4. Los Angeles Clippers
Now this, this is interesting. The Knicks and Clippers could do a midseason swap of Blake Griffin, Matt Barnes, and a league minimum player for Carmelo or simply Blake and Jared Dudley/Jamal Crawford for Mr. Anthony. Either way what is intriguing is the Blake Griffin part.
Griffin has long been a favorite of Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling, mostly because the dude can straight up sell tickets. Blake is exciting and watching him race up the court and throw down a thundering dunk from a perfectly tossed lob from Chris Paul is something that may be difficult to trade away.
Swapping Griffin for Anthony may also make Chris Paul happy as Paul wanted to play in New York with Anthony and last year reportedly didn’t get along with Griffin. It would also add an interesting wrinkle to the late game lineup for the Clippers as they have been a bit hesitant to play Griffin and Deandre Jordan late since neither can shoot free throws if fouled.
This would have to be an in season trade as the Clippers are ineligible to acquire Anthony via sign and trade.
5. Dallas Mavericks
Monta Ellis, Anthony, and Dirk Nowitzki all on the same team? Sure, why not? Mark Cuban has been trying desperately to land a big time star for the last couple of off seasons and famously failed. Now this can only happen with a sizable Dirk pay cut, say a drop from $22 million to $13 million and not picking up Sean Dalembert’s option so it is pretty unlikely.
The Mavericks could sell Anthony on taking the torch from an aging Dirk Nowitzki and leading a three-headed monster of an offensive trio in Ellis, Dirk, and Melo. Cuban also is well liked by many players and has proven he will go the extra mile in taking care of his players and spending into the luxury tax to put a winner on the floor.
While Dallas is the smallest city of the teams listed thus far, it’s still a big market so if Anthony doesn’t want to go small, Dallas shouldn’t scare him away.
6. Houston Rockets
This would have to be another in season trade and boy would it be a doozy. Chandler Parsons, Jeremy Lin, Omer Asik, Ronnie Brewer, and Francisco Garcia for Anthony and Raymond Felton is an ESPN Trade Machine approved deal.
This would shed Houston of its two poison pill contracts (Asik and Lin) but also they’ll lose their incredibly underpaid small forward Chandler Parsons. Rumor has it that the Rockets are hot for Kevin Love and this trade (along with the extension for Anthony) would end that dream.
The big thing for the Knicks is, it would get them Chandler Parsons, and Lin, Asik, Parsons, Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, and Andrea Bargnani would all come off the books after the 2014-15 season, allowing the Knicks to have complete control over how they should move forward with their potentially $45 million in cap space.
This trade may be the best case for the Knicks (depending on how you feel about Blake Griffin without a good point guard) but one that has an awful lot of players going from one place to the other and trades like that are never easy.
The Super Terrific Happy Hour Wild Card: The Orlando Magic
If the Magic simply decline their option on Jameer Nelson they will have the cap space and the young talent to make this happen.
They could bring Anthony in and start him alongside Tobias Harris, Aaron Afflalo, Victor Oladipo, and Nikola Vucevic for an, if nothing else, fun lineup. They also could get a high pick in this year’s lottery to further sweeten the pot.
There is no telling if Orlando or Anthony are even interested in this but it is a fun scenario to think of anyway. Florida does have no state income tax and maybe the Magic can sell Anthony on competing against his buddy LeBron James as an in state rival (Lebron isn’t leaving).
So there you have it, these are the seven teams that we believe currently have the best chance of landing Anthony. While it is fun to think about big players bouncing from team to team, chances are the former National Champion will be donning the orange and blue for a while more.