By Tom Bogert
CBS Local Sports
Carmelo Anthony wants to be in New York, and New York loves a star like Anthony. Unfortunately, as currently constructed, the Knicks' timetable for success doesn't fit with Anthony's. So let's be irresponsible and irrational and pretend he hasn't said 1,000 times that he wants to stay in the Big Apple.
It's not just Anthony. The Knicks' timetable doesn't really fit with many players on their roster, because their timetable is Kristaps Porzingis. Their ceiling is whatever the 7-foot-3 Latvian, who still cannot legally consume alcohol in his new country, forcibly elevates it to. If he catches one of those foot injuries that seem to plague players of his size, then the Knicks revert to what they have been since the turn of the century.
Without Porzingis, this is an old roster bereft of much hope, especially since their 2016 first-round draft pick belongs to either Denver or Toronto, the remnants of the trade that acquired Anthony and then a later one that netted the Knicks Andrea Bargnani.
Why it's unclear who will own the Knicks' pick on draft night is because, initially, the Nuggets had the right to swap the draft pick with their own. So the Knicks were in line for the worse of the Nuggets/Knicks pick, which would've still been a decent one this season, as both teams have been lousy.
Then the Knicks traded that pick to the Raptors for Bargnani, which was just as insane then as it is now. During two seasons at The Garden, Bargnani appeared in just 71 games. He managed to average between a semi-respectable 13 and 15 points per game over those two seasons, buoyed by absolutely-not-respectable defending and a litany of plays that ended up in SportsCenter's Not Top 10.
Reminder: He tore an elbow ligament on a failed attempt to dunk. If that isn't a microcosm of the Knicks under owner James Dolan then nothing is.
It's time for the Knicks to be on the other side of a star-for-the-farm trade for once, and it's time for Anthony to have a chance to contend.
With Anthony's no-trade clause, his suitors are limited to big markets, one would assume.
These discussions are largely specious anyway. Anthony hasn't displayed even a shadow of doubt from his continual reiteration to stay in New York with the Knicks.
But, here goes anyway.
We've heard enough about Melo for Kevin Love or Melo for Blake Griffin, so we'll leave those out for the sake of redundancy, even though we believe that Anthony for Griffin is a beautiful mirage.
5. L.A. Lakers receive: Carmelo Anthony
Knicks receive: D'Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Roy Hibbert
The only reason that Los Angeles even gets in the discussion is due to its market and Anthony's no-trade clause.
Most of the season, Russell hasn't looked like the bright prospect that was unanimously blurted on draft night. But how many players would be successful under the archaic tutelage of Byron Scott, playing next to the Kobe Bryant farewell tour of contested midrange jumpers and the circus that is Nick Young and Hibbert? Answer: not many.
If Anthony were to consider waiving his no-trade clause and said Los Angeles would be the best place, then this would be a respectable deal for Jackson to conjure up, but not the best that a Los Angeles team has to offer, as aluded to with the Griffin-for-Anthony idea.
Russell, who a lot of fans, hoped he would fall to New York in the draft last summer, and Randle and Porzingis would be on the same career arc and hit their apotheosis together.
Los Angeles would do it because, well, they're the Lakers. They think this would automatically elevate them to contender status -- as if they haven't seen what's happened in New York since the Knicks acquired Melo -- and provide a perfect next man up to take the mantle from Bryant.
4. Phoenix receives: Brooklyn 2016 first-round pick, Dallas 2016 first-round pick, Knicks 2016 second-round pick, Amir Johnson, Jose Calderon, Kelly Olynyk, Terry Rozier
Boston receives: Carmelo Anthony, TJ Warren
Knicks receive: Eric Bledsoe, PJ Tucker, Jonas Jerebko
The Phoenix Suns have been a dumpster fire. They went from the lovable, overachieving team that had no business being in the race for the eighth seed in the playoffs to a clown car clunking down the road. That all happened real quick. They moved point guards just as quickly. Wait, once upon a time Isaiah Thomas, Goran Dragic and Bledsoe all at the same time? Woah.
After they dumped Markieff Morris, they are to the point to sell off players for assets — again. So moving Bledsoe for a bundle of picks makes sense.
Anthony wouldn't shove off his no-trade clause to go to the Suns, and the Suns would have no interest in Anthony due to his age. Well, they shouldn't, but don't put it past that front office. So Boston enters the deal to try and conjure Melo to ditch New York and chase a title.
The Knicks would get younger while netting an above-average point guard, something they need desperately. They also get to move on from Calderon, which is cool, too.
3. Miami receives: Carmelo Anthony, Aaron Afflalo, Langston Galloway
Knicks receive: Justice Winslow, Goran Dragic, Luol Deng
This trade only occurs if the Miami Heat plan on bringing Dwyane Wade back, Chris Bosh's health concerns are allayed and if Galloway is a piece they're intrigued in and want to keep. If all that is true in Pat Riley's head, this registers as a fair deal.
Dragic isn't working with Wade. The former wants to run, the latter wants a brisk walking pace. This offseason he'll still have multiple years left on his max deal signed last year, so Riley would get out from under that burden, and the Knicks could offer him a change of scenery to recapture his Phoenix form.
Obviously the Knicks wouldn't contemplate a trade with Miami if Winslow isn't involved, especially as Miami wouldn't be able to give up a first-round pick until 2020. That's too far away for the Knicks. Plus the Heat plan on being good, so the value in the draft pick would be minimal.
For the Knicks, the 29-year-old Dragic doesn't fit Porzingis' career arc, but Winslow certainly does. Winslow, much like Porzingis, is a very compatible piece, this due to his "D and 3" ability to fit into the modern NBA. The core going forward in New York would consist of Dragic, Winslow, Porzingis and Lopez. They'd have two players who help the team stay competitive now in Lopez and Dragic, with two others selling Knicks fans real hope. Not the hope of Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis, but youth that could spend more than a decade playing for the Knicks. That's a real plan.
That team would almost certainly have to ditch the triangle. Let Dragic get into the pick-and-roll, let those boys run on the fast break as often as possible. Add an above-average shooting guard into that mix, and that's a real-life starting five.
2. Cleveland receives: Carmelo Anthony
Utah receives: Eric Bledsoe
Phoenix receives: Kevin Love
Knicks receive: Dante Exum, Washington 2016 first-round pick (via Phoenix), Trey Lyles, Mirza Teletovic, Devin Booker, TJ Warren
For Cleveland to essentially swap Love for Anthony, that's a win for general manager LeBron James and the rest of the Cleveland front office. Anthony just turns into a better version of Love, while taking the mantle of second banana away from Kyrie Irving for at least a year or two in a bid to get his elusive ring.
Phoenix unclogs its guard position to fully hand Brandon Knight the keys, and the Suns get a star back in Love. Utah badly needs that point guard, but the Jazz may be hesitant to pull the plug on Exum and ship Lyles, a budding rookie, out of town. But they receive proven quality who's still young -- Bledsoe is just 26. They instantly become a fun team that can get to the second round in the playoffs with room to improve with Gordon Hayward, Rudy Gobert, Derrick Favors and Bledsoe all within their early to mid 20s.
The Knicks, like Utah, desperately need a point guard, but they don't need one urgently. Exum's ceiling is high, and he's the same age as Porzingis. A perfect marriage. The Knicks, in total, trade Anthony and get Exum and Washington's first-round pick in return. That's a good return.
1. Washington receives: Carmelo Anthony, Langston Galloway
Knicks receive: Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr., Drew Gooden and J.J. Hickson
On paper, the John Wall-Brad Beal duo was meant to be perfect. Beal's shooting would alleviate where defenders would normally pack the paint against Wall and his subpar deep game.
But Beal has simply just been hurt too often, amongst other problems in Washington this season. Porter looked like a bust for a whil,e but has since showed some signs. If the Wizards could land Anthony, they'd vault up into the top four in the East, where many projected they'd be this season. Galloway is a nice sweetener to push the deal over the line.
For the Knicks to get a 22-year-old Beal who, when fit, has played at a borderline all-star level (and not the 2016 Kobe Bryant all-star level, mind you) at their weak guard position would be an immense return. As well as taking a role on Porter, the Knicks would be frantically drawing up the paperwork before Washington would have a chance to change its mind.
A duo of Porzingis and Beal for years to come is a scary thought for teams in the Eastern Conference.
As a fan of repetitive disappointment and frustration, Tom holds Liverpool FC, the New York Knicks and New York Red Bulls near and dear to his heart with occasional joy coming from the New York Giants and New York Yankees.
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