After the Cleveland Cavaliers fell to the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday night, speculation went rampant on how Cleveland might improve their roster in the offseason to compete with the Warriors.
Some names thrown in the mix were Paul George, DeMarcus Cousins and of course, New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, who is good friends with both LeBron James as well as shooting guard J.R. Smith.
Smith clearly seemed pretty excited about the possibility of adding his former Knicks and Nuggets teammate; someone on Instagram posted a photo of Anthony alongside James in Cavaliers uniforms, along with a “Liked by teamswish” note right under the photo (Smith is @teamswish on Instagram).
It’s unclear how the Cavaliers would be able to swing a deal for Carmelo, but it’s certainly not impossible. The Cavs’ rebuffed a Kevin Love for Anthony swap during the regular season, and they are without a first round draft pick until 2021. One possible option, however, is the Knicks buy out the remaining two years, $54 million dollars on Anthony’s contract if they cannot find a suitable trading partner. That, however, would not make much sense for them at all.
Anthony currently holds all the cards in the situation, as his contract contains a no-trade clause, but it is reported he would waive it in order to land in Cleveland.
Knicks president Phil Jackson has made it clear he wants Anthony out of New York, so it will be interesting to see who blinks first. Cleveland would certainly be happy if it’s Jackson. Or at the very least, J.R. Smith would be.