Knicks Trade Melo to the Thunder after Speculatory Offseason
By Brandon Simmons
The Carmelo Anthony era is over in New York. ESPN reports that the all-star forward has been traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, ending one of the biggest stories in the NBA from the summer. Trade rumors of Anthony have been swirling for the longest time and now everything seems to have to fruition.
Rumors questioning Anthony’s future with the Knicks began this summer, with many scenarios being placed out there. The earliest, and most popular, rumor involved the Houston Rockets. However, neither team seemed able to come to an agreement. Despite that fact, talks would pop up every now and then with Melo showing interest in the Rockets. Friday, it was reported that Anthony was dead set on getting a trade done by next week, and even waived his no-trade clause to make sure it happened.
This transaction brings an end of one of the more tumultuous periods of New York Knicks basketball. The Knicks traded for Anthony from the Denver Nuggets back in 2011, bringing along guards Chauncey Billups and Josh Smith. Things were going smooth the first couple of seasons, as New York made the playoffs but it soon took a turn for the worst. After losing in 5 to the Miami Heat in the 2012 playoffs, head coach Mike D’antoni resigned and was replaced by assistant coach Mike Woodson. They made the 2012-13 postseason but lost to Indiana in the 2nd round.
The next year, they signed Hall-of-fame head coach Phil Jackson as President of Basketball Operations, which resulted into being a terrible idea. One of his first acts was signing Anthony to a $100 million deal and allow him to have a no-trade clause. Missed playoff trips caused a public riff between Jackson and Anthony. Eventually, New York parted ways with Jackson and now they have done the same with Melo.
For their now former franchise star, they received center Enes Kanter, guard Doug McDermott and a 2018 2nd round draft pick. Melo joins a Thunder team that also signed former Indiana Pacer Paul George over the summer. Alongside guard Russell Westbrook, this is a Thunder team that has 3 players ranked in the top 10 of isolated points, meaning there is not as much pressure on Westbrook to make plays on his own. This is going to probably put the Thunder back into a late playoff run now that they have the extra firepower.
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