The latest NBA trade rumors suggest the Boston Celtics could be looking to pick up NBA star Carmelo Anthony from the New York Knicks. It’s been no secret that for months the Knicks’ Phil Jackson has been publicly trying to force “Melo” to waive his no-trade clause in his contract. The New York team has been in disarray for several seasons, and management has been looking to rebuild a different team, possibly with Kristaps Porzingis as the main star. That could mean that Carmelo will head over to an Eastern Conference contender in the near future, such as the Boston Celtics.
On Thursday, the New York Post reported on the trade rumors involving the Boston Celtics acquiring Carmelo Anthony in a deal. The report notes that general manager Danny Ainge was concerned prior to last season’s trade deadline that taking on Anthony in a trade would restrict the team’s cap space. That would make it tougher to go after some of the available talents that will be free agents for 2017.
However, as of that report, the Boston Celtics were looking to be in serious trouble against the Chicago Bulls in their first-round playoff series. Boston bounced back with a resounding victory on Friday night. Boston won 104-87 in Chicago to take Game 3 of the series, making it a 2-1 Bulls’ lead. It was a balanced team effort overall, with Al Horford leading the team with 18 points, but several other players had points totals near his.
Still, many analysts contended that Boston sitting tight at the trade deadline was a bad move. With the number of assets the team has including NBA draft picks and expiring contracts, it was believed they should have gone after a star. All-Star players including Jimmy Butler and Paul George were two that became heavily mentioned in Boston Celtics rumors, but no trade ever materialized. Now Carmelo Anthony’s name is popping up again in trade rumors.
In the NYPost‘s report, it was indicated that one of the players Phil Jackson was particularly interested in for an Anthony to the Celtics deal was Jae Crowder. The Boston star had 16 points, six rebounds, and three assists in last night’s win. For the season, Crowder put up 13.9 points, snatched an average of nearly six boards, and dished out over two assists. Described as an “active, gritty defender who can shoot from 3-point range” he would seem to be the sort of player Knicks’ fans would fall in love with based on his hustle.
Carmelo would bring All-Star experience and skills to Boston, such as his 22.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game. Some have contended he might not work so well in a secondary role, but pairing him with a player of Isaiah Thomas’ caliber could make Boston even more dangerous with inside and outside threats. However, while there may be some pros for selecting Anthony, some people might feel there are more cons in adding him to this Celtics roster.
Carmelo has played 15 seasons in the league and is considered past his prime. Despite the fact he’s making All-Star teams still, he hasn’t been considered amongst the elite class of current NBA superstars like LeBron James and Kevin Durant. As Mass Live pointed out, something the Celtics might want to address is rebounding, and Melo’s numbers have been lower in that department lately. In addition to that, he’ll have a large contract, and the Celtics may want to consider using that money on a younger player or different skill set.
If any sort of New York Knicks and Boston Celtics trade happens for Carmelo Anthony, it won’t be until July. The reason for this is that Boston has Amir Johnson, Gerald Green, Jonas Jerebko, and Tyler Zeller’s expiring contracts which officially are “frozen” on June 22. The Celtics can then renounce the rights to these players making them free agents and take on a large contract for Carmelo Anthony. There’s also the possibility the Celtics could include some draft picks in a deal, but they seem unlikely to part with their top pick via the Brooklyn Nets this June.
It’s been said that if the Celtics were swept by the Bulls in the postseason, that would have made a Carmelo trade even more possible. However, the team is still fighting as of this point. With a win on Sunday, they’ll even the series with Chicago and take things back to Boston for the best-of-seven. Still, not many fans or analysts are expecting this team to get past the reigning NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers. With that in mind, bringing on a star such as Carmelo Anthony could be what helps them get to that next level of success or they may simply opt to pass and look elsewhere towards a star with more potential for the future.
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