The Knicks Wall Roundtable: Should the Knicks Trade Carmelo Anthony?
Whether you want to admit it or not, the Knicks have a Carmelo conundrum. The Knicks Wall staff discuss if ‘Melo should stay or go.
We’ve all heard the rumors. We’ve all heard the speculations. We’ve all heard of the media nonsense.
But, can an actual Carmelo Anthony trade come into fruition?
Let’s get one thing out of the way first: The only way ‘Melo is sent out of New York is if he agrees to waive his no-trade clause — which is highly doubtful despite all of the reports of his unhappiness with the way the Knicks are performing.
So, now with that said, what do our writers feel about the pending topic that will dominate the Knicks headline over the summer?
Kyle Maggio, writer:
You have to trade Carmelo.
Look, we’ve had a rocky relationship with Carmelo, and though there have been good times, the underachievement of the Knicks in general have really put his time in New York under a negative light. Quite frankly, his value will not ever be this high again, not because he’s playing exceptionally well, but because his game is not aging well (currently, anyway) and while Carmelo still has some of that ‘superstar’ luster to his name, you have to get everything you can for him.
The only snag is, ‘Melo has a no-trade clause in his contract, and he seemingly loves playing and living in New York. That being said, he always talks about how much he wants to win.
The million dollar question is, however, does he simply want to win, or does he only want to win in New York?
The best course of action for the Knickerbockers is of course trading our star player. Youthful talent is now in the fold, and Afflalo is hoping to cash out on one more big contract, so hopefully that opens things up for Jerian Grant a bit if Afflalo leaves.
Obviously, you have the young stud in Kristaps Porzingis, and he MUST be the precious centerpiece going forward. You build him, and you do that with draft picks and cap space. Now, how would one ever acquire both of those things in one swift move?
You move Carmelo to the highest bidder. Try to load up on a few draft picks and a couple nice, young players, and see what happens. This team hasn’t gotten anywhere with Carmelo, and though I will always love Carmelo, it’s time we parted ways. It’s best for him to try and land with a contender, and it’s best for the Knicks to try and build around Kristaps.
Matt Spendley, writer:
I am a fan of Carmelo Anthony. He’s never been my favorite Knick, but I really do like the dude. I think that he genuinely loves being a Knick. He loves the lifestyle. He enjoys the fame and the bright lights. He has never shied away from taking a big shot (to the dismay of many Knicks fans). He knows what it would be like if he won a championship in New York with the Knicks. That’s why he forced a trade in the first place. Some of the reasons are superficial, but at the core of the transaction, ‘Melo came here to win.
I have thwarted ‘Melo detractors several times, and I have supported him through the last four or five years.
It’s been an adventure.
At points, it’s been a bumpier ride than hopping in a car with an angered Matt Barnes. But, through it all, there have been some amazing moments. Easter against the Bulls. Finishing 3rd in MVP voting in 2012–13. Dropping a Garden record 62 points that will stand for a long time, until Kristaps breaks it. I’ll remember those moments for as long as I continue to watch basketball.
Ever since the idea of ‘Melo being traded has been thrown around, I’ve dismissed it. The NBA is a simple league: You need superstars to win. If the Knicks were to trade ‘Melo, they would be going against this mantra. Despite all of this, over the last month, I have felt my tune changing.
Trading a superstar is never easy. It’s incredibly difficult to get full value for such a player. The Thunder got a year of Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb out of James Harden (I find it hard to believe that a trade will be worse than this one in the coming years. It was that bad). The Timberwolves managed to nab Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love. The more years that go on, the smarter teams get. The Knicks would certainly be able to get something of value for Anthony this summer, but it’s hard to see a scenario where they would come out like bandits.
And then there’s the presence of Anthony’s no trade clause. As long as he wants to be a Knick, he will be a Knick. He has shown no indication of wanting to waive this clause. His responses to reporters have become more lukewarm about the future as the season has gone on, but the fact remains that no reports have come out that he will waive the no trade clause. That will play a huge part in all of this during the summer.
Having considered all of this, as currently constituted, Carmelo Anthony doesn’t fit with this team.
The narrative that his timeline and the Knicks’ timeline are not on the same wavelengths has been discussed before, and it’s true. I think everyone has always known it. We haven’t wanted to admit that it’s the case, but it’s time to open our eyes. The best long term result for the Knicks would be to trade Carmelo Anthony this summer for an established player along with future draft picks or young talent. He still has tremendous value around the league, and he would fit in with almost any team as a scoring forward that can shoot the basketball.
I never wanted it to come to this. I wanted to watch Melo win here in New York. The simple truth is that it’s not a reality anymore. The Knicks need to start building this team around Kristaps Porzingis, and that entails putting players beside him that are young. Anthony and Porzingis are a good fit together, but that doesn’t matter anymore. The Knicks need to restock the cupboard with assets.
If the Knicks were to trade Melo, they would essentially be admitting defeat. They would be saying that the Carmelo Anthony project did not work out, and that the goal to win a championship was never achieved.
And they would be right.
Peter Saclarides, writer:
It feels like there’s been some rumor surrounding Carmelo Anthony waiving his no-trade clause and leaving New York for as long as I’ve been alive, but through all the clickbait, interviews, and “sources”, nothing has happened.
With the Knicks crawling to the end of the 2015–16 season, and missing the playoffs for the third year in a row, it’s looking like ‘Melo could want out of New York if the team doesn’t upgrade in free agency.
Some Knick fans have wanted Melo out since he re-signed, but to me, it just wouldn’t make sense to trade him at this point.
‘Melo has led the team in points, assists, rebounds, and steals per game — the only player in the league to do so. To trade him would not only destroy the Knicks’ ability to win now, but it would also make free agents to completely look over New York in the offseason, and undoubtedly cause instability within the organization, if there isn’t already enough after the firing of Derek Fisher.
Even if ‘Melo wants out of New York, what could the Knicks get for him?
Anthony has already begun to exit his prime, and is no longer one of the best scorers in the league, meaning teams likely wouldn’t give up a high first round pick, or valuable young player for ‘Melo.
“Depends on the Deal”
Reid Goldsmith, writer:
This is a difficult decision for me.
Initially I hated the ‘Melo trade. I thought it was superfluous and we gave up too many assets. Then, I actually watched how Carmelo played and I loved it.
So, with the question of whether to trade him or not, what sticks out in my mind is what we give up and what we gain. Ultimately, if Anthony expresses his dissatisfaction with the direction of the organization (head coach Kurt Rambis, bad free agency) then I would understand trading him. Gaining assets, maybe even a first round pick in this draft would be a tremendous opportunity when dealing Anthony, even though we would miss him.
I don’t believe the franchise has done enough for Carmelo.
Maybe he himself had acted selfishly at one point and he would admit that. But, now he certainly shows willingness to give up the ball or stay the course, patiently waiting to return to title contending.
Maybe this hardship is what needs to happen and he will succeed with Porzingis by his side. But if he isn’t willing to stick through the obstacles (I’m sure many of us wouldn’t) then it’s time to press reset and find a suitable trading partner.
Ryan Punzalan, editor:
ME: Hey, Carmelo. I think you should waive your no-trade clause.
Carmelo: What? Why? No!
ME: Well, because you’re not going to win a championship here.
Carmelo: But, I want to stay here and help the team win. Help Kristaps become a legit superstar for years to come.
ME: Yeah, but you’re just slowing down the rebuilding process in New York.
Carmelo: We’re not in a rebuilding process.
ME: Well, that’s the problem.
Carmelo: What do you mean?
ME: *walks away*
There are two very different timelines on the Knicks right now: Carmelo Anthony’s timeline and Kristaps Porzingis’ one.
That’s not what should happen in New York.
The Knicks should trade Carmelo Anthony, but should do so cautiously. The team cannot afford to attach prized draft picks and or youths alongside ‘Melo just to get him out of New York.
Rather, the franchise should look to acquire those pieces that can be used to properly build around budding superstar and 20-year-old monster Kristaps Porzingis.
I’m a firm believer in the “depends on the deal” mantra. Don’t hemorrhage your future to appease one party. The Knicks need to make a smart decision that can benefit the future.
So, here’s what the Knicks should do: They should dangle ‘Melo in the offseason, see what’s out there, then decide whether or not to pull the trigger. He’s too valuable to just toss out on the street for nothing, yet he’s too volatile to stay (in the sense of hurting the team developmentally).
I love ‘Melo. I’ve always rooted for him, but perhaps we’re seeing the last legs of his days donning the orange and blue.