Carmelo Anthony Traded to Oklahoma City

After an entire summer filled with rumors and teases, the Carmelo Anthony saga has finally come to an end in New York. New York dealt Anthony this morning to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a 2018 second round pick. A move made by two franchises heading in different directions, let’s take a look at what this trade means for both teams involved.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Just like other teams in the West, the Thunder are going all in. They went out this summer and acquired Paul George to help Russell Westbrook offensively. This move now adds even more offensive firepower to OKC. While Melo has earned a bad reputation over the past two seasons, he can still score with the best in the league. He has, and will, always have his troubles defensively, but a motivated Carmelo Anthony is still good for 20 points and 7 rebounds on a given night.

Carmelo’s stock has been steadily trending down thanks to Phil Jackson. It’s not news that the Zen Master and Anthony never got along in New York. Melo never fit into Phil’s aged triangle offense. The rift led to a checked out Carmelo,  confused front office, and a frustrated fan base. In a new city, with All-Star talent around him, I expect a rejuvenated player, one who is far better than the 64th best player in the league. He does come with flaws, but it was a move OKC had to make in an attempt to knock off Golden State this year.

New York Knicks

The Knicks are officially putting the franchise in the hands of Kristaps Porzingis, if he’ll have it. After skipping his exit interview, and with rumors circulating about the Latvian star’s poor relationship with coach Jeff Hornacek, there is a bit of uncertainty in the air as to how long Porzingis will stay with the Knicks. For now though, the team is his. The youth movement has begun. No rebuilding on the fly; no disgusting, overpaid contracts. The New York Knicks are tanking and looking to rebuild around their young star.

This rebuild has been a long time coming in New York. In years past, owner James Dolan would never allow such a thing, choosing to hand out generous contracts to underperforming players. Now however, with new GM Scott Perry at the helm, the Knicks are pointed in the right direction. Alongside Porzingis, the Knicks will look for Willy Hernangomez to continue his development. The all-rookie selection last year will give New York an exciting and young front court when paired next to Porzingis or the newly acquired Kanter. Opportunity is also there for players such as McDermott, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, and 2017 first-round pick Frank Ntilikina, to learn and grow in Hornacek’s offense.

These two teams are trending in different directions. The Thunder are looking to challenge the Warriors and win the Western Conference. The Knicks have their eyes set on Marvin Bagley or Michael Porter Jr, rather than an NBA championship this year. It was a move that had to be made; Melo’s time in New York was done. His career continues in OKC, where I think he still has a lot to contribute. New York needed to part ways in order to truly start a rebuild, now they can. This is a move that could end up benefiting both teams.

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[…] NBA history is going to be a hard act to follow, especially with the additions of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. Russ is still the most exciting player in the league, and will remain among the league’s elite, […]