Hey, welcome back! I couldn’t contain all of my brilliant Melo trade ideas to just one article, so here’s part two. A reminder of how I put this together:
— All of these proposals are done with the ESPN Trade Machine (play along at home!) and assume that Melo would be willing to waive his 15 percent trade kicker to facilitate a move (since the Trade Machine doesn’t account for it).
— Draft pick allocations can be found here.
— Not all of these trades will satisfy the rules of “each team involved in a multi-team trade needs to receive something from each team involved,” but the easy loophole to that is including heavily-protected second round picks. I’m not going to bother with that—just know that it’s implied.
— I’m adding this note because people were getting all nit-picky with part one: I’m not bothering getting into pick protections here, but just assume that there would be some. Pretty much every team protects their picks in one way or another during a trade in the post-Nets-Celtics world. I have neither the time nor the energy to deal with that bullshit.
— This is part two. Part one was here.
OK, ready for some more Melo moves? Let’s get it:
Trade No. 4: Convoluted as fuck
Houston receives: Carmelo Anthony
New Orleans receives: Ryan Anderson, DJ Augustin
Orlando receives: Omer Asik, Solomon Hill, New Orleans’ 2018 first round pick
New York receives: Terrence Ross, Mario Hezonja, Tim Quarterman, Isaiah Taylor, Houston’s 2020 first round pick
The Pelicans have been rumored to want to get in on the Melo-to-Houston action, so let’s oblige them. The Pels are in a weird spot — they’re now paying Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday almost 50 percent of their cap for the next four years, and they have to try to woo DeMarcus Cousins to re-signing this season, either via extension or as a free agent next July. If he re-signs, they’ll have approximately 80-85 percent of their cap wrapped up in Cousins, Holiday and Davis. Woof.
This trade reunites the Pels with Anderson, who they let walk to Houston just a year ago after he posted one of his best seasons for them in the 2015-16 campaign. He’s a great shooter that could play well with either Davis or Cousins off the bench. And more importantly, New Orleans trades off two bad three-year contracts that total about $20 million per season for one three-year contract that should actually give them good production. Augustin gives them a serviceable third point guard for when one or both of Holiday and Rajon Rondo inevitably get hurt.
The Magic essentially serve as the garbage man here, and get the more immediate (and most likely higher) draft pick for their troubles. They ship out Ross — who was awful for them after being traded from Toronto last year — and Hezonja, who has struggled to find his place. Augustin is arguably overpaid, and with their recent signing of Shelvin Mack and the incumbent Elfrid Payton, that loss won’t hurt too much. Asik will be an expensive bench warmer, and Hill could help bring Jonathan Isaac along.
The Knicks give up the best player in the deal, and receive two reclamation projects in Ross and Hezonja, along with young bodies Quarterman and Taylor. Ross could slot in for the traded Carmelo, and Hezonja could come off the bench to play some backup shooting guard and small forward minutes. Even with the first from Houston, the return still isn’t phenomenal. With Ross and Hezonja, however, the Knicks at least get to stick to their “go young or go home” mantra.
Trade No. 5: BANANA BOAT
Cleveland receives: Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul
Houston receives: Tristan Thompson, Iman Shumpert
Chicago receives: Kevin Love
New York receives: JR Smith, Channing Frye, Kay Felder, all of the other teams’ picks until 2030
This trade creates the banana boat vacation team that everyone wants to see, and reinforces the notion that the NBA is rigged. But we all knew that anyway! How fun will it be to watch LeBron and Kyrie team up with the class of ’03 squad to take on the Warriors?!
More importantly, the Knicks get a valuable mentor for Tim Hardaway Jr. in JR Smith. Tim was taking a few too many of those boring open shots last year — JR’s going to teach him how to wait a few extra seconds so the shot means more. No “cheap points” on this team! JR will also share his special green tea that can flush weed out of your system in three hours flat, and give bomb tips on how to properly chief a blunt.
Frye and JR will get an epic “I’m Coming Home” montage that puts Carmelo’s original to shame — OAKAAK, baby! Frye and Mindaugas Kuzminskas will start a podcast that will be way more entertaining than the crap that he and Richard Jefferson were putting out on the Cavs.
The Rockets and Bulls are just really happy to help out the league’s biggest market and biggest star. Thanks for being team players, guys!
(Also, the Rockets are somehow the only team that gets better in this trade according to the Trade Machine… might want to check the continuum transfunctioner, ESPN.)
Trade No. 6: Send Melo to hell!
Juneau receives: Carmelo Anthony
New York receives: Delnominee Jims, Johnson Alexander, a large bag of whale blubber
This is it. After years of being a punchline, the Juneau Frost Donkeys make the move that could put them over the top. Carmelo had stressed not wanting to be away from his family, but the blustery allure of Juneau is too much to resist. Paired with the recently re-signed Jean-Luc-Yves-Luc Grandpalourde, Melo and the Ba-Frost-A-Donks will be primed to take on the Warriors in the Yukon Intersport Athletic League/NBA showcase next July.
Meanwhile, the Knicks add Jims, a mercurial shooter whose technique was derived from years and years of mid-July snowball fights. Alexander has proven mostly a bust thus far—after being defrosted from a glacier on the south slope of Mt. McKinley two years ago, hopes were high for the caveman. Bad posture and a general lack of motor skills has unfortunately been his undoing. However, he still fits the Knicks’ philosophy of going young—president of basketball operations emeritus Phil Jackson said of Alexander: “He’s 310,000. He’s still relatively young.”
Meanwhile, the sack of whale blubber will make it seem as if Melo never really left. (HEY OOOOH. I’ll be here all week!)
And those are the best Melo moves known to man! Don’t take my word for it, though. Let’s hear your Carmelo trade ideas, smart guys (and gals)! Remember, I’ll be doing a third (and maybe fourth) edition of this column with your ideas! So hit me with your best shots in the comments.