This is usually not a busy time in the NBA, as the championship was decided in June, followed by the NBA draft and free agency.
However, a pair of superstars may find themselves with new addresses before the start of the 2017-18 season. While there are no guarantees that Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks or Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers will be traded, both players are actively involved in rumors and both reportedly want to play with new employers.
Anthony has a desire to play with the Houston Rockets, according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News. One of the main reasons Anthony wants to go to Houston would be an opportunity to play with Chris Paul, one of his closest friends.
Getting Anthony to the Rockets will be anything but simple. If the Rockets are going to make such a deal, it is likely that they would have to part with Ryan Anderson, Trevor Ariza or Eric Gordon. One of those players might not be enough, either.
The other issue is Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, who preaches a ball-sharing system that was not advantageous to Anthony earlier in his career. D’Antonio coached the Knicks from 2009-10 into the 2011-12 season, and Anthony came to the Knicks in the 2010-11, and the two did not mix well.
An older and more mature Anthony might develop a better working relationship with D’Antoni, but there are clearly no guarantees.
Irving’s desire to get traded has gone public, and the Phoenix Suns have frequently been mentioned as a potential destination.
Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com reported that a proposed deal with the Suns would likely include point guard Eric Bledsoe, a 2018 first-round pick that the Suns received from the Miami Heat and rookie Josh Jackson.
However, the Suns have a problem trading away Jackson, who was the fourth pick in this year’s draft. The Suns see the 6’8″ Jackson as a potential anchor for years to come.
Vardon quoted a league source as saying that if that deal was going to happen, it would have been done by now.
The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to make their big move back toward the top of the league’s standings next summer, when the free-agent class could include LeBron James and Paul George.
If the Lakers are going to get involved with the most elite players available, they are going to have to clear salary-cap space. One way to do that is through trading current players, and Harrison Faigen of SBNation reported that guard Jordan Clarkson could be one of those involved in a trade.
Clarkson has heard the rumors, and he told Mark Medina of the Orange County Register that he’s not disturbed by them.
“The only thing I can worry about in terms of stuff like that and trade rumors is myself and continue to work,” Clarkson said. “If I were to be traded, I just have to be ready to play. But I’m here in L.A. and am ready for the season. I’m excited.”
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