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The NBA never seems to sleep. Just as everyone thought that the trades would die down, Carmelo Anthony is heading to OKC. The Thunder sent Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a 2nd round draft pick for Carmelo Anthony. Thunder GM Sam Presti has done it again trading for yet another star player.
Melo has been wanting to leave New York for a while now. He was heavily linked to the Rockets, but in late July, it was reported that the Thunder were in talks for Carmelo. The Thunder get a star that will be committed past this season while the rebuilding Knicks get young players that can help this team take the next step.
What do the Thunder Get
Carmelo Anthony has been wanting a trade for a while. He was wanted in Houston, Cleveland, and Portland, but he had a special connection in OKC as he is reunited with Troy Weaver who helped recruit him to Syracuse.
Anthony is a star. He shot 36% from three and 22.4 points per game. Melo has times when he goes on unbelievable scoring stretches which will help the Thunder. Anthony has been on the decline lately, but he is now playing with a better team and the Thunder will look to regain his status as a superstar.
Bleacher Report wrote an article ranking the worst defenders at each position and Carmelo Anthony was the second worst defender at the small forward position. This may be due to his public dispute with Phil Jackson or that he did not want to play for the Knicks, but hopefully, this will change when he is with the Thunder. The Thunder will have at least once confirmed star staying on their team after this season.
What do the Knicks Get
Kanter was a solid backup center last season and most Thunder fans will be sad to see him go. He shot 54.5% from the field and averaged 14.5 points per game. He is a starting caliber center in the league and will help the rebuilding Knicks on the offensive side of the ball.
Defensively, Kanter is okay. He can be good when he goes up against non-versatile centers, but when he plays centers like Horford and Whiteside, he struggles. He is great at closing out shoots as opponents shoot worse against Kanter, but he is not fast enough to help teammates in the pick and roll game. If this improves, then Porzingis and Kanter could be a great frontcourt.
McDermott was a solid backup small forward with the Bulls averaging 10.2 points per game while shooting 37.3% from three. When he went to the Thunder, he saw his production drop but managed to put up 6.6 points per game and shoot 36.2% from three.
Like Kanter, McDermott struggles on the defensive side of the ball. He is not a good rebounder and struggles in the pick and roll game.
Who Won The Trade
The Thunder have won the trade. They have taken a huge risk by trading for Carmelo Anthony and risk not being able to keep all three stars together. Now when Westbrook goes to the bench, at least the Thunder will not struggle to score points. If they can regain Melo’s form from a couple years ago, then this trio will be unstoppable.
The Knicks are now stuck with Kanter’s lucrative contract and Doug McDermott who is not the same player he was in college. The Knicks are in a bad position stuck with Tim Hardaway, Joakim Noah, Enes Kanter and Courtney Lee’s big contracts. This will hurt the Knicks in free agency as they will not have as much money to spend on big players.