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With all the rumors swirling, linking the Boston Celtics to many marquee players on the trade market, many of them seem highly unlikely. The pipe dream for many die-hard Green Teamers is either Demarcus Cousins or Paul George, both of them are on teams that are going absolutely nowhere and may be looking to restart. If you ask me, Danny Ainge would be better off going for Paul George because of that 80s Celtics connection with Larry Bird.
However, the odds of Danny Ainge looking at acquiring either of those guys are slim to none. In recent years, Ainge keeps guaranteeing fireworks, and producing no more than a mere flare. Lately it seems like he doesn't want to run the risk of overspending, and costing the Celtics two potential top-5 picks in the next two drafts by way of Brooklyn. So the chances that Ainge goes after either of the young studs seems highly unlikely in my eyes. He might still be eyeing a superstar caliber player, but he just might be a little bit on the older side.
Which is where I bring up the name Carmelo Anthony.
Anthony, 32, has had a pretty successful career. Accumulating a bunch of fantastic stats, particularly on offense and in scoring, to be even more specific. But the one thing that has always alluded Anthony in his career is a trip to the Finals, let alone a ring. And that doesn't appear to be happening any time soon in New York (16-17, 9th in the East).
To go on top of the Knicks and their plan to win in the future, it seems like Anthony is starting to become less and less of the big name in the process. Thanks to the surge of Latvian stretch big, Kristaps Porzingis, many Knicks fans are traveling to MSG to watch him play, not Melo. In fact, since drafting PorzinGOD, Melo's shots per game has dipped by 2 per.
Now the Celtics were actually linked to acquiring Anthony last year as part of a three-team trade involving the Knicks and Cavs (linked to both Love and Anthony as part of different rumors), only nothing came to fruition with that. But it seems as though the Celtics window to become an elite team in the NBA is starting to dwindle down to the 2-3 year range, as guys like Avery Bradley, Isaiah Thomas, and Jae Crowder will all likely require too much money for the C's to bring all of them back... unless they start winning.
Now what exactly does Carmelo bring to the table?
For starters, playoff experience. Now when I say playoff experience, I'm talking about the fact that he's been to the playoffs, because everyone on the Celtics that isn't a rookie has played in the playoffs. I'm talking more along the lines of Al Horford-playoff experience. Simply put, he's been there a lot. On top of that, he brings a tremendous offensive game from inside the arc. The only knock on Melo's offense is that he takes a lot of 3s. However, this year he's shooting 34% from behind the stripe. Not bad.
I think the big thing with a Melo acquisition though, is his ability to shoot in the clutch, and perform in the playoffs. Let's look back to the Cleveland game the other day: Jae Crowder, no matter how much his shooting has improved, cannot be the one to take that shot with the game on the line. You add a guy like Carmelo Anthony, you now have more options to shoot down the stretch, that can create their own shot, than Isaiah Thomas. Not knocking Jae Crowder, but he's not the best player on the floor, so he shouldn't be taking a pull-up three at the end of the game.
What would that potential deal look like?
You'd have to figure that Jae Crowder and Jaylen Brown go in that deal. Given the level that Melo still plays at, you'd have to assume a Brooklyn pick is in the mix as well. However, Anthony is 32, so Ainge shouldn't be willing to deal both.
Knicks Get: Jae Crowder, Jaylen Brown, Amir Johnson, and the 2018 Brooklyn pick
Celtics Get: Carmelo Anthony