Kyle Korver was supposed to sound the alarm for contenders and fringe teams to get their act together. There’s supposed to be a “fire sale,” according to 30 images. Once the defending champs added a 35-year-old shooter to the mix, it was believed by some, if not many, that teams forever choking on LeBron James’ dust in the Eastern Conference would take stock of their assets and GMs everywhere would shout, “Ethel, get me my rolodex!” (Yes, in my mind, every NBA GM’s assistant looks like Ethel Beavers from Parks and Rec, and league executives still use rolodexes in 2017.)
At the very least, we expect the Boston Celtics to make a trade soon, because Danny Ainge is sitting on arguably the league’s greatest pile of assets. He’s that guy in your fantasy football league who drafted eight running backs but desperately needs a star receiver, so everyone knows it’s only a matter of time. In this case, though, it’s less a matter of “When?” and more a matter of “Okay, but who?” since even the worst teams aren’t rushing to send their stars packing.
But we wouldn’t be talking about this if there aren’t rumors, so let’s kick some tires and see what engines are purring this week…
(As always, a reminder: If you see a wild trade report and the source is The Inquisitr, Yibada English, Christian Post, The Christian Times, sometimes even Forbes, and/or Headline and Global News (which has apparently, finally been expunged from Google News results, hallelujah), just ignore it. Don’t get your hopes up and definitely don’t share it, because that sh*t is faker than the fake news on your Facebook timeline.)
What’s all this noise about Carmelo Anthony?
Some people think the Knicks should have been much better this season, but let’s be realistic and fair. They could have been much better this season if certain things had worked in their favor. Obviously, as George Karl reminded us last week, there’s still plenty of time for any disappointing team to get its act together, and the Knicks are as close to the No. 2 seed as they are last place. Again, though, let’s be realistic. The Knicks are far closer to the No. 8 seed than they are last place, so there’s still a decent, if not strong, hope for a playoff spot with half of their season remaining.
So, why the hell are people talking about the Knicks trading Carmelo Anthony? Well, because he’s an oft-disgruntled superstar and he plays for a New York sports team. However, the latest installment of Knicks drama came from Phil Jackson’s ghost writer and former assistant coach Charley Rosen, who wrote a piece for Fan Rag last week that got the snowball rolling, as he took the usual cheap shots at Melo (he’s a ball hog and refuses to learn a new offensive system) while pointing out the obvious: He ain’t getting any younger, folks. But it’s this little nugget that was buried in a player-by-player breakdown that stoked the flames:
He’s four months away from his 33rd birthday, his contract is humongous and contains a no-trade clause. It’s understood that he’d only accept being dealt to the Cavaliers or the Clippers.
If this is the truth, Anthony is playing really dumb. After Sunday’s loss to the Raptors, he all but pinned Rosen’s “understanding” to Jackson, and said, “If they feel like my time in New York is over I guess that’s a conversation we should have.” Asked about fans, media, etc. who are ready for life after Melo-drama (rimshot), Anthony added, “They want me out? I’ve never even thought about that.” Obviously, Dwyane Wade said that Anthony’s heart is forever in NYC, and Anthony himself said that he is “committed to the team,” according to Frank Isola.
The whole damn thing is a remarkable, childish mess, especially considering the Knicks have 41 games left in the regular season, and they’re three games out of the fifth seed in the East. But let’s focus on what really matters: The money. If Anthony waives his no-trade clause, could the Knicks actually ship him? Would another team, and especially a contender, even be willing to take on the money he’s owed? Does anyone want this expensive (but loyal) headache?
Just as they united around Jackson’s stupid “posse” comments earlier this season and showed a little flash, the Knicks could easily bounce back from their current woes. Kristaps Porzingis is feeling much better after his Achilles injury, and Derrick Rose claims to be over whatever it was that led to his $200,000 fine. The Knicks could (*GASP*) add a player and make a run. That’s certainly easier than trading a guy who is owed $53 million over the final two years of his contract (the second year is a player option, but he’s obviously not declining that).
No one on planet Earth expects Anthony to waive his no-trade clause to move on from this weird season and a disappointing run in New York, but he’d be a fool not to if a team is willing to make a deal. Anthony has a 15 percent “trade kicker” in his contract that would pay him even more money if he’s dealt. That would be pretty nice, right? So, who the hell makes that deal and takes on all that money, and which team has the assets to send everything back?
If Rosen’s “understanding” is right, the Clippers could make Anthony a very happy man*, but that’s purely hypothetical speculation from a fan site. In reality, the Clips have won seven in a row and seemed to have found their groove again, following Blake Griffin’s latest injury. But then Chris Paul dislocated his thumb. Still, isn’t that more reason for the Clips to take a shot?
Even with LA’s injuries, the Knicks would enter negotiations with the Clippers with absolutely no leverage, and that works for the Clippers because they have very little to offer, and if the Knicks yank the deal, oh well, the Clippers make a deal elsewhere (probably Rudy Gay) and they win enough games without their stars.
Let’s say it boils down to four situations:
1) Jackson and Anthony lock themselves in a room and fix this sh*t ASAP, for the betterment of the team, because nobody is getting younger and they all look like petulant idiots. James Dolan can be there, too, playing jazz guitar as torture.
2) The Knicks and Anthony accept their broken relationship, and the Clippers get a hell of a deal, shipping out Austin Rivers, Jamal Crawford, and Wesley Johnson for Anthony.
3) In a bold, longshot move, the Celtics offer a combination like Avery Bradley, Amir Johnson, and Jae Crowder for Anthony (it’s just math, I’m not saying this would be the real deal, so don’t get mad), and also get the Knicks to throw in another first round pick, so Boston could still make another deal for someone like Nerlens Noel or Jahlil Okafor.
4) Nobody does anything, maybe the Knicks make the playoffs, and Jackson and Anthony keep subtweeting each other while poor Kristaps Porzingis wishes he never left Latvia.
Your guess is as good as mine.
(*I’m ruling out any possibility of the Cavs trading for Anthony, because that would just prove the existence of Satan, and I’m not ready to be boiled alive in hellfire just yet. But that does sound a little better than dealing with more Knicks drama on a weekly basis, as their season continues to melt into a puddle of liquid feces.)
Have you heard the one about the Wizards shopping John Wall?
This tweet came to us from USA Today Sports Executive Producer Larry Berger, and you can tell by the response and retweets that it flew under the radar. At 20-19, the fifth-place Wizards are having a disappointing season, certainly by their own standards, as John Wall previously vowed to deliver Washington DC the 50-win season it has dreamt of for so long. At this point, the Wizards will need to go 30-13 for the rest of the season to make that dream come true, and it’s certainly not impossible.
But could they do it without Wall, who is averaging 22.9 points and 10.2 assists per game? Wherever Berger heard this, it never picked up steam elsewhere, because short of Headline and Global Garbage and The Inquisiturd, the “John Wall trade rumor” news is scarce at best. Unless you count people who think the Wizards should trade Wall and rebuild, because Bill Simmons and The Ringer cornered that market earlier in the season.
And that gives me an idea…
DeMarcus Cousins isn’t going anywhere, so send Wall to the Kings
For now, it seems as if several seasons’ worth of speculation has come to an end. DeMarcus Cousins, ever the hot-headed malcontent, will take advantage of the new CBA’s insanely lucrative options for young stars, and stay in Sacramento to become obscenely wealthy. If that’s really the case, and we can finally, sadly take Cousins off the top of everyone’s trade charts, then let’s all make a pact to replace him with John Wall.
And I’ll start the Wall talk with the reminder that he wants to reunite with Boogie, so why wouldn’t Sacramento, just a half-game out of the No. 8 spot in the West, become a big-time buyer for once in that franchise’s sad existence, and ship everything not named DeMarcus Cousins to the Wizards for Wall? This must be how someone smarter feels when he loses himself in NBA trade talk madness.
Cross Paul Millsap off your wish lists… for now
The Atlanta Hawks briefly dangled Paul Millsap to potential suitors, but decided that they wouldn’t get enough in return, so they officially took him off the market. That doesn’t mean anything until the trade deadline passes, though, so there’s always a chance that the Hawks could dangle him again as the deadline nears, so sayeth the all-knowing Woj. But with the Hawks all but set to make the playoffs, it’d take a hell of an offer to make Millsap expendable.
Or maybe any offer, because no one took them seriously in the first place.
Jimmy Butler most likely isn’t going anywhere
Everyone loves Jimmy Butler right now, and that includes his bummed-out former teammates in New York. If the Bulls wanted to deal him, they could score a jackpot, and he’d certainly look good exchanging game-winners with Isaiah Thomas in Boston. Two weeks ago, Ric Bucher reported that the Bulls made it known “through backchannels” that Butler was available for “the right price.”
The Bulls have won two in a row to climb back to .500, and one of those wins came thanks to a buzzer-beater from Butler. He’s certainly playing at a level that would make most teams with even a fringe shot at making the playoffs drool, but on the same day of Bucher’s report, The Atlantic shot that sucker down. Who is right? We’ll see, but you should tell your friend pushing the Inquisitr story about the Magic swapping Aaron Gordon for Butler straight up that he’s dumb and an embarrassment to his bloodline.
Nerlens Noel has to go somewhere eventually
Come on, Sixers, just get a damn deal done already. This is boring and unfair to those of us who want to see if Noel is good enough to change a franchise right now. We know it’s going to be the Celtics, just ding-dong-diddily do it already.