Per Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe:
“The Knicks haven’t given up hope on including the Celtics as a partner in a potential deal for Carmelo Anthony, sending a scout to Saturday’s Celtics-Bucks game.”
“A source indicated that Knicks president Phil Jackson has instructed management to move Anthony, who has a no-trade clause but included the Celtics as one of the teams for whom he’d waive the clause.”
“An NBA source said Celtics coach Brad Stevens would embrace coaching Anthony, but president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has rejected any deal.”
Ainge is understandably hesitant about puling the trigger on this deal; Melo is 32 and showing signs of decline, while also playing heavy iso-ball and putting forth minimal defensive effort. But if you’re the Celtics you have to make this trade. Boston has been piling up assets for years now just waiting for a disgruntled superstars to pop up on the trade market, and I know their crown jewel is still Boogie Cousins, but Carmelo can be had for pennies on the dollar RIGHT NOW. Neither of those things can be said about Boogie.
For as much as Melo has been criticized, and often rightly so, he is still a supremely gifted scorer that can drop 30 on any given night. Critics love to point out his iso-heavy style of offense and his lackadaisical defensive effort but have you seen how Carmelo plays at the Olympics? Sure it’s not the same competition, but that guy absolutely changes his game when he’s put into a quality basketball situation.
And while the Knicks are absolutely not a good place for basketball, Boston most certainly is, with genius Brad Stevens at the helm. There is no doubt in my mind Coach Stevens would make the Celtics into an offensive powerhouse with both Isaiah Thomas and Carmelo Anthony on the floor. And slotting Melo at the 4 alongside Horford would create matchup nightmares for any opponent. Sure, defensively there would be issues to sort out, but really how much worse can they be giving Kelly Olynyk and Amir Johnson’s minutes to Carmelo Anthony? People forget that Melo is a good post defender, when he wants to be, and I’d like to think he’d give his best effort on a contender.
Plus, the Celtics could pull this off and not even mortgage their future plans. Amir Johnson, Jonas Jerekbo, Crowder/Bradley, Jaylen Brown and a future 1st would be a far more enticing offer than the tantalizing combo of Austin Rivers and Jamal Crawford Doc Rivers could send in a trade.
A core of IT, Bradley/Crowder, Smart, Horford, Melo AND the Brooklyn picks would be a group of talent that could threaten LeBron’s streak of dominance. And that’s far more interesting than anything the Celtics have going right now.