The deal is done. Carmelo Anthony, the longest-tenured New York Knick (by far!) is headed to Oklahoma City. The return of Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a second-round pick seems a poor prize. And it is! But ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski gives us a bit more info in his latest piece about the deal. It paints the picture of a Knicks front office desperate to avoid the kind of circus that was sure to following the Knicks through a training camp with Melo on the roster.
Here’s the bullet-point recap of GM Scott Perry’s wheelings and dealings:
— Melo was not prepared to move to Portland. Oklahoma City was OK, I guess, but not Portland.
Anthony was intrigued with a potential partnership with Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic, and the stability and track record of the front office and coaching staff in Portland, but did not want to make such a dramatic geographic shift, league sources said.
The Trail Blazers had much better trade assets than did any other team in the Melo sweepstakes, but it is admittedly pretty dang far from his home. I’m sure he didn’t intentionally set out to screw the Knicks here—wouldn’t you rather play for the Thunder if winning is truly your goal?—but that is how it worked out in the end. This is why you don’t hand out no-trade clauses willy-nilly.
— Cleveland had offered the #OAKAAK dookie salad. of Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye, perhaps sprinkled with various croutons of veteran-minimum guys.
— The Knicks had tried to pry Eric Gordon and Trevor Ariza from the Rockets, who of course countered with Ryan Anderson.
— Perry tried to snag the Thunder’s latest draft pick, shooting guard Terrance Ferguson (No. 21 overall), but settled on the Bulls pick, which judging by Chicago’s terrible roster, should land somewhere between 31-37.
The article made me feel slightly better about the whole ordeal. Choosing your own pick at the beginning of the second round might actually be preferable to taking another team’s late first-round choice. (Now that I’ve said that, watch Ferguson turn into a stud.) There is a valid point to be made that holding onto Melo wouldn’t have been worth the attention, and as long as Kanter opts out next summer—please, please opt out—the Knicks will have at least cleared some cap space. It’s better than three years and $60 million worth of Ryan Anderson.