The New York Knicks currently sit at 10th in the eastern conference with a 16-19 record. Although only 5 games out of 6th place, this is not what the team, or the fans, expected at this point in the season. After signing Joakim Noah to his rather large contract, signing Courtney Lee and trading for point-guard Derrick Rose to pair with Carmelo Anthony and cornerstone Kristaps Porzingis, many thought, including Rose himself, that this was going to be the “super team” the Knicks have sought after for so long. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case.
The problem? Well, fundamentally, it can be blamed on lack of defense, passing and the fact that the team hasn’t fully gelled yet. But at what point do the Knicks start asking questions like, “Is it time for a complete re-build?” Much of the Knicks’ woes, outside of those previously mentioned, are that the team is comprised of mostly 2010 All-NBA talent; this is the most true for superstar Carmelo Anthony.
Anthony, who is at the brisk age of 32 and currently in his 14th season in the league, is having a down year. Although that’s not saying much, as he’s still averaging 22 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists, he is shooting a career low 42% from the field and that’s certainly not helping the cause. Many could agree that the Carmelo Anthony project has been less than successful, as they’ve only made the playoffs three times since he has arrived; making it out of the first round only once. And although that can’t all be put on Anthony, he has done his fair share of harm in regards to the poor playoff record.
Anthony is still an all-star level talent who shows flashes of his old self, so despite those who believe we should continue to stick it out with Anthony, it may be in the Knicks’ best interest to trade him while his value is still high so that they can begin a full rebuild. The problem, however, lies in Anthony’s no trade clause. While deserving of the clause, it puts a wrench in any plans the Knicks had in moving him for young pieces or other valuable assets. Because of the clause, Melo can only be traded if he gives the ok. Meaning that the only places he would want to go to are contenders; He wants that ring just as bad as the Knicks want a winning season. And although the market for contenders isn’t impossible to work with, it does knockout 3/4 of the teams that might actually be interested in Anthony.
Most likely destinations he would be ok with being traded to include the Los Angeles Clippers, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Boston Celtics. While all have assets, none have more than the Celtics. And since they need a pure scorer of Anthony’s caliber, they would make the most sense. The trade with the Celtics would look something like this: Jae Crowder, Amir Johnson and a first round pick for Carmelo Anthony. This would give the Knicks the defensive stopper they need in Jae crowder, plus a pick in this loaded draft coming up; oh…and Amir Johnson. But again, who knows whether or not Anthony would actually be ok with leaving the sacred orange and blue.
The Knicks will be playing the Milwaukee Bucks again tonight as part of their home and home against them. If they drop tonight’s game, they will fall to 16-20 and be in some serious trouble. The game airs on ESPN at 8 pm.