In the midst of the NBA All-Star Rising Stars Challenge, rumors of a blockbuster trade involving Kevin Love and Carmelo Anthony were reported by the New York Daily News' Frank Isola. According to the report, the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers have discussed a deal involving Love and "very preliminary discussions" have been had with the New York Knicks to involve Anthony.
The 31-year-old Anthony signed a five-year maximum extension with the New York Knicks in 2014, but the team failed to make the playoffs last year and recently fired head coach Derek Fisher after losing 10 of their last 11 games heading into the All-Star break. Star rookie Kristaps Porzingis has given the Knicks hope heading into the future, but there's no immediate plan to get the team back into the playoffs despite some early season success.
Despite all that, Anthony is still committed to the Knicks' future, according to Isola, and wouldn't waive his no-trade clause to go to Cleveland -- even to join his good friend LeBron James.
Love re-signed with the Cavaliers last summer after he was traded there in 2014. He has struggled to fit in with the Cleveland Cavaliers at times and has long been a target of the Boston Celtics, who were the favors to acquire him in 2014 before James signed in Cleveland. But besides this report, there has been no indications that anyone involved is actually looking to move places.
Why it makes sense
Trading Anthony would put the New York Knicks on a clear path to rebuilding, without having to worry about satisfying their star player. Trading Love would free the Cleveland Cavaliers of a player who just doesn't quite fit the small ball approach that the team needs to properly combat the reigning champions in the Golden State Warriors. Acquiring Love would give the Boston Celtics the star they've desperately been searching for, and one that they've been interested in for several years.
Of course, the Knicks have to agree that the rebuilding path is correct, the Cavaliers must officially give up on Love fitting in and the Celtics would have to offer enough to facilitate this trade. But if all of those things came together, then sure, let's shake up the NBA! Anthony's friendship with James and Cleveland's near-lock to repeat as Eastern Conference champions would certainly give incentives for Melo to change his mind and waive his no-trade clause before Thursday's deadline.
Why it doesn't make sense
C'mon. Coooooome on. This isn't happening.
The Knicks, particularly Phil Jackson, don't appear to have any interest in a long, slow rebuild, especially when they feel like they already have a lot of the pieces in place. There's plenty more holes you could poke in the idea; just pick one of the teams reportedly involved in it and go to town.
Huge trades like this almost never happen, not to this magnitude. There's simply too much risk for a general manager to warrant such a dramatic shakeup, unless there's simply no other options. None of those teams qualify. Although it's a fun thought exercise, especially with the NBA taking a break until next Thursday, it's nothing more than that.
Likelihood of this happening: 0.1/10
Too many moving parts, too much risk, too many egos, not enough incentive. There's one absurd rumor like this every year.
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