A huge decision is on the cards for New York Knicks president Phil Jackson as he considers either holding on or letting go of his star small forward Carmelo Anthony.
“Phil Jackson’s plan conflicts with Anthony’s win-now plan. It always did. Kristaps Porzingis, the future of the franchise, is 20. Carmelo is 31 with 12 seasons under his belt and nearly 32,000 minutes on his legs.” Frank Isola of New York Daily News said.
The Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Clippers are among the teams where Anthony could land before the trade deadline (Feb. 18) and the star forward will instantly make these teams legit players for the NBA title this season.
A major factor in Carmelo’s future is the “no-trade clause” in his current deal with the Knicks. The former Denver Nuggets star has veto power over any trade moves and should agree to any deal the Knicks will make. Anthony has three years remaining on his five-year contract worth $124 million.
What could hold back a potential move for Carmelo is his US $22.8 million annual salary. Any new team which trades for the small forward has to match the annual salary with a player or collection of players, according to NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) rules.
There is also a 15 percent trade kicker in Anthony’s contract which increases over the course of the final three seasons.
Despite the probable financial obstacles in any Carmelo Anthony trade, here are the options for the Knicks, according to ESPN’s Trade Machine.
1) Knicks-Clippers Trade: Carmelo Anthony for Blake Griffin
This move would be suitable for both parties as Anthony could pair up with Chris Paul, who is considered a close friend by Melo. The Clippers also unload the troubled Griffin who is involved in a team controversy.
The Knicks on the other hand will have an athletic front court of Griffin and Kristaps Porzingis in the next few years and re-start their rebuild process.
2) Knicks-Bulls Trade: Carmelo Anthony for Derrick Rose, Doug McDermott and Future Draft Picks
The Knicks certainly need a point guard and Derrick Rose, when healthy, could fill in perfectly for them. Although not the player he once was, Rose has started more games than Anthony this season and will provide a suitable upgrade over any point guards Knicks’ possess at the moment.
This is purely a financial move for the Knicks but the future draft picks can help New York in their rebuild and McDermott is a nice prospect alongside Porzingis.
3) Knicks-Celtics Trade: Carmelo Anthony for Avery Bradley, David Lee and Multiple Future Draft Picks
The third scenario will see Bradley fill in the position of a point guard which Knicks need and David Lee will come back to his former club. The future draft picks are the key here and the Celtics can give the Knicks the projected lottery pick owed by the Brooklyn Nets in the upcoming 2016 draft.
Meanwhile, the Celtics get a real star to complement their deep line-up.
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