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Carmelo Anthony Traded to Oklahoma City Thunder

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By Joe Castro – 

Carmelo Anthony finally got his wish, and is no longer a New York Knick. Early Saturday, he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a 2018 2nd round draft pick, according to sources. While Carmelo would have to waive his no-trade clause to orchestrate the move, many feel that will happen after he included more teams to the list of where he wanted to be traded, including OKC and Cleveland.

Oklahoma opens it’s season on Oct 19th versus, you guessed it, the New York Knicks, at Madison Square Garden. My guess is the value of those particular tickets just sky rocketed, and I’m sure those NY fans will welcome Carmelo back with open arms, kind words, and smiles (YEAH RIGHT!).

Now, the Knick’s are showing they are in full rebuild mode, by getting two decent role players and a draft pick for a disgruntled Anthony. More importantly, they clear Carmelo’s contract off their books, so the team can look to be a player in next year’s deep and talented free agent market. Adding a quality player to a younger core of players, and Porzingis, would make them a contender in the weak Eastern Conference.

As for OKC, they are in a “WIN IT NOW” mentality, after already trading for Paul George earlier this summer… But why such an urgency? Many would look at this move and think that this helps solidify the fact that Russell Westbrook, a free agent next summer, will be back with the team long term. On the contrary, I look at this move as an act of desperation. While losing Kanter, McDermott, and a 2nd round pick doesn’t hurt the Thunder, to me, trading for an aging star in Anthony shows me they are not thinking of the long term, and are looking to win it all this year. Plus they are committing to $54 million to Anthony, 33, over the next 2 seasons, with the 2nd year being a player option. Perhaps this shows that the front office knows Westbrook is all but gone, and that they need to make a serious title run now?

As I already discussed in my previous article, Westbrook has yet to sign his contract extension, and as that Oct 16th deadline for him to do so approaches, the team has to wonder why? Is he looking to see how they do this season to then decide his future? Does he already know he is leaving, and he doesn’t want to crush the hearts of the OKC fans and the community of Oklahoma, which he has shown how much he loves over the years? My guess is the latter and that he knows, win or lose this season that he is moving on next summer. Many feel, myself included, that his top destination would be to come to the Los Angeles Lakers, and join the team’s young nucleus, and which ever 1, 2, or 3 other new All-Star caliber players the Lakers will attract in 2018.

The Carmelo move instantly moves the Thunder into a title contender this season, which they were already looking to make a run at prior to this signing. I personally would love to see them win the title this year, unseat the Warriors, and bring a championship to OKC, because whether they win it all or not, Westbrook and George could both be gone next season. Time will tell if these 3 All-Stars will gel together and how they will handle 3 mouth’s to feed on offense, but this move certainly moves them closer to Golden State’s level, and gives OKC one last shot, if Westbrook bolts to another team in 2018.

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