If you’re wondering whether Carmelo-Anthony-to-the-Los-Angeles-Clippers scenarios will die in light of the team’s uncertainty heading into this offseason, here’s your answer:
In the latest episode of Melodrama, some NBA executives told the New York Post‘s Marc Berman they believe New York Knicks team president Phil Jackson should deal Anthony in a sign-and-trade for J.J. Redick:
The common belief in Los Angeles is the Clippers intend to re-sign point guard Chris Paul and oft-injured Blake Griffin, but hold mixed views on retaining shooting guard J.J. Redick who will become a free agent. That will be the key to whether the Knicks and Clippers can make something happen in July — if Redick agrees to a sign-and-trade.
According to some league executives, the only deal that makes sense for both sides is packaging Redick, combo guard Austin Rivers and adding wing man Wesley Johnson for financial purposes in exchange for Anthony and perhaps one of the Knicks’ two second-round picks in next month’s draft. At the trade deadline, the Clippers’ offer of Rivers and 37-year-old Jamal Crawford was turned down by the Knicks.
“It’s really the only thing that makes sense,’’ one front-office type said.
Another NBA executive believes the Knicks would do well in such an arrangement.
“It’s a great deal for the Knicks — they get a shooter they need [Redick], Rivers is a perfect sixth man and even Wesley is long and athletic and a great locker-room guy,’’ the executive said. “It’s a solid trade for them. They haven’t been able to win with Melo.’’
Serious question: Is one of these NBA executives Phil himself?
“They haven’t been able to win with Melo” is basically Jackson’s war cry these days so this checks out. At the same time, this deal is so unbelievably bad, you have to wonder if the source is coming from the Clippers’ camp.
Redick is the same age as Anthony and about to get paid comparable money—$18 million or more per year. It makes zero sense for the Knicks to trade Melo while also taking on more long-term salary, especially when said investment is in another 32-year-old, who, like Anthony, will turn 33 before next season tips off.
The Knicks, meanwhile, wouldn’t need to take back both Austin Rivers and Wesley Johnson in a sign-and-trade. And yet, they would because the Clippers’ cap situation demands it. So they would be taking on even more salary to help out the team who’s acquiring their second-best player.
Makes sense, right?
The whole “they get a shooter they need” trope is flawed, too. Redick is one of the best flamethrowers in the league right now, and his game should age well. But the Knicks aren’t volume three-point chuckers, and they need perimeter defense more than they do spot-up snipers.
Assuming this hypothetical scenario is one that’s actually on the table, and then assuming the Knicks don’t want to get screwed in any Melo trade, Jackson has to play the part of competent executive for a change and give the Clippers a hard pass.