Anthony isn’t interested in the Cavaliers’ dysfunction
It’s August and the NBA’s offseason hasn’t been able to slow down, largely because of the Knicks struggles to move on from Carmelo Anthony. (Of course, Kyrie Irving’s trade request has energized the news cycle, as well.) It doesn’t look like that will be changing anytime soon.
Anthony only has interest in being traded to the Houston Rockets and nowhere else, according to a report from the New York Post. Anthony previously had interest in moving to the Cavaliers, according to the report, but that has waned since news broke that Irving requested a trade. From the Post:
A stalemate has ensued as sources indicate Anthony only wishes to waive his no-trade clause to go to the Rockets. Not even Cleveland, which is in turmoil, is good enough for Anthony as the Cavaliers are dealing with Kyrie Irving’s trade demand.
Anthony averaged 22.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game for the Knicks during last year’s tumultuous season. He’s hosting a tournament in Baltimore and will have a chance to speak to the media for the first time since April.
Why the Cavaliers don’t make sense for Anthony
No one wants to walk away from chaos just to walk back into it. That’s what a move from New York to Cleveland would be for Anthony.
As much as they’d want you to believe they aren’t, the Cavaliers are in a rut right now. LeBron James isn’t guaranteed to stay in Cleveland after next season, Irving won’t be on the roster at some point in the near future and the team doesn’t have too many valuable assets to offer up aside from their all-star point guard, who is a major part of the reason why the roster is so appealing.
The Cavs haven’t done anything to improve themselves — and, to be fair, they didn’t have many options to do so outside of trade. Anthony has to think longterm for himself right now. After this initial season if Anthony opts into his deal, it could just be him and Kevin Love alone on a roster not truly built for either of them.
Until Cleveland figures their future out, it makes no sense for Anthony to dive in. And, unfortunately for them, they probably won’t be able to until they get some direction from James on his future.
Why the Cavaliers still make sense for Anthony
Sure, the Cavs are dysfunctional right now. But are they more dysfunctional than the Knicks? Probably not.
Anthony should do whatever he can to get out of New York, even if it means playing in Cleveland next season. He’s got a player option in his deal for 2018-19, so no matter where he plays he’ll probably be a free agent next season. There’s nothing that marries Anthony to Cleveland at this point.
Plus, he’d be playing with an esteemed member of the banana boat crew and one of his best friends — something he’s always wanted to do. It’s not the worst situation in the world, even if Irving isn’t a Cavalier anymore.
Maybe things work out next season and the Cavs make another run to the Finals. James could commit to the playing in Cleveland for another few years if things work well and Anthony also chooses to stay. Even if it feels unlikely right now, there’s still nearly a year’s worth of time between now and James’ free agency.
There’s ample reason for Anthony to still consider the Cavs at this point. To dismiss them would be silly on his part.