Sheridan: What Could the Knicks Get For Carmelo Anthony?

Carmelo AnthonyWord on the street today is louder than ever that Carmelo Anthony wants out of New York.

How do we know this? Marc Berman and Frank Isola are writing it hard in the New York tabloids, and both of those fellas are as plugged into their team as any beat writers in North America.

You can bristle at Isola’s anti-Berman’s tweets – a constant source of amusement for anyone who follows the Knicks – and you can bristle at Berman’s wardrobe, which yours truly used to do back in the pre-Twitter days when we sat alongside each other in the old MSG press room.

But both of these guys are ace reporters, and when they write the Anthony trade story as hard as they wrote it today, you can bet your bottom dollar that something is afoot. (The New York Times that was home delivered to my driveway had a nice feature on Jeremy Tyler. For which I have two words: Who cares?) Here is the link to Berman’s story in the New York Post; and here is the link to Isola’s story in the New York Daily News.

Anyway, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

And Anthony’s short list is said to include three teams: the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers. None can offer Anthony the extra year and the extra $30 million he would get by opting out of his contract at the end of this season – which he has said he plans to do.

Unless, of course, they acquired Anthony before the NBA trade deadline.

With the Knicks running off the rails, Anthony is about to find out what it is like to be booed at Madison Square Garden after returning home from getting trounced in San Antonio, Houston and Dallas on their current road trip. They are 28th in our current Kamenetsky Bros. Power Rankings, and you can’t sink much lower than that.

So what are the Knicks to do?

Walsh-PacersIf they trade Anthony, they won’t reap the bounty that the Denver Nuggets collected when they dealt ‘Melo to New York three seasons ago. Josh Kroenke fleeced Jim Dolan to such a degree that it forced Donnie Walsh out of town. Trades like that do not happen anymore (unless Billy King is involved).

So the Knicks will have to settle, and we are here today to postulate on what they might settle for if Anthony is dealt to one of the above-mentioned teams.


Let’s start with the Lakers, who do not have an abundance of what the Knicks would be seeking – first-round draft picks. Los Angeles owes its 2015 pick to Phoenix and its 2017 pick to Orlando, meaning it cannot trade a first-round pick of its own until 2019. Their second-round picks in 2014 and 2015 have already been traded, too.

And in case you haven’t noticed, they are No. 1 in the Tankapalooza department after losing successive games to the Jazz, Sixers and Bucks. That sentence bears repeating: They just lost to the Jazz, Sixers and Bucks!

So what could Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak do to bring Anthony aboard this season, enabling them to offer ‘Melo that fifth year and $30 million?

lakers60knicks small logoPau Gasol, Nick Young and Chris Kaman to the Knicks for Anthony, J.R. Smith and Cole Aldrich. 

This would be like taking pennies back on the dollar, which is why the Knicks would probably look elsewhere — like down the hallway to the Clippers — for a more palatable deal. Both Gasol and Young are on expiring contracts, but Gasol is a keeper if he signs at a reasonable number in July. He has said that he won’t take a pay cut, but that just ain’t happening. The dropoff in his game has been significant this season, and brother Marc is now the better player.

Nick YoungThe no-brainer keeper in this trade would be Young, who few realize is the most efficient offensive player in the entire NBA based on advanced metrics. Check out this column from Jacob Eisenberg which explains the dynamic around Young, who still carries the label of a chucker rather than a scorer.

Young also will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and is due a hefty pay raise. But that is where the Knicks can come at him hard, using some of the money they would save by dumping Smith in this deal. Aldrich and Kaman would be included to match up the salaries.


You cannot see how this deal looks in the ESPN Trade Machine because Smith cannot be traded until Jan. 15. But the Knicks would be sending out approximately $28.6 million in salary and would be taking back $27.5 million. And once Amar’e Stoudemire comes off their cap after next season, they will be positioned for another rebuild. Only Raymond Felton ($3.89 million player option) would be on the cap for the 2015-16 season. And just a guess, but the rebuilding might start with Kevin Love and their lottery pick in 2015 because, yes, they would be a lottery team.


bulls small logoknicks small logoTaj Gibson, Luol Deng, the rights to Nikola Mirotic, or a future No. 1 pick, for Anthony

Getting Gar Forman to give up the rights to Mirotic will not be an easy task; he is widely considered the top NBA prospect in Europe but also has buyout issues that could be problematic. He is under contract in Spain through 2016-17 with a buyout of more than $3 million.

Nikola Mirotic, Real MadridThe over-the-cap Knicks and Bulls can pay only $500,000 toward that buyout unless they go under the cap — something that won’t happen in New York until Stoudemire comes off the books. The Bulls brass was in Spain last month talking with Mirotic’s team, Real Madrid. They won the ACB last season behind the MVP performance of the 22-year-old Mirotic, who was profiled here by Nick Gibson before our EuroLeague writer was pilfered by the Atlanta Hawks, where he is Danny Ferry’s rising front-office star. (For more on Mirotic, check out this nice piece by Ricky O’Donnell of Blog-a-Bull).


As for that No. 1 draft pick, it would not be easy to try that away from the Bulls, either. But the ace-in-the-hole pick they possess (from Charlotte in the Tyrus Thomas deal) is protected 1-10 for the upcoming draft. But with the Bobcats looking more and more like a playoff team, that pick will likely land in the late teens.

Knicks president Steve Mills could settle for the lesser of Chicago’s own pick or Charlotte’s pick, and Forman could put protection into the deal that would preclude the Knicks getting the Bulls’ 2014 pick, which figures to be a lottery pick unless this deal goes down.

Moving forward, the Bulls would have a two-superstar nucleus of Derrick Rose at point guard and Anthony at small forward or power forward (the latter could happen if the Bulls use the amnesty clause on Carlos Boozer this summer), along with their 2014 first-round pick. The Knicks would have two solid rotation players — assuming they can re-sign Deng over the summer.

To be fair, I can’t see the Bulls making this trade unless they felt a need to trumpet a better offer, such as the one listed below …

For now, you can check out how this trade looks (without Mirotic or a pick) in the ESPN Trade Machine.


clippers60knicks small logoBlake Griffin, Willie Green and Matt Barnes for Carmelo Anthony, Beno Udrih and Toure Murry

If the Knicks insist upon receiving a superstar in return, this is the best they might be able to do.

blakefunkDo the Clippers want to get rid of Griffin? No.

Do they think they have enough to compete for the Western Conference title as presently constituted? Probably not.

And remember, it has been well-documented that CP3 and ‘Melo discussed teaming up back at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Here we are six years later, and it could still happen if both teams are motivated to make moves.

Yes, Lob City would become diminished, unless ‘Melo gets some but the Clippers would become a stronger team offensively by adding Anthony’s pure scoring ability to replace Griffin’s athleticism.

As good as the Clippers are, does anyone in Donald Sterling’s front office truly believe they can get past the Spurs, Thunder or Blazers in a seven-game series? Heck, they might not even be able to get past the Golden State Warriors, who are their fiercest rival right now — and might just have the best rivalry in the entire NBA. And if Andrew Bynum clears waivers, they can add him as DeAndre Jordan’s backup.


One thing can be certain when talking about Dolan and any possibility that he might trade Anthony: He will not want to be seen as having given away the team’s most prolific superstar since Patrick Ewing without getting something special in return. A trade for Griffin is the only one of these three that provides Jimmy D. with that fallback.

Here is how this deal looks in ESPN’s Trade Machine.


Chris Sheridan is publisher and editor-in-chief of Follow him on Twitter.


  1. says

    Anonymous – Love em all especially the last cadnid shot (or was it?). May Hung & Van can always laugh and smile like in the last photo through thick and thin. Can’t wait to see the rest!

  2. Met says

    In addition to the remarks below. Keep in mind, The Donald is not signing off on Anthony for Griffin. … PERIOD

    Paul got EVERYTHING he could ask for in order to sign without shopping around … but it is folly to think he is currently in that same position. Yes, OF COURSE his voice still carries weight … but stop and think. Griffin for a guy who has been given every chance and accomplished nothing (of Historacle Magnitude on a TEAM basis), and is older, and seems to get coaches frustrated and in hot water, and who does not have the work ethic of Griffin (not that it is bad, it has improved over the years), is absurd. … the Donald simply won’t do it. I’ll eat not only my hat, but my entire wardrobe if he does.

    I don’t know that a trade to the Clips is impossible. … but it won’t be for Blake Griffin or CP3

  3. Met says

    So the writer makes the point that the Clippers as constructed may not be good enough to win the west with Griffin and Barnes … but COMPLETELY side steps the fact that they are FOR SURE not even close to good enough to with the West replacing Griffin with Anthony. … The idea that this is an “Upgrade” offensively for the Clippers is questionable. I won’t say questionable “at best.” But I will say questionable without a doubt. Griffin scores well and has a much higher shooting percentage. Strong in the pick and roll and a very good passer. … Griff is not a great defender AT THE RIM but overall is decent and not worse than Anthony. Griff is a good to great rebounder with untapped potential in that area as well.

    OF COURSE, Dolan would like this deal. I would like to trade my 2002 Honda Accord for a New Ferrari too, but who is going to be nutz enough to give up that Ferrari?

    … bottom line: Come on, Guys. Wake up.

  4. SD says

    I don’t think the Knicks will trade Carmelo like many of you. However, if Carmelo goes to a team in free agency, (he’d be smart to opt out to get 1 last long deal)…i think he’d go to the Lakers….that is IF he leaveas…Melo and Kobe are great friends (And in limited time together, have played well off of each other and could complement each other) Melo-Kobe PNR’s would be hell for defenses…The pressure would be less for Melo…he knows Kobe trusts him, believes him. Obviously, D’antoni would have to be fired…and with Cleveland picking up Mike Brown…Firing D’antoni isn’t as big of a financial issue because Lakers got some relief on that Brown deal. I think a trade chance is low because the Front Office of the Knicks does believe it will work with melo….Certainly I think the chances of them trading everyone else is much higher. I think it’s a 65% chance Melo stays and 35% chance he leaves. The knicks MUST make a move if he’s going to stay though.

  5. Daniel says

    You know, this website has become as unbearable to read as the Knicks have been to watch. If the writers here aren’t being combative with its readers in the comments section, then they’re piggy-backing off of news being pushed by the two biggest rags that print has to offer.

    And really, us readers are the suckers – because we just helped Sheridan get what the Daily News and the NY Post aim for every day: site hits off of nothing but rumour.

    Keep those advertising dollars flowing, Chris. Great work!

    • says

      Combative? I don’t think so. We are as entitled to our opinions as you are Daniel, and as far as your comments regarding the two tabloids … Berman and Isola are two of the best in the business. They have been on this beat since the 90s. They routinely kick the Old Grey Lady’s keister. It is not their fault that their newspapers have poor reputations.

      • Daniel says

        Chris, last week I got called a troll by one of your writers because I said I don’t think Paul Pierce is a Hall of Famer. It’s ok to disagree, it’s ok to even prove me wrong, but was it necessary to call me a troll? To make matters even worse, my comments were deleted, and I didn’t even insult anyone – except for maybe Paul Pierce.

        Now, you are correct – the NYT’s sports coverage in general stinks. And as far as Berman and Isola go, I know their resumes. But I also know that Jim Dolan owns a newspaper, too. And the best beat writer the Knicks ever had now works in the MSG studios. So, I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to assume that the competition between the newspapers in NY plays heavily into the types of headlines each chooses to run.

        I’m not a Jim Dolan apologist by any means, and as a die hard Knicks fan – this season has been unbearable. But I think you kind of hit it on the head when you said “who cares” about a Jeremy Tyler piece – because there’s hardly anything honest and interesting to write about right now when it comes to the Knicks. I’ll at least give the NYT credit for reporting news, and not pushing a “story” that, at best, is about how Carmelo Anthony woke up on the wrong side of the bed one morning.

        Look, no news equals no readers. No readers equals no advertising dollars. No advertising dollars equals no more newspaper. I would think you of all people would understand this after all your time at ESPN.

  6. jerry25 says

    The bottom line is, if Dolan refuses to trade Melo, the only feasible team with cap space would be the Lakers, and Melo + a struggling Kobe won’t work, especially with D’Antoni coaching. The Lakers could be terrible, and then Melo would be hated everywhere.

    Hence, as much as Melo may want to leave the Knicks on July 1, he is stuck in purgatory.

  7. Ryan says

    Bulls have by far the best assets to make a deal work:

    Expiring contracts: Luol Deng & Kirk Hinrich
    Young Cheap Assets: Jimmy Butler, Marquis Teague & Tony Snell
    Modestly Paid Assets: Taj Gibson
    Not on the roster Assets: Nikola Mirotic, CHA future 1st, Chicago 2014 1st

    Nobody has assets like that, and the Bulls would still have a core of Rose / Melo / Noah to go along with whoever is still on the roster after the trade.

    • jerry25 says

      As much as I hate the Knicks, Dolan isn’t trading Melo, even if Melo “thinks” he wants to go elsewhere.

      The Lakers just aren’t a better option than the Knicks, in part because Kobe got selfish and Buss was stupid enough to give Kobe a huge contract before seeing if he could play.

      When the shit hits the fan, Melo and his wife will take the extra money.

    • says

      All true. Also, Illinois does not have a millionaire’s tax as California does. It really comes down to whether ‘Melo wants to push it, and whether he’s bluffing or not. Beating the Spurs in San Antonio should calm things down … for a short while. Still a long time til the trade deadline.

  8. Adam says

    I really expected more out of Chris Sheridan. No mention is made how Anthony drove D’antoni out of New York and now that D’antoni is the Lakers coach, the Lakers will trade for Anthony? This makes less sense than remarrying your ex-wife after a nasty divorce.
    The bottom line is that Carmelo Anthony has shown that he doesn’t know how to play with others so these competing teams will never trade for him.

      • jerry25 says

        True, but why would Melo want to play with D’Antoni again. He doesn’t have a good option. What appears to be happening, however, is that Melo is going to try to push for a trade before the deadline, but fail. In turn, all the trade talk is going to cause the Knicks to lose even more games than otherwise.

        Regarding the remarks about Billy King – If not for Kirilenko’s back spasms (medical incompetence by Nets organization), and Lopez’ injuries (not to mention DWill et al), we wouldn’t be talking so much about the trade with Boston (only KG has been a failure as Pierce has been injured too, but only sucks on defense, otherwise). If healthy, Nets would be taking over New York basketball by now, and we’d just be saying that KG is being rested for the playoffs.

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