melo vetoed the proposed deal, stating at the time that he had no desire to play for the Boston Celtics.
Boston’s original attempt to acquire Carmelo Anthony came at the trade deadline last February, but the latest from the NBA rumor mill suggests that the Celtics have not given up on their goal of bringing Carmelo Anthony into the fold. The trade scenario that is currently making the rounds has the Knicks sending small forward Carmelo Anthony to Boston in exchange for a package of small forward Jae Crowder, power forward Amir Johnson, power forward Jonas Jerebko and the Celtics’ 2019 first-round draft pick, originally obtained in a trade with Memphis.
This hypothetical swap would be a legal trade per NBA rules, as verified via the ESPN NBA Trade Machine. According to published accounts, the Knicks and Celtics agreed to a deal for Carmelo Anthony eight months ago, but Melo used his no-trade clause to refuse the offer. Have things changed enough in the time since then that both New York and Boston would still be interested in doing business, and perhaps most importantly, would Anthony now have a change of heart and accept a trade to the Celtics?
Boston has been one of the most active teams during the off-season in terms of trade discussion, as referenced by their regular appearances in recent NBA trade rumors. They want to acquire another impact player to pair with four-time NBA All-Star Al Horford, who signed a $113 million free agent contract with the Celtics this summer. If this rumored trade goes through, it would certainly satisfy Boston’s desire to add another star to their lineup, but would it ultimately make them a better team?
Carmelo Anthony is a small forward who can also play power forward in a “small ball” lineup. If the Celtics dealt Jae Crowder, Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerebko for Anthony, it would leave the team with little-to-no depth at the power forward spot. The only power forward left on the roster would be second-year man Jordan Mickey from LSU, who seems a long way from being capable of starting for a good NBA team. Rookie Jaylen Brown would be the best remaining holdover at small forward if Jae Crowder is shipped out, but he should be fully capable of playing limited backup minutes behind Carmelo Anthony.
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Boston would have to scramble and perhaps play some people out of position to cover the power forward position, which is far from ideal, but in order to obtain an 11-time NBA All-Star, who is still relatively young at 32-years-old, the Celtics might be willing to do some lineup shuffling to make things work. Let’s not forget that a trade between Boston and New York for Carmelo Anthony was supposedly agreed upon earlier this year, and it is likely that the offer made back then was similar to the one being bandied about the rumor mill right now, so there is some evidence that the Celtics were in favor of a deal like this and still could be.
The New York Knicks thought they had a stellar off-season after bringing in point guard Derrick Rose and center Joakim Noah, among others. Expectations in New York became lofty, and Rose went as far as stating to the media that he feels the Knicks should be considered a “super team” along with the Golden State Warriors (per USA Today). It is only one game, but New York’s underwhelming debut on opening night (a 29-point loss) already has the vultures circling. If the Knicks do continue to underachieve, it seems logical that they could revisit the Melo-to-Boston scenario in an attempt to right the ship.
Perry Jones, David Lee, Amir Johnson, along with Jae Crowder and Jonas Jerebko holding up their jerseys at the Celt… pic.twitter.com/8tLMV5aPnz— Siva Kodali (@kodali_siva) July 28, 2015
Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerebko would provide a nice backup tandem behind starting power forward Kristaps Porzingis, and Jae Crowder would take over as New York’s starting small forward if this rumored deal takes place. The future first-round pick is another asset the Knicks would gain in this swap, but overall, this offer doesn’t seem to be enough to convince New York to unload Carmelo Anthony, unless the situation becomes so toxic that the Knicks feel they have to move Anthony. One has to wonder exactly what Boston offered the Knicks back in February? It must have been a package that included more pop since it seems doubtful that New York would have accepted this offer, whether it was eight months ago or today.
Current NBA trade rumors point toward discussions between the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics regarding Carmelo Anthony. Despite talk that the teams actually agreed on a deal for Anthony earlier this year, this particular trade scenario appears problematic for both sides.
The Celtics would probably give this offer a thumbs-up, although it would leave their lineup in a bit of disarray (especially at power forward). The rumored three-player, one draft pick package that would be sent to the Knicks doesn’t sound like the kind of offer that would cause New York to jettison their perennial NBA All-Star forward, so if an agreement is reached between these two teams, it is going to require more work to get it done.
[Featured Image by Michael Dwyer/AP Images]