The 2017 edition of the NBA offseason has been an entertaining one. While it’s often the NFL that commands the summer offseason, basketball has remained front and center ever since the end of the NBA Finals.
The offseason began with a stellar draft class and some headline-grabbing trades and has continued to shine throughout an entertaining summer league. Even as we enter the second half of July, media attention remains high thanks to the possibility of some more notable moves.
Many of the biggest tradable players of the offseason—like Chris Paul, Paul George and Jimmy Butler—have already been moved. However, there are still some notable guys who could be traded. We’re here to examine the latest trade buzz as the offseason continues.
Carmelo Trade Still a Possibility
Carmelo Anthony remains the most notable name on the trade market. He was the subject of trade rumors before Phil Jackson was ousted as team president, and he remains at the center of them even now. The reason for this is that Anthony is an aging veteran, and the New York Knicks are looking toward yet another rebuild.
The fact Anthony is set to earn $54 million over the next two seasons doesn’t exactly help his value with the retooling Knicks either.
However, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski reported last week that the Knicks were putting trade talks on hold. The team had been involved in talks with both the Houston Rockets and the Cleveland Cavaliers—the two teams Anthony is interested in joining via trade.
Anthony holds a no-trade clause in his current contract.
While Shelburne and Wojnarowski reported that the Knicks are interested in getting Anthony to return to the team, this doesn’t mean a trade won’t eventually happen. In fact, per Wojnarowski, Anthony is counting on the Knicks to resume talks with Houston:
“As New York Knicks president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry pursue a meeting with Carmelo Anthony in the coming days, league sources told ESPN that the 10-time All-Star is counting on the franchise to carry out its previously agreed upon mandate to trade him to the Houston Rockets. Whatever stance a post-Phil Jackson front office is taking now, Anthony expects the Knicks to resume trade talks soon and honor the franchise’s long-standing goal to rebuild without him, league sources said.”
The one thing the Knicks may be able to rely on is the fact Anthony previously expressed his desire to remain in New York in order to be close to his son. It’s not as if the team can sell him on championship aspirations. The team can, however, try selling him on a playing environment.
Trail Blazers, McCollum Getting in on the Carmelo Chase
The Cavaliers and the Rockets are the two teams Anthony has expressed interest in joining this offseason. However, that hasn’t stopped other teams—or individual players—from trying to recruit Anthony.
The Portland Trail Blazers had previously been linked to Anthony as part of a three-team deal involving New York and Houston. However, Wojnarowski recently reported that Portland would instead prefer to land Anthony:
“One team that New York and Houston had hoped would facilitate a multiteam trade for Anthony, the Portland Trail Blazers, plans to participate in a deal for Anthony only if he decides to expand his no-trade clause to include them, league sources told ESPN. Portland believes the addition of a player such as Anthony would furnish it with talent and depth comparable to those of the top Western Conference contenders.”
Portland squeaked into the playoffs last season with a .500 record, so it might be presumptuous for the team to believe it can compete with the likes of the Golden State Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference just be adding Anthony. However, it the Trail Blazers do feel they can be title contenders with Anthony, it would make zero sense to facilitate his trade to Houston.
Trail Blazers shooting guard C.J. McCollum got in on the recruiting action—and had a little bit of fun—over the weekend. He posted a Photoshopped picture of Anthony wearing a Portland uniform on his Instagram account, tagging Anthony in the photo.
While McCollum’s post isn’t likely to sway Anthony too much, it might be a reminder that some teams want him—after the Knicks spend a large part of the offseason acting like they don’t.
Knicks Looking to Add a Point Guard
While the Knicks may ultimately trade away Anthony, they’re also reportedly looking to acquire talent. According to Ian Begley of ESPN, New York is looking to add a point guard. Per Begley, Brandon Knight of the Phoenix Suns has come up in trade discussions, both as an addition and as part of a Carmelo deal:
“As the Knicks continue to look for a point guard this offseason, Brandon Knight is one name that came up in conversation with Phoenix recently, per league sources. The Knicks also talked to Phoenix about Eric Bledsoe, league sources confirmed. The Knicks’ level of interest in Knight is unclear but it’s reasonable to assume his name came up in talks surrounding Carmelo Anthony since his salary (roughly $44 million over the next three seasons) would be useful in such a transaction.”
Knight averaged 11.0 points, 2.4 assists and 2.2 rebounds per game last season. He would presumably be a short-term option as New York develops rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina.
Marc Berman of the New York Post reported last week that the Knicks had inquired about both Bledsoe and free agent Ramon Sessions.
Sessions would likely be a last-ditch value option for the Knicks, assuming the team is looking for a starting point guard. The 31-year-old averaged just 16.2 minutes and 6.2 points per game last season. Knight and Bledsoe—who averaged 21.1 points and 6.3 assists last season—would appear to be better primary options.
Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com