As the New York Knicks continue to struggle and the Carmelo Anthony rumors continue to pile up, the Knicks front office is going to be faced with a very tough decision on whether to trade their star player by the trade deadline, or watch him potentially walk in the offseason and get nothing in return.
Knicks’ owner James Dolan has been on record as saying he would not deal Anthony, but if we have learned anything in the past, you can’t take Dolan at his word.
There has been plenty of speculation around the league that Anthony will indeed look to continue his career elsewhere after the season as he is convinced he can’t win in New York.
That being said, the Knicks may be finally realizing that fact as for the first time there are reports that they are considering moving their star player.
Knicks’ club officials have discussed proposing a trade to the Clippers for Blake Griffin, league sources tell Chris Broussard of ESPN.com. The same sources say the Clippers front office has also had internal discussions about such a deal, but the two sides haven’t talked to each other about a potential deal yet.
The potential trade makes sense for the Knicks as they can get something of value in return for the Anthony and start building around Griffin and hopefully start bringing in some younger talent. If they pulled the trigger on such a deal, the Knicks would still have plenty of cap flexibility in 2015 to build a quality team.
The trade makes a little less sense for the Clippers though.
For one, they would need assurance that Melo would re-sign after the season, something I doubt they would get. But being that Anthony and Chris Paul initially wanted to team up in New York, there is a pretty good chance he would eventually commit to the Clippers.
However at the minimum it would put them in a position to offer Melo a max deal with an extra year and an extra 30 million, which could prove to be an advantage. The Clippers have been reported to really want Anthony next season, but they won’t be able to sign him as a free agent and won’t be allowed to pull off a sign-and-trade.
The biggest negative for the Clippers is the fact that they would have to part with Griffin, who is not only having a tremendous year, but is a favorite of Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
Griffin has really heated up as of late, averaging 26 points and nearly 11 rebounds in his past 10 games.
One source close to the situation said the Clippers’ latest round of talks ended in favor of keeping the 24-year-old.
Whether a Melo-Griffin deal is imminent or not, it is worth noting that the Knicks likely feel they won’t be able to retain Anthony in the offseason and may look to move him. If not to the Clippers than someone else, although Anthony’s contract will be very difficult to move.
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