Carmelo Anthony is no stranger to last-minute deals at the NBA’s trading deadline. In 2011, after nearly 8 seasons with the Nuggets, Melo was traded along with Chauncey Billups to the New York Knicks just before the February deadline expired, where he’s mainly thrived. Despite last year’s injury-riddled season and the revolving door at the head coaching position, Anthony has been the one true constant of the organization, averaging at least 24 points and 6 rebounds per game in each of his full seasons in New York, shooting at a pace of at least 45%. Still, as he nears the end of his 13th season, many analysts believe the Knicks could better serve the promising future of the team if they trade Melo for strong young prospects, and build a team around their young star, and Rookie of the Year candidate Kristaps Porzingis.
According to ESPN‘s Ian Begley, that could’ve potentially happened last week as fringe-contender teams scrambled to try to add the missing piece that could help them compete with the Cavs, Warriors and Spurs of the league. This report says the Boston Celtics expressed serious interest in Carmelo Anthony, and while it’s still unclear whether or not official discussions took place regarding the perennial All-Star, the Celtics were informed that Anthony was not willing to waive his no-trade clause to go play in Boston.
From the outside looking, the Celtics look like the perfect place for Melo to take his talents as he seeks that ever-elusive Finals berth and NBA Championship. Led by a young coach who has proven effective on both the NCAA and the professional level in Brad Stevens, the Celtics young stars–All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Evan Turner, Kelly Olynyk–would provide be the perfect supporting cast for a playmaker like Anthony. Without a superstar talent, Boston has ascended to the third spot in the Eastern Conference, trailing only the scorching Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers. However, Melo values winning a championship in his hometown NYC over achieving the same feat elsewhere, which might also explain why he turned down a$74 million deal with the Chicago Bulls, another team likely one playmaker away from a Finals berth. “Doing it in New York is better than doing it any place in the world. One in New York is better than multiple somewhere else. That was the reason I wanted to come to New York. That’s the reason I’m in New York.”