Earlier this week, Carmelo Anthony’s 7 season tenure with the New York Knicks came to an end as the former scoring champion was dealt to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Anthony, a 10-time All-Star will join the reigning league MVP, Russell Westbrook; as well as four-time All-Star Paul George. The Oklahoma City Thunder struggled in the 2016-2017 season after their superstar, Kevin Durant, left to team to go win a championship with the Golden State Warriors.
Not willing to waste the prime of Westbrook’s career, the Thunder traded for two of the top players in the NBA to challenge the Warriors in the Western Conference.
Rumors swirled this offseason as Anthony was the subject of trade rumors. After being continuously criticized by the Knicks front office, and lack of success in New York, Anthony decided it was time to move on from the Big Apple, requesting he be traded.
One of the biggest hurdles the Knicks had to face in dealing Anthony was the no-trade clause in his contract. That gave Anthony the ability to veto any trade the Knicks proposed to him. As his situation became even more unbearable, Anthony told the Knicks that he wanted to be traded to a contender. Instantly, the Houston Rockets became the destination all fans saw Anthony going to, based on his friendship with James Harden and Chris Paul.
After the Knicks struggled to find a deal with the Rockets, Anthony added to the list of teams that he would be willing to accept a trade to, and that included the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Many people thought that a team featuring LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony could challenge the reigning champion, Golden State Warriors. But, rumors that James will leave the franchise next summer scared Anthony away from wanting to join Cleveland. The two sides could not come to an agreement so the Knicks turned to the Thunder to make a trade.
With future superstar, Kristaps Porzingis looking for his chance to take over the team, the Knicks looked for complimentary players to the 23-year old Latvian. For Anthony, the Knicks received center Enes Kanter, guard Doug McDermott and a 2nd-round draft pick in 2018. This move could prove beneficial to both sides as the Thunder are in a “win-now” mode while the Knicks are creating a youth movement to become a legitimate contender in the next few seasons.
As the drama of the Knicks vs. Carmleo Anthony was thought to be over after the trade, it came to many fans attention that the first game Anthony will play as a Thunder, will be against his former Knicks team. The two franchises will square off on October 19, in front of a reenergized Oklahoma City fanbase.