The Knicks have to unload Carmelo Anthony. Thursday’s NBA trading deadline might be the last chance.
Yes the salary cap is going up this summer, and the Knicks will easily be able to squeeze in a superstar, should Kevin Durant (or someone of his ilk) want to move to Gotham.
But in the last few years, that hasn’t quite worked out. It feels like the Knicks have been clearing cap room foreve years to land a star. They had to overpay for Amare Stoudemire in 2010, and I was all for that at the time because it’d been so long since they had a star or made the playoffs (2004!).
So has the Carmelo Anthony trade.
Since arriving in New York in February 2011, here’s what the Knicks have done with Melo:
2011: 42-40, swept in the 1st round by the Celtics
2012: 36-30, lost in the 1st round to the Heat 4-1, fired coach Mike D’Antoni
2013: 54-28, lost in the 2nd round to the Pacers, 4-2
2014: 37-45, no playoffs, fired coach Mike Woodson
2015: 17-65, no playoffs
That’s not a success.
You know how you fix it? Trade Mr. No Trade Clause Anthony (3-years, $78.6 million left on his deal, turns 32 in May) somewhere.
Anywhere. The Knicks don’t have a 1st round draft pick. Six straight losses prior to the All-Star break dropped them to 23-32, got Derek Fisher fired, and should make Phil Jackson seriously think about shipping Melo to the Clippers, or the Mavericks, or the Bulls, or anywhere in return for draft picks. Does Pat Riley want him in Miami?
Build around Kristaps Porzingis. I couldn’t have been more wrong about him. Porzingis, who only turns 21 in August, had a 1st half of the season nobody could have predicted: 13.9 ppg, 7.7 rpg, and he shot well from the field for a rookie (42/34).
As long as the Knicks can unload Melo, who cares if Porzingis hits a wall in the 2nd half? It can’t hurt the draft position they don’t have. But without draft picks, and with an aging Melo, how is New York an attractive free agent destination?