The New York Knicks are still talking about a Carmelo Anthony trade, and Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker has entered the conversation.
According to ESPN’s Ian Begley, the Milwaukee Bucks have had “(very) preliminary talks” about being the third team in a deal that sends Carmelo Anthony to the Houston Rockets. Milwaukee would center their deal around Jabari Parker. Additionally, they look like the team who would take on the $60 million contract that is Ryan Anderson.
The rumblings about Anthony’s future in New York have been going on all summer long. Melo’s made it clear he doesn’t want to return, but the Knicks have been spiteful by not buying him out. The only way they could unload Anthony is via trade, but the 33-year-old has a no-trade clause that he’s only willing to waive for a few teams. One of them is the Rockets.
Also Read: Houston Must Be Careful If Trading For Melo
Houston traded for Chris Paul this summer, and that seems like the deciding factor in Melo’s decision. Anthony would be a solid contributor on that team and probably play better — and more efficiently — than he would with the Knicks. Unfortunately for Melo, a trade doesn’t seem imminent; a source told Begley that the two teams are “not close.”
Sending off Anthony means the Knicks are ready to begin their rebuild. When that happens, organizations become laser-focused on attaining a combination of young talent and draft picks but also don’t have a problem with taking on a big contract to make the deal happen. The Brooklyn Nets most recently did this when they acquired D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov from the Los Angeles Lakers.
Jabari Parker, despite two ACL tears, is one of the NBA’s most talented young players. In 51 games last year, the 22-year-old averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists while shooting 49 percent from the field. Getting Parker in a deal for Anthony would be tremendous.
Also Read: Jabari Parker Has Promise Despite Two ACL Injuries
Melo is still a solid player, but he’s nowhere near what he used to be. Since winning the scoring title in 2013, Anthony’s regressed and is no longer the guy you can build a team around. A complementary role suits him better than anything else. His scoring average dropped each year from 2013 to 2016 before rising again this past season. Anthony’s PER has also seen a decrease. The silver lining is that Melo’s turned into a reliable three-point shooter. Over the last five seasons, his clip from downtown sits at 36.9 percent. During his most recent campaign, Anthony buried 41.8 percent of his catch-and-shoot triples. That’d be a lethal addition to a Paul-Harden backcourt.
The most obscure piece of this report is the Bucks willingness to part ways with Parker. He and Giannis Antetokounmpo play well together, despite Parker’s durability issues and non-existent defense. Anderson is a solid player, but, if this trade were to happen, I don’t see Milwaukee coming out as the winners.
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