Knicks Trade Carmelo Anthony To Thunder

SEPTEMBER 25: The Knicks have officially traded Anthony to the Thunder for the package detailed below, the team announced today in a press release. In a separate announcement, the Knicks also confirmed they’ve waived Chasson Randleas expected – in order to create room on their roster to accommodate the incoming players from Oklahoma City.CarmeloAnthony vertical

SEPTEMBER 23: The Knicks have reached an agreement with the Thunder that will send Carmelo Anthony to Oklahoma City, reports Adrian Wojanrowski of ESPN (Twitter links). According to Wojnarowski, New York will receive Doug McDermott and Enes Kanter in the deal, along with a draft pick. Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link) indicates that pick will be the Bulls’ 2018 second-rounder.

The trade call will officially take place Monday, Wojnarowski adds, as Russell Westbrook and Paul George were successful in their lobbying efforts to get Anthony to waive his no-trade clause for the Thunder (Twitter link). Carmelo also has a relationship with top Thunder executive Troy Weaver, who recruited him to Syracuse a decade and a half ago.

Anthony has agreed to waive his $8.1MM trade kicker, since the deal wouldn’t have worked otherwise, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). Anthony will retain his no-trade clause with the Thunder (Twitter link). Taking on his $26,243,760 salary will increase OKC’s projected luxury tax payment by $12.4MM, up to a total of $27.8MM (Twitter link).

The Knicks were at the maximum of 20 players before the trade, so a roster move will have to be made by Monday in order to make room for the extra incoming player. New York has five non-guaranteed players coming to camp, so one of them will likely be waived.

The Knicks will incur Kanter’s 15% trade bonus of $2.68MM, which pushes his cap hit for this season to $20.56MM (Twitter link). Kanter also has an $18.6MM player option for 2018/19 — his kicker doesn’t apply to that salary since trade bonuses don’t affect team or player option years. As for McDermott, he’s making $3.3MM in the final year of his rookie contract and is eligible to receive an extension until October 16. He’ll be on track to become a restricted free agent next summer if no agreement can be reached this year.

The Thunder obviously made the move with an eye toward winning this season, but it creates a fascinating scenario for the future of the franchise. Anthony, Westbrook and George are all currently eligible to become unrestricted free agents next summer, so this could be a one-year experiment.

Of course, the Thunder currently have an extension offer on the table for Westbrook, and Anthony has a lucrative player option for 2018/19, so there’s no guarantee there will be a mass exodus out of OKC after this season. Still, it would be difficult financially to retain all three players — Marks estimates the cost of keeping all three would bring the Oklahoma City payroll to $157MM with an additional $143MM in taxes (Twitter link).

For the Knicks, it closes a long chapter in their troubled relationship with Anthony, who was hailed as a franchise savior when he was acquired from the Nuggets in 2011. He never delivered the playoff success that was expected and became the target of public criticism from former team president Phil Jackson. Having expressed a desire to go to the Rockets for most of the 2017 offseason, Anthony expanded his list of preferred teams this week, adding Cleveland and Oklahoma City, which allowed the Knicks to get something done.

New York has now fully committed to the rebuilding project that the new management team outlined when it took over. The Knicks were reluctant to trade Anthony to the Cavaliers because they wanted him out of the Eastern Conference, according to TNT’s David Aldridge (Twitter link), although it’s hard to understand why, giving the team’s remote playoff chances. Even though Jackson was dismissed this summer, hard feelings with Carmelo remained and the organization wanted a fresh start (Twitter link).

The trade of Anthony represents the culmination of an eventful offseason that saw many of the East’s best players join new clubs. Anthony is the sixth player from 2017’s Eastern Conference All-Star squad to change teams, following in the footsteps of George, Jimmy Butler, Paul Millsap, Isaiah Thomas, and Kyrie Irving. Anthony, George, Butler, and Millsap all moved over to the Western Conference.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. Luke Adams contributed to this post.

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70 thoughts on “Knicks Trade Carmelo Anthony To Thunder

    • Got Melo and PG 13 for Oladipo, McDermott, Domantas Sabonis, and Kanter with little picks to give up. Crazy good trade

  1. dodgerfan711

    Thunder are all in. Everyone outside the bay area is rooting for them to take down durant

    • mcmillankmm

      Uhhh what makes you say that? C’s fan here and I won’t cheer for them

      • dodgerfan711

        I mean if they end up going head to head in a playoff series. Thats all.

    • Dretorade

      I’m a lakers fan and I hope they flop, why would Paul George or Westbrook want to leave if they go to the conference finals or finals?

      • gammaraze

        You are aware that if Paul George and Westbrook go to the conference finals, it’ll be because of them two alone, and they’ll be able to do that with basically any team they collectively decide to go to, right?

  2. afsooner02

    Kanter was never gonna love up to that contract. I’d rather have Melo for 2 years and go for broke this season since Pg and Russ are likely leaving us anyways after the season.

  3. formerlyz

    I can’t believe that not only did someone take Ends Kanter, OKC got Melo for him. Unbelievable. Amazing for OKC. An awesome fit. Fills a big need for OKC that they’ve been lacking…As for the Knicks…what are you doing? Lol…I wonder if they’ll be bad enough to get a top pick. That’s essentially the only thing that they can salvage out of this

    • seamaholic

      Umm … Melo plays the same position as George and is a very mediocre, one-way player. And is absolutely without question gone next year. So enjoy watching OKC finish 3rd of 4th again, losing in the 2nd round or so, and then becoming the worst team in the NBA for a few years.

      • Paul George, your new power forward :)

        Funny he did not want to play the four in Indiana, now he has to in OKC

        • x%sure

          I bet Melo is the 4. Some Knick fans say that’s his best position, and to be real, Melo is also better at being … bigger around.
          Or George could be the 2, but OKC will probably want to preserve Patterson and start Roberson next to Westbrook.

        • KnicksCavsFan

          What’s the GSW’s starting lineup? Curry and Thompson at the guard positions. Iggy at the small and Draymond and Durant as the “bigs”. The NBA is currently a much less position oriented game. Defensively, George will probably guard the biggest offensive threat among the SF/PF, Anthony will take the other and Adams the C. Not a big deal.

  4. alldayatlien

    OKC finally got rid of Kanter, good for them. Melo/Russ/George not really a big three but they’ll be competitive

    • KCelts

      Eh I’m not sure. Russ and George are elite and Carmelo still has some gas in the tank. This could be a power play for OKC.

      • Connorsoxfan

        Plus they have some solid pieces surrounding them. Roberson is a great defender, Adams is a good player, albeit with some flaws, and they signed Patterson from the Raptors right? That was a good signing.

    • KnicksCavsFan

      Absolutely a big 3. Please, please do not underestimate Melo’s ability to score with other talented players on the floor. I bet you will see a much more selfless Westbrook (hopefully) and Melo. Each guy has something to prove. All 3 will be playing for pride and future contracts. If they can improve the bench by Feb I think they become the 2nd best team in the WC. The Spurs have done little to improve. The T-Wolves are super talented but still lack experience. And the Rockets need another offensive big in my opinion.

  5. RAM813

    Anderson for Carmelo is a much better trade with Houston than this trade IMO. Yes it is a big contract but a better player in return. OKC won this trade by miles.

    • I’m not sure I would call Anderson better. Anderson offers more range but honestly doesn’t do much more than catch and shoot. Kanter doesn’t have the three point range that Anderson does, but he’s pretty good from midrange and is a great rebounder. Both are pretty bad defensively though. Considering the length of their contracts, I think I’d rather have Kanter. And obviously Kanter is a more attractive asset than Anderson considering the Knicks were willing to take him.

      • I was thinking the same thing. Plus Kanter is a lot younger than Anderson. Kanter is also a lot better offensive and defensive rebounder. Very active on the glass. I think Knicks could be a very high scoring team but probably the worst defensive team
        in the league.

        • Philly Fan

          The problem is that Kanter takes away playing time for Hernangomez. Plus, New York could’ve gotten a future 1st or possibly even 2 from Houston

          • I believe Houston gave their tradable future first to LAC for Paul. And I’m not entirely sure Houston was offering a first. However I do agree with you that this will take time away from developing Hernangomez but you now have a pretty good three big rotation and Hernangomez will take minutes at the four and five then.

          • And Anderson would’ve taken away minutes as well. And Houston’s earliest tradeable future first is like 2020 (since they already traded one to the Clips for CP3). McDermott is atleast a young-ish rotation player. The deal is probably more about getting out of salary as quickly as possible as opposed to waiting a couple of years for a potentially late first rounder.

  6. formerlyz

    I just can’t believe they actually were able to move Kanter, and to a team that already has Noah lol

    • formerlyz

      They’re paying Noah and Kanter close to $40 million this season and next sesson

  7. icedog7229

    Great job Melo, take your talents to the west and it is going to be even tougher to win the championship now. You should pick Boston or Cleveland

    All the thunder fans that are happy now. After this year and maybe next (if he opts in) you will now understand why the nugget and Knick fans couldn’t wait to get him off of their team

    • I wouldn’t put much weight into Knicks fans’ opinions. New York fans in general are well known for loving a player one year and then just waiting for him to be cut/traded the next (I’m from New York so trust me, I know). I mean we’re talking about a fanbase that booed the Porzingis drafting because they didn’t know who he was and now two years later they love him.

  8. acarneglia

    We are missing the biggest story from this trade… The End Of The Stache Bros

  9. Huge move for the Thunder. If the Thunder are a top 4 seed, Sam Presti should win GM of the Year considering the steals he got in this and the PG trades. Russ must be loving this deal as he’ll have two really good shooters sitting on the perimeter in George and Melo. I wonder what the lineup looks like though. Do they move George to the 2 spot (keeping Melo at the 3 and moving Roberson to the bench) or do they move Melo to the 4 (keeping George at the 3, Roberson at the 2, and Patterson to the bench). Either way, if the Thunder can find gel together, they could threaten the Warriors. A Russ-PG-Melo-Adams-Roberson/Patterson lineup would be able to switch almost everything defensively and Roberson’s shouldn’t be as big of a liability on the offensive end.

    • formerlyz

      Russ, Roberson, PG, Melo, Adams
      Patterson, Grant, Abrines, Felton

      They could use a backup big, and maybe another wing, as well as still maybe another backup guard, but theyre a lot better. If they stay healthy, they should be really good, and get a top 4 seed in the West

      • All they really need is a sixth man off the bench who can score and run the offense and an energy big. Not much left in free agency however, they can look out for players that get cut before camp and add some more depth. Only problem might be the bench but with Russ, Melo, and George you can stagger the minutes so that one of those 3 players play large minutes with second unit (prolly George). Might be the biggest challenge to GS

  10. Thronson5

    Solid move. If they can go deep, even if they lose to the Warriors, I see George staying in OKC and not coming to my Lakers after all. As a huge Basketball fan Im excited to see how the Thunder and Rockets do.

  11. stretch123

    What a move by OKC! I think Melo is going to be great fit next to PG13 and Westbrook. Makes them a 4/5 seed in the West I think… as for the Knicks, I think they would’ve been better off had they traded Melo earlier because they didn’t get much here. Kanter is solid, and McDermott is decent but… neither guy will make NYK significantly better. On the plus side, this may allow Porzingis to take the next step with the whole Melo debacle over.

  12. That’s it, I’m officially out as a Knicks fan. Kanter, Buckets and a 2nd? I wasn’t expecting much, but this is freakin’ terrible.

    • You’re probably right but what were the other options?

      Ryan Anderson’s big contract in Houston or guards that you had four years ago coming back from Cleveland?

      At least Enes Kanter can be flipped to a team needing a scoring hustling rebounding big man.

      • His contract will make it challenging to move him. But his contract is up before Anderson’s so he could be a potentially attractive asset in his last year.

  13. x%sure

    I thought of this trade yesterday but I did not think it was going to be good enough for NY to accept. It does not build for the future besides ensuring the lottery. I qould have preferred NY go for the playoffs with Melo… it was within reach.
    I hope the Cavs ask about Kyle Oquinn now, as the Knicks now have 4 centers.

  14. imindless

    So now you have 3 players that all need the ball in their hands to be effective. Carmelo can’t play defense, especially at this stage. Still not enough to beat Houston, Spurs, or gsw. George will definitely be leaving next summer.

    • How is it not enough to be Houston or SA? I can see where you’re coming from for GS but Houston has the same situation with two ball dominant players and outside of them there’s not much there. San Antonio has issues at the point and Aldridge is unhappy there. And Kawhi & Danny green cannot guard George, Melo, and Westbrook.

    • George isn’t as ball dominant as the star-status he is given. Most of his usage comes off catch-and-shoots or cuts to the rim. Their situation is really not that much different than Golden State’s (Curry and KD are ball dominant, they just so happen to also be elite shooters which helps when they don’t have the ball) and Cleveland’s pre-Kyrie trade. Melo is still a good shooter, and I’m sure he would be willing to take a secondary scoring role. He’s been willing to do so when playing with Team USA and its not like he could’ve really done that in New York since the roster has been devoid of legitimate scorers outside of KP.

  15. mcase7187

    This has been a win win offseason for the OKC if they win games great the players may not leave but if they lose they can trade each of those guys for young players or quality draft picks for a fast rebuild

    • mcase7187

      They still have some pretty good young players and there first round pick this year looks pretty good so far but they will be in the top 10 of the draft

      • fckphil

        knicks will win no more than 25 games….now they should look to deal Lee….and Kanter will be eligble to be traded at the deadline…TANK TIME!!!!

      • fckphil

        its time to tank…trade Kanter at deadline …and see what Lee and Oquinn can get…REBUILD must be 100%!!!

        • Its doubful that the Knicks get much for Kanter unless they attach something nice with him. The Thunder likely had a hard time without attaching a first rounder with him, don’t see why that will change because he went to New York.

  16. SueJen

    Take it to the bank that Melo will help the thunder tank! He is a chucker who never met a shot he didn’t like. Westbrook and him will come to blows by mid season. Only one basketball! Knicks did the right thing. McDermott has some potential, Kantor can be back up and play valuable minutes, and a draft choice is always a crap shoot.
    Thunder way over cap. Next year Westbrook and George California bound. Melo can rot in a cow town.

  17. Bulls4life

    3 things.
    1) This will be very very interesting. I can see a GSW-OKC in the WCF even though Spurs are a great team.
    2) The EAST is becoming a bigger joke by the hour…well played LBJ…
    3) NY wanted Phil out cause -among other stuff- he wanted to trade Melo…and now the new GM got a second rounder, Kanter and Dougy for Melo…..hmmmm

    • JD396

      I’m almost certain they fired Phil because he was running Porzingis out of town, not because of Carmelo

      • Bulls4life

        I agree that probably this was the icing on the cake. Phil’s main issue though was with Melo. Can you imagine if he had pulled the trigger on that deal what would have happened???
        NY remains a dysfunctional franchise and this trade is even more evidence

  18. x%sure

    Dvd Aldredge indicates NY did not want Melo to go to the Cavs. That is in addition to Indiana GM Pritchard not wanting PGeorge going there either. Cannot blame Altman for not getting these guys. Indeed the Cavs and Celts were the only teams trading a star that was willing to deal with a rival– and I think both were rewarded for that and are the obvious bets for the conf. title.

    • padam

      Not sure why the Knicks would care about him going to the cavs. It’s not like they’re competing in the playoffs, and the cavs had what the Knicks need – the Nets lottery pick.

  19. Matt Galvin

    Because CAVS might not of had what Knicks/Pacers wanted. Good Trade for Thunder big 3 back. Know need Thunder need another Center. Coverage not a lot on ESPN because of College Football today.

  20. Retired NFL Player

    Great deal for the Knicks. Not because of the return, but because Melo is gone. Couldn’t win in Denver or New York, but now he’ll be 3rd fiddle so maybe can in OKC.

  21. itweeder82

    How can anyone can say this isn’t a “Big 3”? This is exactly what OKC needed. Melo has proven that he can be an unselfish leader with talent around him from the USA team. You have 3 elite scorers and possibly the most dynamic player in Westbrook that can break down any defense and have a wide open PG and/or Melo to shoot…those guys will have a field day!

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