|Is Boston nice this time of year?|
Listening to Phil Jackson speak, it sounds like Carmelo Anthony's time with the Knicks is over. Or at least Jackson would like it to be. Melo, to his credit, hasn't taken the bait but indicated that he might also agree. It's hard to imagine he'd want to remain in a situation where management so clearly does not want him on the team.
Before February's trade deadline, Anthony's name popped up in several trade rumors. But the deadline passed without a deal, and Anthony remained in a Knicks' uniform. If we now buy into the premise that Anthony will play in a different city next season, the next obvious question is: where? Perhaps "Boston" might be the answer.
According to Marc Berman in the New York Post, members of the Celtics' coaching staff were interested in acquiring Anthony at mid-season, but Boston's GM Danny Ainge wouldn't pull the trigger:
Indeed One of Ainge’s concerns, according to a source, was an Anthony trade would have given Boston no real cap space to work with for the 2017 free-agent class.But the Celtics' poor play in the first round might have Boston management reconsidering another scorer. Who would be the "major player of interest" that Jackson wants in return? The same sources say Jae Crowder, the Celtics' powerful small forward, could be that man.
While Crowder's size and strength would improve the Knicks' defense, the drop-off from a scorer like Anthony to a player like Crowder would be staggering. The Knicks would need to find another source of offense, either through free agency or the draft, to offset that loss. Crowder could fit in nicely with Kristaps Porzingis and another offensive-minded player, settling into his role as a 3rd option on offense. While Crowder has a reasonable $7 million-per-year price-tag, he's signed through the 2020 season. A trade for Crowder would be a three-year investment.
Whatever happens from here, it should be interesting. Credit the Knicks: they may be awful, but they're rarely dull.