Carmelo Anthony‘s best year as a pro might have been back in 2012-13 when the scoring machine dropped 28.7 points per game and led the league in scoring. In addition, Melo also led the New York Knicks to their best record (during his current tenure) with 54 wins and deep into the second round of the NBA playoffs. The Knicks notably scooped up veterans that season like Kurt Thomas, Marcus Camby, Rasheed Wallace and Jason Kidd. However, despite most of them not contributing much on the court, J-Kidd had a decent season for running on fumes and undoubtedly had a major influence on Anthony.
Fast forward a few years and Kidd is on his second coaching stop and is running arguably the best young team in the NBA. Anthony on the other hand, appears like he is headed for another stop of his own – we just don’t know when and where that will happen. The sexy names out there have been the Clippers, Cavaliers, Celtics, Lakers and even Oklahoma City Thunder. But out of all those teams, the one team that could make the most sense is the Milwaukee Bucks.
AS I KNOW YOU’RE YELLING, ‘NO CHANCE IN HELL.’
BUT HERE ARE SEVERAL MAJOR REASONS WHY THIS TRADE MAKES SENSE:
- Carmelo can opt out of his contract after next season, so essentially he plays a handful of games this season in Milwaukee, and then has one year left in with the Bucks.
- Jason Kidd might be the single most important chip outside of LeBron James. That’s right, his former teammate and coach has put together one of the most exciting young teams in the NBA
- THE GREEK FREAK!!!
- Jabari Parker – who’s been compared to Melo, makes three players who can flat-out score on you at will.
- If there is one player in the NBA who can match up against a LeBron James in a series and make his life tough (Bron-Bron is 32 years-old now), it’s the 22 year-old Antetokounmpo and his massive wing-span.
- In addition to Parker, Antetokounmpo and old pal Steve Novak, veteran leader Jason Terry is an additional presence that could be a major leader in getting the young Bucks prepared to make a second half run.
Alright, let’s get serious here. On the surface it would seem highly unlikely that Anthony would accept a deal that would put him in Milwaukee to play out the rest of this season and next year – most likely the last year of his prime before Father Time starts to really set in. However, Anthony is a smart man, so despite obviously not wanting to play in Milwaukee, he can’t really think playing in the Western Conference and having to go up against the much younger Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs is an easier path.
The Bucks have the surrounding wing players to take the pressure off of Melo defensively – which is always a good thing. In return, Anthony is a great rebounder and that’s an area where the Bucks are currently ranked 26th in the entire NBA. Plus, never rule out the possibility of the Bucks shipping out additional players for a chance to land a buddy of Carmelo’s named, Dwyane Wade.
Greg Monroe – 2 years, $17 million (per)
Khris Middleton – 4 years, $15 million (per)
Miles Plumlee – 4 years, $12 million (per)
Mirza Teletovic – 3 years, $10 million (per)
2017 1st round pick (unprotected)
(Knicks have to take on $10 million extra – Anthony’s trade kicker)
Based off the market for Carmelo Anthony, the Cavaliers, Celtics and Clippers have all said they aren’t interested or there is no way in hell they’re giving up either Kevin Love, CP3, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan or any Celtic player of importance – including the Nets first-round pick.
The prize for the Knicks would be Khris Middleton as he’s a 25 year-old sharp-shooter who would fit whatever triangle version slash Hornacek offense that is implemented. This is because Middleton is great coming off of pindowns, screens, flairs and getting his shot off. He dropped 18 points per game last year and plays excellent defense utizlizing his greath length and motor. He’s exactly the type of building block player the Knicks could use to compliment Kristaps Porzingis.
Greg Monroe was pursued and eventually spurned the Knicks in favor of the Bucks, but when given playing time, the dude has always produced. A front-line of Porzingis, Monroe and Middleton would be much younger and exciting than what the Knicks are looking at currently. Plus, Monroe can opt out after the conclusion of this season which would save the Knicks $17 million against the cap. Teletovic adds depth at the wing spot and helps with his long distance shooting which is needed in today’s game for spacing. However, he’s a role player at best with spotty defense, but nevertheless could contribute. Plumlee is a big that Jackson seems to crave and might fit in alongside his brother (if he’s not on the other end of the deal). This might create a logjam at the four/five-spot, but if Monroe leaves after the season this gives the Knicks some insurance.
Lastly, if the Knicks can grab the Bucks first round pick this year or potentially Thon Maker with a future first round pick, this would sweeten the pot considering the Knicks would be also giving the Bucks their point guard in Derrick Rose. We all know Kidd wants the Greek Freak to run the show, but it might make more sense to put a traditional type of point guard in the backcourt and allow the Bucks athletic wing players and scorers to fill the lanes instead of lead the break.
Carmelo Anthony – 3 years, $24 million
Derrick Rose – 1 year, $21 million
Marshall Plumlee OR Kyle O’Quinn (filler)
This might be the best time for the Bucks to land a bona fide star player – albeit at the end of his prime, in addition to high-level point guard in Derrick Rose who’s still only 27 years-old. Kidd wants to play long and athletic, but using Giannis at point guard is probably not the best long-term solution. The kid is a stud and you want him filling the lanes and out on the break finishing dunks.
Derrick Rose, Tony Snell, Carmelo Anthony, Jabari Parker, Giannis Antetokounmpo could be a nightmare for the heavily favored Cleveland Cavaliers to matchup against. Scrappy, defensive-minded guard, Mathew Dellavedova and rookie sensation Malcolm Brogdon solidify the backcourt spots that can wear opposing teams guards out with their pressure and length. Novak and Terry provide the perimeter threats needed for spacing and the Bucks still have even more length with center John Henson.
Lastly, this could just be the start of more moves if the Bucks really wanted to go for it all. If Melo joined the Bucks, could the team have a legit chance at landing another stud player if Milwaukee opted for just a small deal involving Anthony so that the team could make a run at maybe Rajon Rondo – who could get bought out or probably acquired via trade without giving up much. Wade might be a little tougher in acquiring because of his larger contract, but the Bucks need a defensive-minded player who can knock down threes while spacing the court, not another ball handler.
Remember, we’re talking less than three months left of this season (not including playoffs) and then next season with a potentially loaded team for Anthony to make a run similar to what LeBron James did by coming back to a young Cavaliers team.
Maybe Rondo would be a better fit than Rose, but regardless, this would be a dangerous team this season and by next year they could be in position to make a serious run deep into the postseason.
All it takes is a simple three-letter word, Melo…