New York Knicks: Designing an ideal Carmelo Anthony trade to Cleveland

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 04: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks in action against LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden on February 4, 2017 in New York City. The Cavaliers defeated the Knicks 111-103. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 04: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks in action against LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden on February 4, 2017 in New York City. The Cavaliers defeated the Knicks 111-103. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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BROOKLYN, NY – MARCH 12: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks in action against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on March 12, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Nets defeated the Knicks 120-112. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, NY – MARCH 12: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks in action against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on March 12, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Nets defeated the Knicks 120-112. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Team Needs

With the untouchables and the finances established, attention turns to what each team needs. The answer is different for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the New York Knicks, as the two franchises are building along conflicting timelines.

Cleveland needs players who can help LeBron James compete for a championship, and New York is looking to execute a legitimate youth movement.

New York is building around big man Kristaps Porzingis, which means the ideal return would be a perimeter player. Frank Ntilikina and Tim Hardaway Jr. form a promising backcourt, but it’s plausible that Ntilikina would be given up in a Kyrie Irving trade.

Irving is essentially the Knicks’ team need in a dream scenario, but if he can’t be acquired, then New York will likely address its perimeter defense..

For Cleveland, James needs defensive-minded players and capable scoring threats around him. Losing Irving would mean the Cavaliers would need a new closer, and even if it were to keep Irving onboard, it has a glaring absence of capable defenders.

Both teams need defense, but Cleveland needs immediate value mixed with long-term potential, and New York is simply looking for the latter.