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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CLEVELAND, OH – FEBRUARY 23: Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers warms up on the court prior to the game against the New York Knicks at Quicken Loans Arena on February 23, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Knicks 119-104. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH – FEBRUARY 23: Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers warms up on the court prior to the game against the New York Knicks at Quicken Loans Arena on February 23, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Knicks 119-104. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Trade: With Kyrie Irving

The most ideal scenario for the New York Knicks would be to acquire Kyrie Irving. The question of the hour, of course, is what exactly could the Knicks offer to the Cleveland Cavaliers in order to successfully trade for the four-time All-Star?

Assuming Carmelo Anthony is willing to go to Cleveland—the premise which this entire article is based upon—the following trade is the most ideal New York could realistically offer.

Some have said the Knicks would be giving up too much, but the point here is quite simple. Anthony wants out of New York, which means losing him is something that’s somewhere in between inevitable and a bonus.

Whether he’s forced to stay for 2017-18 and walks next summer, or forces his way to the Houston Rockets, Anthony is gone—and, for the Knicks, that makes this about Frank Ntilikina, Kyle O’Quinn, and a pick.

Ntilikina could be special, but Irving plays his position and is already a four-time All-Star at 25 years of age. O’Quinn is a quality big, but the Knicks have two rising stars down low in Kristaps Porzingis and Willy Hernangomez.

With a core of Kyrie Irving, Tim Hardaway Jr., Kristaps Porzingis, and Willy Hernangomez, losing Ntilikina and a pick wouldn’t be the same as blowing up the ship for one player who’d have nothing around them.

Cleveland may still say no to this offer, but New York should jump at the opportunity to get this done.