NBA Trade Rumors: Paul George To Celtics, Knicks' Carmelo Anthony To Pacers In Blockbuster Three-Team Deal

The New York Knicks continue to generate NBA trade rumors due to their slow start in 2016-17. Sportsrageous reports that Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony may want out of New York due to a rift between Knicks team president Phil Jackson and Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James, who happens to be one of Anthony's close friends. That doesn't seem to be a reason to request a trade on its own merit, but there may also be deeper issues between Anthony and the Knicks, according to Chatt Sports Net. A big reason for New York's lack of success so far this year has been their porous defense, and Carmelo Anthony and head coach Jeff Hornacek allegedly are not seeing eye to eye on how the Knicks should approach their style of play.

It is well known in NBA circles that the Boston Celtics have been trying to swing a trade for another star player ever since the team signed forward/center Al Horford to a free agent contract this past summer. Several prominent names have been mentioned, but the latest buzz indicates that the Celtics may now be targeting Indiana Pacers small forward Paul George. The Christian Times opines that Boston could be attempting to acquire George for an unspecified combination of players and draft picks.

Current NBA trade rumors are circulating that a three-way deal could be in the works between the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, and Indiana Pacers. This rumored trade scenario sees Paul George and the Knicks' first-round draft pick in 2019 going to the Celtics. The Pacers would receive Carmelo Anthony and Boston's first-round draft choice in 2018 (from the Brooklyn Nets), and New York would acquire Celtics small forward Jae Crowder and Boston's first-round pick in 2017, also by way of Brooklyn.

Let's begin by looking at the New York Knicks side of this theoretical trade offer. In terms of the players being exchanged, Carmelo Anthony is clearly a much better player than Jae Crowder. However, the draft choice that would be coming to the Knicks would likely be near the top of the draft, and at least in theory, should be a significantly higher pick than the 2019 choice New York would be giving up in this rumored trade proposal.


Even if the Knicks decided that trading Carmelo Anthony is the way to proceed, this proposal simply wouldn't offer enough value to make it worthwhile for New York -- they would almost certainly receive stronger offers if Anthony was put on the trading block.

The Boston Celtics would love to have Paul George, but giving up Jae Crowder and both of the Nets' first-round picks over the next two years would be a steep price. Given that the Celtics are in "win now" mode, they may lean toward agreeing to this deal, but this would be far from a no-brainer for general manager Danny Ainge.

The Indiana Pacers would be swapping one superstar for another in this hypothetical trade scenario, and also obtaining the Brooklyn Nets' first-round draft choice in 2018. This would be an intriguing offer to ponder for Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird, because that draft pick plus Carmelo Anthony would seem to be fair value for Paul George. George is six years younger and a better defensive player than "Melo," but otherwise, they are comparable. Ultimately, Indiana would probably say "no" to this proposal and stay the course with Paul George, but if this offer was actually on the table, it would cause Bird and the Pacers to give it a second look.

In terms of how the NBA would see this trade, it has several problems. Both the Celtics and Pacers would be acquiring far too much salary (per the ESPN NBA Trade Machine), and in addition, Carmelo Anthony has a no-trade clause in his contract and it is doubtful he would waive that right to join the Indiana Pacers.

One of the hot NBA trade rumors currently being discussed online points toward a three-way deal between the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, and Indiana Pacers. This trade proposal would appear to offer fair value to both the Celtics and Pacers, and in the end, there is a good chance that Boston would pull the trigger, while Indiana would not. The Knicks would be getting the short end of the stick in this rumored swap, so they would pass on this one. Lastly, the NBA league office would not give their blessing to this three-player, three draft pick deal, so we're filing this NBA trade rumor in the "busted" category.

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