Will Phil Jackson end up having the last laugh in his feud with Carmelo Anthony?
Well, if a report via Frank Isola is true, then it would appear that the New York Knicks would lose out on landing dazzling superstar Kyrie Irving because of Melo’s reluctance to waive his no-trade clause. Thus, Knicks fans would miss out on landing one of the game’s most exciting players who is still just 25 years-old because of Anthony’s preference on joining the Houston Rockets instead of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
But why would Melo pass up an opportunity to play with one of his best friends and the game’s best player, LeBron James – especially when considering the Eastern Conference is a cake walk to the NBA Finals compared to the much tougher Western Conference?
According to the Isola of the NY Daily News, Melo already sees the writing on the wall in regards to the future of Bron-Bron in Cleveland following the 2017-18 season.
The Knicks will contact Cleveland and make a pitch. The obvious move would be to trade Carmelo Anthony and a few first round picks for a bona-fide superstar. However, a source close to Anthony said late Friday that the All Star forward is focused on getting a deal done with Houston.
Anthony would have to waive his no-trade and there is no guarantee that Anthony would do that to join a Cavs team that didn’t have Irving. Also, Anthony probably knows better than anyone that LeBron is leaving next July.
The other option that is proposed by Isola is offering Kristaps Porzingis to the Cavaliers for Irving – although other contracts would have to be included for salary cap purposes. And after drafting rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina, it would appear not to make much sense trading your 21 year-old big man with a high ceiling for a scoring point guard.
Remember, scoring combo guards – which essentially is what Kyrie is, are much easier to find than 7’3 unicorn players like KP. Plus, the entire point of landing Kyrie would be to pair him with Porzingis to create a young 1-2 punch that could move the Knicks closer to becoming a contender as LeBron starts to hit the end of his prime.
Just remember, Melo could always opt out after next season even if he already knows James is leaving after next season. So while he’d be sacrificing around $25 million of his final year of the contract he signed with the Knicks a few years back, it would still allow him to escape a potential rebuilding situation in Cleveland that he clearly wouldn’t want to be part of.
And for the Knicks, this type of trade would have a much larger impact than anything facilitated with the Houston Rockets and the other teams in the recent blockbuster trades that have been discussed in recent weeks.