Each summer, there’s a NBA player set to be the center of attention in free agency. Lebron James and his decision dominated 2011. Dwight Howard‘s antics carried over from 2012 into 2013. Now it’s time for Carmelo Anthony to rule the summer.
The rumors have bounced each and every way in regards to Anthony’s impending free agency. The Miami Heat are expected to pursue him. He’s keen on the idea of playing in Chicago. The Los Angeles Lakers have their eyes on Melo. The Houston Rockets would be the perfect fit for him. Even the Boston Celtics have thrown their name in the Melo rumor mill.
With each and every team wanting a piece of the Melo pie, I ask this question to Clippers Nation: if given the opportunity, would you trade Blake Griffin for Carmelo Anthony?
Before you react, regardless of which side you take a stance on, there are pros and cons to each side of the puzzle.
The New York Knicks missing the playoffs last season has caused many to write off a historical season from Carmelo. Via Basketball-Reference, Anthony is one of three players to average 27+ points and 8+ rebounds while shooting 40 percent or higher from three. The other two? Larry Bird–achieved the feat three times–and Hakeem Olajuwon. And of the three, neither Bird or Olajuwon did it on a higher usage percentage (Usage percentage is an estimate of the percentage of team plays used by a player while he was on the floor). The addition of Anthony would boost an already high-powered offense, adding an explosive second scorer next to Chris Paul. And with Anthony’s versatility at the wing position, Doc Rivers would be able to deploy several lineups to emphasize his personnel use. Need a power forward? Anthony is more than capable of sliding to the four as the league grows smaller. Need a small forward, he adds an elite talent to battle the Lebron James’ and Kevin Durant‘s of the world.
And of course, there are the cons.
At the age of 25, it still seems Griffin has yet to crack the surface when speaking on his expected ceiling. Opposite of Griffin, Anthony is a sure product at this point in his career. Even with Anthony coming off the best season of his 11 year career, there’s an argument to be made when debating who’s the better player between the two. If a trade was made, bets would be hedged on Anthony’s impact over a three or four years period would be greater than Griffin’s over a ten-year period–health permitting of course–and it’s hard to make a case that swings the pendulum toward Melo’s direction. Roster wise Anthony is a bad fit. He’s an addition that helps in a spot where help isn’t need (offense, finished first in offensive rating last season) and does little in the areas immediate improvements are needed (reserve bigs, perimeter defense), and while the swapping Griffin for Anthony would hurt the Clippers salary cap wise unless Melo is willing to take a pay cut, an option that yet seems feasible.
While the trade is purely hypothetical, the Clippers have had discussions pertaining to a Anthony-Griffin swap following the turn of the year, but Griffin’s leap into near-superstardom this past season has caused those discussions to cease to exist.
Answer the poll below and let us know what you think about a hypothetical Blake Griffin for Carmelo Anthony trade.