Recently, the Portland Trail Blazers have entered the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes and are now candidates to acquire the 10x NBA All Star. Anthony has a no-trade clause, so a trade to Portland would have to be approved. Here’s what a Melo to Portland deal would look like.
The Trail Blazers are 39 million dollars over the salary cap, and they are 19 million dollars over the luxury tax. If the team remained there, Trail Blazers Owner Paul Allen would have a massive check. To acquire Anthony, the Blazers need to get rid of some massive yearly salaries, including Evan Turner (19m), Allen Crabbe (19m), and Mo Harkless (10m).
The Knicks are right at the salary cap, so if they traded away Carmelo’s contract, they would have plenty of cap space to take in some contracts. If the Knicks had to take some of these contracts, chances are that Portland would have to throw in a few extra picks.
Portland’s Draft Picks
Right now, through 2024, the Blazers have one first round pick a year. They have a multitude of second round picks, but those picks would be a throw-in.
Potential Targets New York Could Acquire for Melo
Allen Crabbe was signed to a massive offer sheet by the Brookyln Nets last offseason (4y/74m). Crabbe is a solid role player (10.7 PPG) and is reliable, as he’s played all but two regular season games these past two seasons. Although Crabbe is getting paid near double his points per game, he’s only 25 and hasn’t hit his prime.
Evan Turner is another guy that the Knicks may receive. Turner was also signed to a massive contract last offseason (4y/70m), and he hasn’t lived up to the hype. Although Turner only averaged 9 PPG last season, he only logged 25 minutes a night. A new system in New York and a chance to get more minutes could help Evan Turner.
Meyers Leonard (9.9m for next season) is another guy the Trail Blazers could receive. Leonard becomes more expendable after the selection of center Zach Collins in the 2017 NBA Draft. Leonard is only 25 years old and is a nice backup frontcourt player. He’s a career 37% 3-point shooter and per 36 minutes, he averaged 11.8 points last season.
Why the Trade is Challenging for Portland
Portland has a clear cap issue. So, if Portland should acquire Melo, they need to either send some pieces to New York, or they need to find another team to take on those contracts. At this in the offseason, very few teams have remaining cap space.
If no teams will take the bad contracts, Portland will have to send them to New York, which would most likely involve them giving New York more picks.
POR receives: Carmelo Anthony
NYK receives: Allen Crabbe, Meyers Leonard, 2018 and 2020 first round picks (Top-5 protected for both).
Why This Works for Portland
Portland is able to acquire a star, who has much left in the tank. He’s only under contract for the next two years, so they don’t have to worry about long-term issues with his deal. Adding Anthony would make Portland a strong competitor in the West if they can stay healthy. A starting lineup that contains Damian Lillard, CJ Mccollum, Carmelo Anthony, and Jusuf Nurkic is scary.
Plus, Portland is able to shed a little bit of cap, as Crabbe and Leonard’s contracts are worth 3m more than Anthony’s. While that may seem small, every million dollars in the luxury tax is multiplied, so it saves a lot of money. Portland is also able to get rid of some long-term cap issues, as they are able to dump 88 million dollars, as that is the money both Crabbe and Leonard are owed over the next 3 years.
Why This Works For New York
With this trade, New York finally has a direction. While Crabbe and Leonard may be getting overpaid, they are both great shooters who can space the floor, and they fit modern-NBA play. Crabbe and Leonard are both 25 and haven’t hit their primes yet, so New York is able to add two young guys.
Also, New York won’t be competitive for at least 3 years. So, New York is able to financially take the hit of those contracts, and in return, they receive two first round picks. New York is in dire need of young talent, and Crabbe and Leonard plus the two picks helps them with that. When it comes down to it, Portland would be trading a first for Melo, and a first for New York to take on Crabbe and Leonard.