The Knicks and Clippers are discussing a deal for Carmelo Anthony that does not include Chris Paul, Blake Griffin or DeAndre Jordan going to New York, the Daily News has learned.
The Knicks, according to a source, are open to trading Anthony to Los Angeles even if they don’t get one of the Clippers’ Big 3 in return.
All three of the Clippers’ stars are more valuable than Anthony. Doc Rivers should maintain a hard line on not trading any of the three for Anthony.
But a lesser package could make sense.
Any deal would likely involve two of J.J. Redick, Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers. Their salaries are needed to match Anthony, who has a trade bonus that makes salary matching even more complex. The Clippers are over the luxury-tax line and facing a hard cap, and the Knicks are over the salary cap.
The Clippers should be reluctant to deal Redick, though. There’s a real case that his 3-and-D skills better complement the Clippers’ stars than Anthony’s scoring would. Another complication: 32-year-old Redick might not provide much value to the Knicks if they want to rebuild around Kristaps Porzingis.
The Clippers are short on assets with far more future than present value. They can guarantee sending only one future first-round pick, though they could structure a deal that allows another first-rounder to be dealt if they make the playoffs this year and in 2019. In any scenario, the Clippers can’t convey a pick until 2021 at the earliest. They also have Brice Johnson, Diamond Stone, the rights to No. 39 pick David Michineau and no second-rounder this year or next but an extra second-rounder from the Cavaliers in 2020.
Is there a package in those lackluster pieces that would intrigue the Knicks?
And would Anthony waive his no-trade clause to join the Clippers? He’s close with Paul and said he’d consider accepting a trade if the Knicks want to rebuild. Los Angeles isn’t his beloved New York, but it’s still a major market.
I’m still unconvinced the Knicks find suitable return in the Clippers’ offerings beyond their big three. And I’m unconvinced Anthony would allow a trade at all.
But this is much more plausible than many Anthony trade rumors.