Should The Knicks Trade Carmelo Anthony For Blake Griffin?



With Blake Griffin banged up after his alleged fight with his trainer and the Knicks struggling, a lot of people have talked about a potential Griffin for Melo swap.  Zach Lowe mentioned it last week in his column for ESPN:

Another such monster rises in Gotham: Kristaps Porzingis. Someone in the Knicks front office should be calling Rivers, sweet-talking him about how a Griffin-Carmelo Anthony swap would help both teams. Paul and Anthony once toasted the prospect of playing together, and Anthony could channel the Team USA version of himself as a supercharged stretch power forward in L.A.

New York probably doesn’t want to hear this, and that’s fine. Star-for-star deals almost never happen; inertia is too powerful. The Knicks are (kind of) winning again, the Garden rocks, Melo is happy and passing, and he’s an appealing franchise face safely under contract for at least two seasons after this one. Swapping Melo for Griffin would leave the Knicks bereft of wing players.
The swap also would give New York a legit star who’s closer to Porzingis in age — a triangle post-up type who should appeal to prospective free agents as much as Melo does. The 2015-16 Knicks are a fun story, but they’re not going anywhere real, and they don’t have their draft pick. The future should still be the first priority.

Bill Simmons also discussed a Melo-Griffin swap on his podcast last week, noting that Melo and Chris Paul share an agent in Leon Rose, while Woj talked about Griffin potentially getting moved today.

Knicks fans know all too well about the infamous Chris Paul toast at Melo’s wedding years ago.  It was the only thing keeping us going whenever the Melo/Stoudemire experiment hit turbulence.  So it would be kind of ironic for the Knicks to be the team to make that union happen somewhere else.  Melo is five years older than Blake and could be starting to break down.  So I know you are asking “Clem, you stupid idiot.  Why the hell would the Clippers want to trade Blake for Melo?”.  Well Melo has been playing some great, unselfish basketball as of late.  Obviously CP3 loves him and, even though he can drive you crazy as a fan, Melo remains one of the best scorers in the league.

The Clippers have a window that is only open as long as Chris Paul is a superstar and that window is starting to close.  The Warriors and Spurs are obviously a tier or two above the Clippers now, but the cores of Steph/Klay/Draymond and Kawhi/LaMarcus are not going anywhere.  Melo would be ready to contribute if the Clips want to go for it this year, despite Golden State and San Antonio having historically great seasons.  I think we can agree that the Clippers ceiling as of now is probably the Western Conference Semifinals unless injuries or something wacky happens.  Griffin is out for at least another month and obviously the whole fighting incident isn’t the best look for the Clippers.
I personally think a Melo trade would at least give the Clippers a better chance at winning this season, maybe even next.  If Melo went to L.A., it would immediately be the best team he has ever played on by far.  Chris Paul would easily be the best point guard Melo has ever played with and DeAndre Jordan is the perfect center for to make up for Carmelo’s defensive, um, lapses.  And I’m sure LaLa wouldn’t mind Melo playing in Lost Angeles.  So I think Carmelo would have no problem waiving his no trade clause.


Now I am not sure if the Knicks would have to sweeten things at all, but a straight up Melo for Griffin trade works under the salary cap rules.


Now as a Knicks fan, I obviously would LOVE if this trade happened.  Melo has been happy and productive lately, but you never know if/when he will become cranky again.  His body definitely seems to be breaking down, even though Blake is not exactly an iron man.  Blake also has an early termination option after the 2017-18 season.  But I don’t think he would leave New York, especially if Porzingis keeps developing as we all think and hope he will.

As much fun as this season has been at times, the Knicks are clearly a flawed team and that likely isn’t going to change in the next few months (especially if Derek Fisher remains the head coach).  If you are playing to make the playoffs, obviously dealing for a player that broke his hand in a fight last month isn’t the best idea.  Plus tanking does the Knicks no good, since they traded this year’s draft pick for Andrea Bargnani (thanks again Glen Grunwald!).  But the Knicks and their fans have to be realistic.  Get younger with Griffin, who I think would mesh fine with Porzingis’ versatile offensive game, and see where things go from there is a much better plan than keeping around an aging Melo.  Because once LeBron starts to really break down, the East will be there for the taking.  There are not many teams that can/will offer a star like Carmelo in a deal for Blake (at least based on the rumors floating around out there).

I think the Clippers turn this trade down on Opening Night. But now, I’m not sure sure. So my question is if you were The Zen Master, would you trade Carmelo Anthony for Blake Griffin?


Also, this was a great point.