The NBA trade deadline causes some teams to work towards becoming championship contenders, while other teams are looking to rebuild for the future. On Feb. 23, all trades between teams must cease and the rosters will be finalized before the playoffs. Every year, this year included, there are some big names on the trading block.
This year Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks has joined the trade conversation. After producing a disappointing 22-30 record thus far, the Knicks are left searching for options. They have been looking for trade suitors, specifically for Anthony, despite his contract including a no-trade clause. This gives Anthony the power to veto being traded if he desires, however it is rumored he is open to joining the Cavs, Clippers, and the Celtics.
I predict that if Anthony actually ends up moving to any of these teams it will be the Boston Celtics, because they have the assets to produce a compatible trade with the Knicks. The Celtics possess high-ranked future draft picks via the Brooklyn Nets and could entice the Knicks with the opportunity to rebuild around a young core with Kristaps Porzingis. The Celtics also have Jaylen Brown, the fourth pick in the 2016 draft, who could be added to sweeten the deal. Anthony could also join up with All-Star point guard, Isaiah Thomas, as well as Al Horford to make for one of the best offensive units in the league.
Rajon Rondo, familiar to trade rumors, could be moving again. Since playing an important role in the Celtics winning the 2008 championship, Rondo has struggled to be a major contributor for any championship-level team. Rondo was traded from the Celtics in 2014, and since has had failed stints with the Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings, and could move again after just half a season with the Chicago Bulls.
I think that Rondo should be traded to the Phoenix Suns who possess a great deal of young talent (Devin Booker, Marquese Chriss, T.J. Warren, Dragan Bender) but need a true point guard and leader to direct the team. Possible trade pieces could include current point guard Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight, or future draft picks.
My boldest prediction of all: if Anthony doesn’t go to Boston, Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls) will. Although there has been more discussion surrounding Anthony, Butler could be a better fit for Boston because of his defensive prowess and Anthony’s reputation for poor shot selection. Many teams will look to take steps into title contention or rebuilding. The next few weeks are crucial for teams as they look towards the playoffs and an NBA championship.