This is a question that is hard to tell, but at least we have hints. What team would he go to in order for him to waive his no trade clause? Carmelo has enjoyed six plus seasons as the leader of the Knicks and hasn’t been able to get them past the second round of the playoffs. This has led to the Knicks front office realizing, they have an aging 32 year old who hasn’t transitioned his game and is owed 24 million dollars this season. Carmelo still has two years left on his contract and you will have to adapt your offense in order to make him happy. So who on earth would want Carmelo on their roster? When he has many negatives he brings if you trade for him.
There are three teams in the league that will take the bait and trade for him. We will start out West in Clipper land, where they’re rumored to be the front runner to obtain Carmelo’s services. LA has come back and said that they won’t give up anybody in the big three of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordon. The problem is, with the injury to Chris Paul who is projected to be out another month. LA would have to ship out Jamal Crawford, Austin Rivers and Wesley Johnson who are currently healthy leaving the Clippers with no depth at the guard position. Acquiring Carmelo wouldn’t change the fact that the Clippers would have a tough matchup with the Warriors. This would at least give themselves a punchers chance and if they had some luck turn their way, then they might have a small window to compete in the playoffs. Stay tuned to see if LA will decide to pull the trigger on a deal or stand pat and wait for Paul to comeback healthy.
We stay out West and look to the OKC Thunder. Word has come out that the Thunder are intrigued to bring Carmelo to Oklahoma City. The Thunder offense just took a major blow when Enes Kanter broke his forearm when he did his best UFC impression on a chair during a timeout. This will force GM Sam Presti into action and make a move to fill that void and help Westbrook not have to shoulder as much of the burden on offense. Carmelo might not be Kevin Durant, but he is better than Rudy Gay who the Thunder were targeting before he blew out his Achilles heel ending his season. The Thunder would send Cameron Payne, Jerami Grant, Anthony Morrow’s expiring contract and a future pick in exchange for Anthony and Kyle O’Quinn to get the deal done
Last but not least is a surprise team that nobody is talking about in the Carmelo Sweepstakes. It’s none other than the (Drumroll please) Philadelphia 76ers. Who can provide an intriguing offer and is very close to New York where La La (Carmelo’s wife) doesn’t have to move too far away. Philly would send the artist formerly known as Ersan Ilyasova’s expiring contract and Jahlil Okafor for Anthony. This trade would benefit both teams immensely. For Philly this gives them a proven veteran to help that Sixers young core with the leadership they need to go with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. For the Knicks this gives them a young center they can develop to pair along with Kristaps Porzingis. Who knows this move could actually make the Sixers squeak into the playoffs this season and propel them to compete with the Celtics next season for the division title.
Regardless, Wherever Carmelo ends up the Knicks are better off trading him and let the young players play. Have this be the first place you see that the Knicks should tank, run the offense through Porzingis and play Willy Hernangomez, Justin Holiday, Ron Baker, whoever they receive in a Carmelo trade and Mindaugas Kuzminskas more minutes. Or Carmelo could not waive his no trade clause then him and Derick Rose can continue to take Porzingis out of the offense and the young players don’t get the playing time they need to thrive. All while the Knicks barely make the playoffs only to get smoked by the Cavs in the first round. This will be fun to see the direction the team decides on, let’s hope it’s the right one.