NBA trade rumors tend to follow teams who are underachieving, and in this case, that team would be the New York Knicks. After joining the team this summer along with former Chicago Bulls teammate Joakim Noah, point guard Derrick Rose stated that the Knicks should be considered a “super team” alongside the Golden State Warriors. With an 8-9 record, New York is looking anything but super so far this season. When poor team performance leads to rumor mill gossip, the first targets are always the teams’ star players — and predictably, Knicks’ NBA All-Star small forward Carmelo Anthony tops the list of players rumored to be headed out of the Big Apple.
Several recent reports have linked Carmelo Anthony to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Hoops Hype states that Cavs superstar LeBron James has asked Cleveland’s management to see if they can swing a deal for Anthony, who is not only a nine-time NBA All-Star, but a close friend of James. According to the Akron Beacon Journal, there were even trade talks between the Knicks, Cavs, and Celtics earlier this year that centered around a deal that would have sent Anthony to Cleveland, while the Cavaliers would have parted with power forward Kevin Love.
Kevin Love has been mentioned in numerous NBA trade rumors over the past few months, and he has recently been linked to the Phoenix Suns, per Chatt Sports Net. The Suns would reportedly be interested in trading one of their guards, and perhaps some additional assets to bring Kevin Love to Phoenix. The latest talk in the rumor mill is hinting at a possible three-team trade between the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns. The structure of this hypothetical transaction is as follows: the Cavs would acquire Carmelo Anthony and a 2017 first-round draft pick from the Suns, while the Knicks would come away from this swap with shooting guard Devin Booker and center Tyson Chandler. Finally, Phoenix would receive Kevin Love from Cleveland.
Interestingly, this would be a legal deal under NBA trade and salary cap rules, so that hurdle has been cleared (confirmation courtesy of the ESPN NBA Trade Machine). Another potential issue is that Carmelo Anthony has a no-trade clause in his contract with New York. However, it seems logical that Anthony may be willing to waive the no-trade clause to play with his good friend LeBron James, as well as to join a team as successful as the defending NBA Champion Cavaliers. Let’s take a look at how the pieces would fit if this rumored trade proposal did come to fruition.
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For the Cleveland Cavaliers, this would be a straight swap of Kevin Love for Carmelo Anthony (plus a future draft choice from the Suns). The only way this would work would be if the Cavs were willing to play Anthony at power forward and go with more of a “small ball” lineup. With Cleveland sitting atop the Eastern Conference standings at 13-2, and Kevin Love now playing some of his best basketball since joining the Cavaliers, it appears doubtful that the Cavs would go for this theoretical offer.
The New York Knicks would get up-and-coming second-year guard Devin Booker, as well as veteran big man Tyson Chandler in exchange for sending Carmelo Anthony to Cleveland. Booker would be a nice fit in New York; he could even be a long-term solution as the starting shooting guard for the Knicks. However, Tyson Chandler would join a crowded center position that already includes Joakim Noah and promising rookie Willy Hernangomez, so he would essentially be a spare part if he joined New York in this rumored deal. This isn’t enough to tempt the Knicks to unload their star player so that they would pass on this offer.
The Phoenix Suns may very well be interested in acquiring Kevin Love, but would they send out Booker, Chandler, and next year’s first-round pick to get him? Absolutely not. Phoenix has steady veteran Jared Dudley and 2016 lottery picks Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender at power forward, so this is not an area of need, especially for a team that can afford to groom Chriss and Bender since they are not going to be a contender anytime soon. The team would also not have a legitimate replacement for Booker if he was dealt, so this would be a thumbs-down from the Suns, too.
Current NBA trade rumors are swirling that the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns could be discussing a rather intriguing four-player swap that features NBA All-Stars Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love. In the final analysis, however, this deal would not work for any of the teams involved — few of the moving parts here fit together, so don’t look for this rumored trade proposal to get off the ground.
[Featured Image by Phil Long/AP Images]