The LA Clippers have fared pretty well without Blake Griffin ever since his quad injury in December and, more recently, broken hand that he got from punching an equipment manager. In fact, the Clippers have actually been better without Griffin, going 25-9 in his absence versus 17-13 with him. LA is in win-now mode, so naturally this has led to trade talk surrounding Griffin. And the one player whose name has come up frequently is the New York Knicks Carmelo Anthony.
This is, of course, impossible for now because Anthony has a no-trade clause in his contract, which lasts until the 2018-19 season. Furthermore, the trade deadline is over so nothing will be happening any time soon. But as the New York Post reports, there’s a possibility that the 9-time All-Star would waive this clause in the offseason for a certain team.
“Over All-Star Weekend last month, Carmelo Anthony was asked if there was a team for which he would waive his no-trade clause,” the Post wrote. “Anthony paused, smiled and said he had better not answer that question.”
LA seems like the perfect landing spot for Anthony because 1) he owns a place there and 2) his wife La La spends a lot of time there. It doesn’t hurt matters that Anthony is also good friends with Chris Paul and hangs out with him in the offseason.
“My name is always associated with L.A., whether it was earlier with the Lakers, now it’s the Clippers,’’ said Anthony. “I try not to pay attention to that. I laugh it off. People always try to make scenarios and situations. But nothing’s happened.’’
Up until now, Anthony has said “not yet” when asked if he’s seriously thinking about waiving his no-trade clause. He later said that he wasn’t willing to waive the clause and wants to recruit major free agents to New York in the offseason.
Phil Jackson has backed up the idea that Anthony won’t be traded, mentioning his contract. Jackson also said that Kristaps Porzingis definitely won’t be traded either. We can be sure that Porzingis won’t be moved because he’s only 20 and has superstar potential.
Anthony, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have much of a future in New York. He’s 31 years old, reaching the end of his prime and the Knicks are just 27-40 this season. Jackson also fired head coach Derek Fisher, and the Triangle offense has been a disaster ever since being implemented nearly two years ago.
For New York’s part, they could benefit from a Carmelo Anthony trade too. His salary will be $24 million next season. And following yet another failed season, this is a franchise that needs more than just a couple role players to turn things around. Taking on a younger star like Griffin, who’s only 26, would really help the rebuilding efforts. The Knicks might also settle for a young star, draft picks and bench help.
There’s still a lot of basketball to be played before this season is up, though. LA is strong enough to make a run through the playoffs and contend for a championship – especially with Griffin coming back towards the end of this month. But if the Clippers again fall short in their quest for a title, perhaps they’ll start considering the possibility of Anthony joining their roster.
If this trade goes down in the offseason, it will be interesting to see the betting odds on LA winning the championship. Griffin has more upside due to his age and stronger stats. But maybe the Clippers’ chemistry would be better with Anthony since he plays outside more and can open up the floor. In any case, it’ll be interesting to see how Anthony’s offseason goes and if he waives the no-trade clause.