The NBA’s offseason moves at a rapid pace, with the draft typically taking place just a week or two after the NBA Finals end, then free agency getting underway about a week after that. By late July, things have often quieted down, as NBA executives and reporters take some vacation time before training camps resume in September.
This year though, things are a little different. The pace of free agent signings and trades has certainly slowed down as August approaches, but two very notable trade candidates remain on the block: Carmelo Anthony in New York and Kyrie Irving in Cleveland.
Anthony has been mentioned in trade rumors for the entire offseason, so it’s somewhat surprising that he remains with the Knicks. Still, a number of factors have complicated a potential deal, including Anthony’s no-trade clause, exorbitant salary, and trade kicker. Carmelo is reportedly focused on joining the Rockets, having not shown much enthusiasm about waiving his no-trade clause to go to another team, such as the Cavs. But the Knicks have been unable to work out a deal with the Rockets, since New York has no interest in taking back Ryan Anderson‘s contract.
The Knicks put Anthony trade talks on hold when they hired Scott Perry as their new general manager and promoted Steve Mills to president of basketball operations. But there’s still a belief that the rebuilding franchise would like to move on from the standout forward, even with Phil Jackson no longer around to create tension by lobbing thinly-veiled criticisms at Melo in the press.
Meanwhile, Irving wasn’t considered a trade candidate until about a week and a half ago, when word broke that he had asked the Cavaliers to move him. The star point guard has two more guaranteed years left on his current contract, and unlike Carmelo, he doesn’t have a no-trade clause. As such, his leverage is somewhat limited. Nonetheless, the Cavs appear dedicated to finding Irving a new home.
A Friday report indicated that at least six teams had made an offer for Irving, though one of those teams – the Heat – denied doing so. About 20 clubs reportedly inquired with the Cavs to express some level of interest in the process. Cleveland’s asking price is high for now, and many of those teams won’t be able to put together a viable package, but there appears to be optimism that something will get done.
What do you think? Will a trade involving Anthony or Irving happen soon, or will these situations continue to drag on into the fall? Can you picture either player sticking with his current team for training camp and perhaps even to start the 2017/18 season?
Submit your vote below and head to the comments section to weigh in with your thoughts!