Carmelo Anthony has been the subject of trade talks for quite some time now, with whispers suggesting he could’ve been moved at the trade deadline just a few months ago.
Anthony’s future with the New York Knicks is in serious doubt, and a move this offseason seems likelier with each passing press conference. Phil Jackson has not been shy with his opinion on the matter, even going as far as saying Anthony “would be better somewhere else.” Clearly, there’s no love for Melo even as he’s kept the floundering Knicks somewhat relevant during his New York tenure.
Anthony might not be the player he used to be, but he can still serve as a key piece on a competitive team trying to make some noise in the playoffs. With that, let’s take a look at the top five teams that should trade for Carmelo Anthony this off-season.
5. Toronto Raptors
Could you just imagine that backcourt next season? The Raptors could elevate themselves from a solid Eastern Conference playoff team to possible conference champion favorites. DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, and Melo could become a lethal trio.
Anthony even mentioned back in 2016 during the NBA’s all-star weekend that he was a big fan of Toronto. This also wouldn’t be the first time the three mentioned joining forces, as they all won a gold medal together in the 2016 Olympics. Trading for Melo would completely change the Eastern Conference and offer a strong competitor to take down the Cavaliers come playoff time.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers
There isn’t a blatant need for Anthony’s talents in Cleveland, but we all know Melo wants a ring. LeBron James and Anthony have been long-time friends and former teammates on previous Olympic teams. And we can’t completely ignore this year’s trade rumors involving Kevin Love for Anthony.
Supposedly, James was the one pushing for that trade to get Melo in February, but that was never confirmed. Either way, the Cavs would have a lot of top-end talent with Anthony. Melo has suffered through some miserable Knicks teams in recent years and deserves a chance to compete somewhere.
The Eastern Conference contenders would be absolutely terrified of this trade, as James, Anthony, and co. would be clear favorites to once again appear in the finals.
3. Washington Wizards
This scenario makes a ton of sense. If Anthony doesn’t want to make it seem like he’s running to LeBron for a title, he could try to take him down with the Wizards. Washington has been one of the main threats in the East this year and Melo would be able to push them to the next level.
John Wall has continued his ascension this season and has been playing lights out in the playoffs so far. Add Melo into the mix with Bradley Beal, and you’ve got yourself one scary lineup. The Wizards are one star away from being real contenders.
One last thing: Melo grew up in Baltimore, so there could be some hometown love there.
2. Boston Celtics
Who would’ve thought the Celtics would claim the top seed in the East? Now, picture Carmelo Anthony pairing up with Isaiah Thomas. Despite the incredible regular season, the Celtics have been having a tough time in the playoffs due to their lack of a true star.
Overall, the Celtics have a good lineup, but it’s not great. Boston has been led by Thomas, who has performed unbelievably this season. He needs some help though, and that’s where Melo comes in. Despite having the better record, experts still have Cleveland as the favorites in the East. Snagging Anthony could change that next year.
The Celtics have a lot of young talent and are set to receive a top draft pick from the Brooklyn Nets this summer. Add an elite talent from the college level and Melo to this already stout team and all of a sudden the East gets a lot more interesting.
1. Los Angeles Clippers
This was a potential trade situation that almost happened this past season, and it would be awesome. There has always been one piece missing from the Clippers that has held them back in the playoffs each season. That missing piece is an elite small forward.
Some will say Melo’s best basketball is behind him, and that’s probably true, but he’s still pretty damn good. All the other spots in the starting lineup are set with Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin, and J.J. Redick. The Clippers need a more capable three to take them to the next level.
That starting lineup would be nasty, and Chris Paul and Melo already have some chemistry. Back around the trade deadline, Anthony also said that he would agree to decline his no-trade clause for Los Angeles. The biggest question would be how the whole team would mold together, but on paper, this team could be a powerhouse in the West and finally make the next leap in the playoffs.