Mega Deal Involving Carmelo Anthony And Cavs Possible?

Feb 4, 2016; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) looks on during the first quarter against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 4, 2016; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) looks on during the first quarter against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

According to recent reports, the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, and Cleveland Cavaliers have at least discussed a mega-deal involving stars Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love.

The past week has been a bizarre one for the New York Knicks and now, it’s only getting weirder.

After firing head coach Derek Fisher on Monday and various reports coming out about Fisher having a relationship with ex-Knick Tim Hardaway Jr.’s girlfriend as well as Fisher going on vacation with Matt Barnes‘ ex-wife, team president Phil Jackson told the media that everyone except Kristaps Porzingis and Carmelo Anthony will be available at the trade deadline.

Now, it seems that at least one of those names may actually be up for sale.

According to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, the Knicks have at least had discussions with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics about a mega-deal centered around Anthony and Cavs power forward Kevin Love.

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According to the report, the Celtics would receive Love, the Cavs would take Melo, and the Knicks would get back picks and role players, one of which is believed to be former Knick Timofey Mozgov. In order for the deal to get done, Anthony would have to waive his no-trade clause.

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While the deal has yet to progress and Anthony himself has said he doesn’t have much of a desire to make a move right now, this is at least a fun trade to think about.

Melo himself has been magnificent this season when he’s played, arguably putting together his most complete season at 31 years old. While his scoring numbers have dropped down to 21.4 points per game, he’s posting career highs in both defensive rebounds (6.5 per game) and assists (4.2 per game).

The core problem with Anthony has been his knees, specifically his surgically repaired one. While he’s missed a relatively small amount of games, the Knicks have gone 0-7 in those games Melo can’t suit up and at the tail end of his prime, it’s reasonable to assume that Anthony’s health will be a major story for the remainder of his career in New York.

In order for any trade to get done that would end with Love in Boston, the Celtics would likely have to dump the $15 million owed to David Lee, likely sending Lee back to where he started his career in New York. The problem here is that in terms of players, the Knicks don’t need Mozgov or Lee and this would rely heavily on the Celtics plethora of future draft picks.

Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 4.03.01 AM
Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 4.03.01 AM /

For the Celtics, this would obviously finally give them a star player they can legitimately build around.

At 32-23 and third place in the Eastern Conference, Boston has been arguably the NBA’s most surprising team this year, but with only Isaiah Thomas as an All-Star and with no real stars but various draft picks, the Celtics have been mentioned in almost every major trade rumor as we steamroll into the deadline.

Love has been a bit of a disappointment in Cleveland, despite the Cavs scoring 8.8 more points per 100 possessions with Love on the floor compared to when he’s off.

New Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue has made a commitment to getting his star more involved alongside LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, but the Love era in Cleveland might simply be one that ends up not working out and with five years left on his contract, the Cavs will have to trade him or figure out a way to fix it.

The Cavs have plenty to lose in a deal like this. Already with plenty of turnover within the organization after firing David Blatt, trading away the 27-year-old Love for Anthony — whose knees have begun to become an issue for the Knicks — might work out for the next year or two, but could -hurt Cleveland in the long term once LeBron moves on from basketball.

At the end of the day, this trade will likely go down next to the Kobe-for-LeBron deal as something that’s fun to think about years from now, but simply never actually could have happened.

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While Boston would finally get a legitimate star, the Cavaliers would be risking their long-term plans and the Knicks would essentially be hitting the reset button and putting all their hopes and dreams on the lofty shoulders of Porzingis. Still though, it’s hard not to imagine “what if.”