While NBA trade rumors have been going on for months about Carmelo Anthony, it’s looking like instead of heading to a new team, he may simply stay put. The latest rumors about a trade are suggesting that the multiple-time NBA All-Star will continue to be a part of the New York Knicks roster for a major reason. That reason involves an emerging star in the league who the Knicks organization is really looking to build their future around. Could this mean that Anthony won’t be teaming up with the Houston Rockets or Portland Trail Blazers’ stars to pursue a championship out West?
In a report on Friday from NJ.com’s Joe Giglio, it’s being said that Carmelo Anthony is most likely staying put in New York to help fellow star Kristaps Porzingis. Journalist Ian Begley from ESPN New York recently tweeted that the feeling around the league is just that when it comes to whether Melo is being moved or staying on the Knicks this season. However, Begley also suggests Kristaps would benefit from Carmelo “or another No. 1 scorer” for at least one more season. That would probably mean that should the Knicks ultimately decide to pull the trigger on a trade, they’ll want someone who can be the go-to guy while Porzingis still develops into the monster of a power player he can be. Even so, his emergence as the sort of player seems to be happening rapidly.
Porzingis had a great 2016-17 NBA season in which he nearly earned a spot on the All-Star team. The Knicks big man averaged 18.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, and two blocks a game while also hitting 33.3 percent of his three-point shots attempted. ESPN recently ranked him at No. 22 in their projections for the upcoming season, which is 11 spots up from last year’s placement on their rankings of the players in the league. Carmelo Anthony slid down that list to the No. 64 spot after being in the top 30 of the rankings two seasons ago, and formerly in the top 10. Could that make a case for Anthony to leave New York in search of a better chance at adding a championship ring to his resume?
Most of the NBA trade rumors involving Carmelo have revolved around his desire to join the Houston Rockets. However, no trade has materialized as of yet, and it would require that he waives his “no-trade clause” in his current Knicks contract. Another batch of rumors has suggested the Portland Trail Blazers are strongly interested in acquiring Anthony. In particular, both of the Blazers’ former All-Star guards C.J. McCollum, and Damian Lillard have expressed their interest in bringing Melo to Portland to contend for a title. Carmelo may have recently warmed up to the idea, but he has really seemed to have his sights set on the Houston Rockets to join Chris Paul and James Harden.
That move makes sense for Anthony since the New York Knicks are not considered a playoff contender in the upcoming season simply based on their reboot. The team had former NBA MVP Derrick Rose as the point guard last season along with his former Bulls’ teammate Joakim Noah. The injury-prone Rose did well for the Knicks but decided to skip town for Cleveland to try to assist LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in their title quest. New York drafted an unknown international talent at point guard in the NBA Draft when they selected Frank Ntilinka this past summer. It’s hard to expect the rookie to emerge as a star right away, and it’s hard to expect Carmelo Anthony to just want to stay around as New York tries to figure out what to do to find success.
All of these factors mentioned seem to point toward a good reason for an aging Carmelo Anthony to leave the New York Knicks. His All-Star talents are diminishing by the season. As Joe Giglio mentioned at NJ.com, the Portland Trail Blazers scenario makes more sense for Anthony, but he’s yet to “truly give his blessing” on that idea. So Anthony could be part of the Knicks’ rebuilding efforts for at least part of this season as he contemplates allowing a trade to other teams besides the Rockets. Still, as the latest NBA basketball world goes, most top stars eventually move on to new teams in hopes of finally capturing a championship, so Anthony probably will too.
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