Carmelo Anthony trade rumors are back. As the Cleveland Cavaliers struggle to keep up with the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, it is getting suggested that LeBron James will push for the Cavs to trade for Anthony during the NBA offseason. Many NBA trade rumors have covered that possibility in the past, but no deal between the Cavs and Knicks ever surfaced that would help both franchises.
A report by the New York Post on Wednesday (June 7) relayed the opinion that if the Cavs get swept by the Warriors, Cleveland is going to do “something major” in the offseason. NBA analyst Marc Berman took that one step further, stating that it would be LeBron James working to get his “longtime buddy” on the roster. This is a common theme that has surfaced in many past Carmelo Anthony trade rumors, especially when it involved the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Any trade between the Cavs and Knicks that involves Anthony would have to be approved by the All-Star forward because he still retains a no-trade clause in his contract. This is something that Knicks team president Phil Jackson will have to maneuver around in his goal to deal Anthony before the beginning of the 2017-18 NBA season. It keeps the power squarely with Anthony, who would also have to want to go to Cleveland to play with LeBron James.
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) May 29, 2017
Carmelo Anthony’s contract is something that could be a huge roadblock in any trade negotiations. Anthony is due to earn roughly $26.2 million next season and he then has a player option worth about $28 million for the following season. Anthony could easily get out of this deal if he feels that there is a lot of money to be made in free agency. As he is already 33, though, it’s unclear how much money a team would be willing to offer him as a free agent. That could be a good thing for a new franchise, as it would mean Anthony remains under contract for two seasons.
— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) June 7, 2017
During the 2016-17 NBA season, Anthony played in 74 games for the New York Knicks, averaging 22.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game. He also made the Eastern Conference All-Star team again, showing that his popularity is still really high around the league. The Knicks missed the playoffs again, though, posting one of the worst records in the league. This could cause Anthony to first wave the red flag and then waive his no-trade clause so he can get out of New York City as quickly as possible during the offseason.
A Carmelo Anthony trade might be nice on paper, but it also may not be a realistic endeavor for the Cleveland Cavaliers unless a third or fourth team is brought into the transaction. The Cavs just don’t have the assets to make a deal palatable for the New York Knicks unless All-Star power forward Kevin Love gets included. Losing Love would be hard for the Cavs to take, as they would have to rely more on Tristan Thompson and that hasn’t gone very well so far against the Golden State Warriors.
The NBA isn’t going to fine Phil Jackson for his public Carmelo Anthony trade talk https://t.co/MNrO0lw2it
— New York Post Sports (@nypostsports) June 2, 2017
If LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, and the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers can get things figured out and pull off an upset of the Golden State Warriors, rumors of breaking the team up or adding another star player might start to fade away. Down 2-0 in the best-of-7 series isn’t a good path to take there, but it’s the same way that the 2016 NBA Finals started out as well. If the Cavs lose badly to the Warriors in this series, fans of the team should fully expect that even more Carmelo Anthony trade rumors will come up during the NBA offseason.
[Featured Image by Jason Miller/Getty Images]