Carmelo Anthony Traded To L.A. Clippers If Doc Rivers Gets His Way

Carmelo Anthony trade rumors have taken a lot of twists and turns during the 2016-17 NBA season. With less than 48 hours until the NBA trade deadline hits on February 23, there are still new stories coming out about his situation with the New York Knicks. The latest bit of news has L.A. Clippers President of Basketball Operations Doc Rivers still interested in adding Anthony to give his team an additional push in the 2017 NBA Playoffs.

A report by ESPN from late Tuesday evening (Feb. 21) states that the Clippers still haven’t ruled out potential trades for Anthony. This could be intriguing news for fans in Los Angeles, as it shows that the team is very serious about teaming up Carmelo Anthony with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan. Can Doc Rivers and the front office of the Clippers pull off a deadline deal that would have his team becoming the talk of the NBA?

In order to get Carmelo Anthony traded by the New York Knicks, several things would have to take place first. The most important aspect of any deal involving Anthony is that he will have to waive his no-trade clause. When Anthony signed his last contract extension with the Knicks, the franchise gave him a full no-trade clause. This gives him the ability to veto any deal that Knicks team president Phil Jackson might come up with.

In addition to convincing Anthony to waive his no-trade clause, Rivers would also have to convince Jackson to give up an All-Star forward for lesser assets. The Clippers could deal several younger players and future draft picks to complete a deal, but it wouldn’t give the Knicks a star player to build around. This would be admitting that the franchise needs to go through a complete rebuild, so it might not be something that Jackson seriously considers.

Doc Rivers Coaching L.A. Clippers
[Image by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images]

So just how would how would the situation look to have Carmelo Anthony traded to the L.A. Clippers? The Clippers would have to get close to matching the salary that Anthony makes with the Knicks this year. To make the money work, it is likely that the Knicks would have to take back Jamal Crawford and a salary of $13.3 million this season, about $14.3 million next season, and then $14.5 million for the 2018-19 NBA season. If not Crawford, then the Clippers would have to include Austin Rivers.

A combination of Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers would make the salaries work, but that would also mean the Knicks have to take on roughly $27 million next season. Additional pieces could be Wesley Johnson, Brice Johnson, and a trade exception for C.J. Wilcox. That’s not a great haul for the New York Knicks and Phil Jackson, meaning there would also have to be several draft picks included in the deal as well. Would Doc Rivers be willing to trade his son in order to acquire Anthony?

Doc Rivers And Austin Rivers With Clippers
[Image by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images]

It is very clear that these latest Carmelo Anthony trade rumors don’t have good odds of coming to fruition. It would certainly be an easier endeavor if a third team became involved, but it would likely need to be an Eastern Conference team. Most of the contending teams in the Western Conference won’t want anything to do with improving the Clippers by this much. If the Clippers did acquire Anthony, the franchise would then have its own “big four” to go up against the Golden State Warriors in the 2017 NBA Playoffs.

That new report by ESPN also doesn’t limit the situation to just the L.A. Clippers acquiring Anthony. It appears that the Boston Celtics are also holding out hope that Phil Jackson will want to make a deal with them. Celtics team president Danny Ainge has better assets to work with, but it is less clear if Anthony would want to go play in Boston. At least with Los Angeles, he would be joining his friend Chris Paul. If nothing else, these new Carmelo Anthony trade rumors will give the NBA analysts a lot to discuss on Wednesday (Feb. 22).

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