Carmelo Anthony Trade Rumors: Chris Paul Wants L.A. Clippers-New York Knicks Deal Before 2017 NBA Draft?

Carmelo Anthony trade rumors about an L.A. Clippers deal with the New York Knicks might be the best way to keep Chris Paul in California. Anthony and Paul are friends and have made no secret about how much they enjoyed playing together for Team USA at the Olympics. Now there is a shot that the two NBA All-Stars could play on the same team next year, especially with how badly Knicks team president Phil Jackson wants Anthony out of New York.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin can opt out of their current contracts during the NBA offseason. If the Clippers and general manager Doc Rivers want to ensure that Paul stays in Los Angeles, the best way to do it could be to acquire one of his good friends. A report by USA Today during the NBA regular season confirmed that the Clippers have an interest in adding Anthony. Now it just comes down to completing a deal.

So what would it take for these latest Carmelo Anthony trade rumors to actually yield a deal between the L.A. Clippers and New York Knicks? The first major hurdle is that Anthony would have to waive his no-trade clause. He has a provision in his contract that allows him to veto any deal that the front office of the Knicks comes up with. While it could be tricky for Phil Jackson to convince him to waive that clause, it would clear the way for a blockbuster trade.

The next hurdle would be Carmelo Anthony’s contract, as he is slated to earn roughly $26.3 million for the 2017-18 NBA season and then has a player option worth about $28 million for the following season. That’s a lot of money for the Clippers to absorb, likely forcing the team to match salaries in return. There is also another hurdle here, as the Clippers would have to send back players the Knicks actually want on the roster.

It has been postulated in the past that a deal which would work is Austin Rivers, JJ Reddick, and a role player or two in exchange for Anthony. The Clippers don’t have any picks in the 2017 NBA Draft to offer, as the Toronto Raptors control their first-round selection and the Boston Celtics control their second-round selection. That makes a deal more difficult, as other franchises might be willing to offer several picks to Phil Jackson to acquire Anthony.

Another possible problem for any L.A. Clippers trade is that JJ Reddick is about to become a free agent. He would have to agree to a sign-and-trade deal with the Clippers before the team could even ship him to the New York Knicks. On paper, Knicks fans might balk at the thought of “only” receiving Reddick, Rivers, and possibly Jamal Crawford in exchange for Anthony. The problem is that Anthony might veto a better deal for the team that might send him to a worse franchise, as he can just about dictate which team he plays for during the 2017-18 NBA season.

So what happens if these Carmelo Anthony trade rumors were to fall through? A possible scenario that New York Knicks fans would love to see is Chris Paul opting out of his deal with the L.A. Clippers and then leaving the team in free agency. Paul could easily sign a max contract with the Knicks, uniting him with Anthony and creating a situation where other free agents might want to join the duo. But has Phil Jackson created a toxic environment that free agents will avoid during the NBA offseason?

If Jackson decides that he wants to “dump” Anthony on another team and simply move on, then the odds of a deal with the L.A. Clippers improve quite a bit. Putting him on a Western Conference team would mean only seeing Anthony twice during the regular season and it would allow the Knicks to kickstart a full rebuilding process. Overall, though, that would be a terrible move for the team and it might be better to simply move on from Phil Jackson being in charge. Fans should expect the Carmelo Anthony trade rumors to realy pick up as the 2017 NBA Draft approaches.

[Featured Image by Jeff Gross/Getty Images]