Basket Ball! Two of the Banana boat brothers are in the news today.
The Melo Drama is finally over and Melo gets a new start in OKC. I will briefly breakdown the trade but I’m more interested in talking about how Melo fits in and where that leaves OKC in the west.
OKC get: Carmelo Anthony
Melo can still easily average 20 points a game easily but he won’t win you anything if he is your best or even second best player. I have read a lot about how impactful he is when he’s Team USA Melo and he isn’t the primary option. He will kill you on those catch and shoot 3’s (40.4%) and slashes to the basket. He is still a very intelligent scorer and will benefit from Westbrook and PG receiving a lot of defensive attention. Imagine your third best defender guarding Melo. He will get toasted. The key is whether Melo is willing to take on a reduced role (he has to in my opinion). He has to recognise that he is not the top dog on the team and take what he’s given. (don’t throw a strop over lack of touches like Adrian Petersen).
The other thing is that the team probably posts negative defensive numbers if Melo, PG and Westbrook are on the floor. Melo has never been a great defender and Wesbrook saves all his tenacity for the offense. PG will give you good defense and so will Roberson but I feel like (especially if Melo plays the 4 like I think he would), OKC will get found out defensively if all their big stars play at once. Roberson or PG have to be on the floor at all times when Melo is out there to spare Melo the embarrassment on defense.
Where does all this leave OKC? I reckon they are probably 4th best in the West now (all things being equal). They aren’t better than GSW, Houston or the Spurs in my opinion. I guess Melo and PG will talk tough because they want to win a ring but I don’t think that will happen. Don’t forget Melo can opt out of his contract next summer (so can Westbrook although he probably signs that $207 Million extension) and PG is a free agent so this could very well be a 1 year experiment.
The Knicks get: Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a second round draft pick
I actually like Enes Kanter. He gets a bad rap for his defense but what about his offense and rebounding? I mean the man is making something like $18 million dollars this year. You don’t get to make that much if you can’t at least do something right. Then there is McDermott who I’ve been waiting for to catch fire since he came in the league.
Now the knicks look like a motley crew of journey men and has beens. I guess they’re now Kristaps’ team but they will really suck this year. Off the top of my head, apart from Kristaps, they have my man Michael Beasley (you know I root for him wherever he goes), one of the Hernangomez brothers, Frank Ntilikina (Rookie out of France I’m really rooting for), now they have Kanter and McDermott. They still have Joakim Noah (or what is left of him). What can that team do for you in today’s NBA? The answer is a big, fat nothing!
In other news, Dwayne Wade got paid $15 Million by the Chicago Bulls to walk away. Now he’s free to sign with whoever he wants. I’ve seen Cleveland, OKC, Miami and the Spurs bandied about but let’s get real, Wade probably isn’t helping anyone get over the hump. Maybe he makes a difference in a playoff game or too but he’s not flash anymore so let’s stop pretending like he is. He’s certainly a hall of famer. I’d like to see him in a place like Milwaukee where he will light up the atmosphere and teach those young bucks (see what I did there) a thing or two.
The regular season tips off in just over 3 weeks. Boy o Boy! Am I excited for that!