(Photo via theodysseyonline.com)
Here we go again. As Thursday’s trade deadline comes around, it’s only fair I tell you why the Knickerbockers need to deal Carmelo Anthony if they want to save their franchise before they turn into the next 76ers.
Before diagnosing whether or not you should keep a player as valuable as Anthony may be, the question you need to ask is this; Does this player make the team better or worse? My answer might surprise you.
I don’t think Carmelo Anthony makes the team immediately worse, but I firmly believe that he doesn’t help the team as much as someone else could. Melo has sexy stats, but in my opinion, scoring is an inflated stat that I hate to use. The reason he is always in the top tier in scoring is because he is taking all the shots. If you look at his efficiency, the tune changes a little.
Now people will counter by saying he’s never had a number two. The reason Melo takes a high volume of shots is because he doesn’t have a partner in crime like so many of the leagues best teams. I’ll counter that by asking “who does fit with Melo then?”
Anthony primarily uses his isolation style offense, which is often individually effective, but the team can’t win like that. On a good shooting night, they can survive, but in a comparative seven game series, there’s no way they could survive by playing one on one.
So what’s my answer?
Under the current circumstances, I would deal the Syracuse superstar. You have a promising young talent in Porzingis, so I would build around him. If you get a good scoring guard like a Westbrook (who could likely be parting ways with Durant and OKC after 2017), the possibilities of team synergy looks much better. Listen, I know trading for Westbrook wouldn’t be easy, but a guy like him would have almost complete freedom in the Knick offense and would thrive with Porzingis, who’s versitility is like that of Westbrook’s current team mate, Kevin Durant.
Also, the Knicks have mortgaged their first round pick this year and their second round pick for 4 years to come in failed attempts to build around Anthony. As the shark could attest as a finance major, you need to know when to cut your losses. Sometimes taking a small loss is the right thing to do to prevent bigger problems.
But it’s important to remember Melo has a no trade clause in his contract, so any deal needs to go through him anyway. It’ll be interesting to see what moves the Knicks make ahead of the trade deadline, if any, but I surely wouldn’t mind them sending Melo out the door to a title contender with young talent to offer.
– R. Ilardi