Carmelo Anthony and his camp pushed the Knicks the last 48 hours to get a trade done before training camp opens on Monday, which included Anthony expanding the list of teams he would accept a trade to.
One of those teams was the Oklahoma City Thunder, and that got the deal done, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Shams Charania of Yahoo has also confirmed the reports).
Anthony waived his trade kicker to make the deal work.
The pick is the Bulls’ 2018 second rounder, so it should be a high second.
This trade moves the Thunder into the second tier conversation in the West, battling Houston and San Antonio in a deep conference. Everyone is still chasing Golden State, which should be improved this season.
The Thunder get another star to pair with Russell Westbrook and Paul George, another shot creator that will be difficult to account for. The Thunder will have a strong defense — Anthony does not hurt that much, Kanter doesn’t defend either, but he did come off the bench for them — and with this move they get more offense.
The move also ads $12 million to a Thunder tax bill.
The Thunder aren’t thinking about next season, they are all in on this one. When you have a chance, take a big swing.
The Knicks get rid of ‘Melo’s shadow and make this Kristaps Porzingis‘ team. They get a solid bench scorer in Kanter, who is owed $17.8 million this season and has a player option for $18.6 million (which he will probably opt into, considering the tight market next summer). McDermott is in the last year of his rookie deal and has a lot to prove. The pick is nice, but not a first rounder.
This is not a great haul for the Knicks, but it speaks to Anthony’s trade value — he can score, but his style of play and cost had only a few teams interested. New York may have done just as well buying Anthony out after last season.