The Knicks have been trying to find a new team and new home for Carmelo Anthony. Meanwhile LeBron James has been begging the Cavaliers for a playmaker. Where does that leave us? With possibility that James is actually willing to part ways with Kevin Love to bring his long-time pal Anthony to Cleveland to be that playmaker.
As reported by Frank Isola, of the New York Daily News, James is pushing the Cavs front office to do something they don’t want to do: trade Love to get Anthony.
Anthony has a no-trade clause in his contract, which means he’d have to agree to any trade before it could be completed. He recently mentioned his family would play a large part in a decision to leave New York, as his son is in school and his wife works in the city. But you’d have to think the opportunity to play with James and to play for a championship would make him seriously consider it.
Love almost has to be included in any trade because the Knicks would otherwise have to potentially bring three players back to New York to make the salaries match. It’s not certain if the Cavs or Knicks would be willing to get a third team involved to make this work if that’s the case.
It sounds like this rumor is unfounded, but what if there was truth to it?
Why this makes sense for New York
The Knicks are 22-30 and likely they will miss the playoffs for the fourth straight year. They’ve been in a downward spiral for most of this season and a move at the trade deadline seems imminent, especially since Phil Jackson has been pushing for Anthony to be that trade piece. To get Love in return would be great value.
Of all the teams for whom Anthony may be willing to waive his no-trade clause, the Cavaliers would be a serious contender. Part of Jackson’s problem is that Anthony will need to agree before any trade before it can be completed, but this could be a trade Anthony actually wants. While Cleveland is not New York City, it gives him a real chance to win a championship, and he gets to play alongside James and Kyrie Irving.
Why this doesn’t make sense for Cleveland
While James may be ready to send Love away, the Cavaliers front office is much more hesitant, according to Isola. And they’re right.
Plain and simple, the Cavaliers should not do this just for James. Love has been playing great basketball this season, and is an All-Star averaging 19.9 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. Those numbers are his best in a Cavaliers uniform in the three years he’s been there. He’s a unique piece for the Cavaliers and has certainly found his role within the team.
The Cavaliers also still need a backup point guard and Anthony won’t be helping them in that area. The team recently worked out Mario Chalmers, Lance Stephenson, Kirk Hinrich, and Jordan Farmar in Cleveland to potentially fill that role, but no signings have been made yet. Stephenson and Farmar both said they were willing to take on 10-day contracts to be with the team.
James has often pushed the Cavaliers front office to make moves. After all, he is the one to push for Love to play in Cleveland in the first place. Then he pushed for J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert. He even pushed for Tyronn Lue to become head coach. And now he’s asking for more.
But while the Cavaliers typically have appeared to listen to his requests, the Cavaliers have been reluctant to send Love to another team and will likely continue to be.