The New York Knicks are reportedly set to complete a blockbuster trade sending Carmelo Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a future draft pick.
On Saturday, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN first reported the sides completed the deal pending a Monday trade call. Shams Charania of The Vertical provided details of the expected package going to New York.
Anthony had been the focus of intense trade speculation throughout the offseason. Marc Berman on the New York Post reported in July the star small forward, who owns a no-trade clause, was only interested in joining James Harden and Chris Paul with the Houston Rockets.
His stance changed this week with the Knicks set to open training camp next week. Wojnarowski noted he added the Cleveland Cavaliers and OKC to his list of acceptable destinations in hopes of facilitating a move before the 2017-18 NBA season kicks off Oct. 17.
Now he’s set to join reigning MVP Russell Westbrook and fellow forward Paul George, whom the Thunder acquired in July from the Indiana Pacers.
Both of the Thunder’s star players “played an immense part” in convincing Melo to waive his no-trade clause to join them, per Wojnarowski.
Most importantly, OKC was able to add another major asset without sacrificing any key pieces for the upcoming season. The presence of Steven Adams limited Kanter’s impact last season, and McDermott wasn’t ticketed for significant usage following the trade for George.
A starting lineup of Westbrook, Anthony, George, Adams and either guard Andre Roberson or forward Patrick Patterson, depending on whether head coach Billy Donovan wants to play big or small, lands the Thunder firmly in the contender category.
It’s likely going to take a sizable portion of the regular season for the superstar trio to become comfortable playing together, but their offensive upside could make Oklahoma City a threat to the Golden State Warriors come playoff time.