Despite how things ended for him in the Big Apple, Portland Trail Blazers small forward Carmelo Anthony continues to be linked in rumors involving his former team, the New York Knicks. With Leon Rose currently serving as the team’s president of basketball operations, some people think that Anthony may consider playing for the Knicks again in the 2019-20 NBA season. The 10-time NBA All-Star may have expressed his desire to remain with the Trail Blazers, but a return to New York will remain a possibility until he officially signs a new contract in the upcoming 2020 free agency.
In a recent episode of The Putback, Ian Begley of SportsNet New York talked about several topics, including Melo’s potential return to the Knicks. Aside from his connection with Rose, Begley believes another factor that could influence Anthony’s decision to head back to New York is Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul, who is rumored to be one of the Knicks’ top targets on the trade market in the 2020 offseason. If they acquire CP3 from the Thunder, he thinks that the Knicks will have a better chance of signing Anthony in the 2020 free agency.
“If his buddy Chris Paul gets traded to the Knicks,” Begley said, as quoted by Jeffrey Ballone of Fansided’s Daily Knicks. “That certainly increases the odds that Carmelo Anthony ends up back here in New York.”
Though they didn’t find success when they played together for the Houston Rockets, it wouldn’t be surprising if Anthony really decides to reunite with Paul this fall. Melo and CP3 are close pals and both members of the infamous Banana Boat Crew. They may no longer be in their prime, but they could still bring major changes to New York.
The duo of Anthony and Paul may not be enough to turn them into an instant title contender in the Eastern Conference, but they could make them a more competitive team in the 2020-21 NBA season. Aside from what they could contribute on both ends of the floor, the two veterans could also serve as great mentors to the young core of RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina, and Dennis Smith Jr.
If they are really interested in teaming up next year, bringing Paul and Anthony to New York wouldn’t be hard for the Knicks. A veteran minimum deal may be enough to convince Anthony to sign with the Knicks. To acquire Paul via trade, they could simply offer a trade package that includes a young player and/or a future first-round pick to Oklahoma City.