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“Running away from things you find unpleasant causes suffering. But facing and challenging such situations will enrich your life”
Running away from things you find unpleasant like… say… living somewhere other than New York?
Facing and challenging such situations like… say… playing second fiddle to Lebron, or Chris, or Isaiah Thomas?
Situations that will enrich your life like… say… winning a championship?
#StayMelo. Wait, didn’t it used to be #StayMe7o? Where’d that 7 go? Is this some kind of indication that Carmelo might be, say, changing his number when he’s traded?
Look, I’m not saying… I’m just… you know… I’m just saying.
In case you’ve been too embroiled in political coverage to notice, Carmelo trade rumors are as hot as they’ve ever been.
Will he waive his no trade clause? Who would he accept a trade to? Does anyone have a trade package of equal value to trade back to New York? What even is Carmelo’s value at this point?
I’ve been hesitant to write about Melo for two reasons. One, because of his No-Trade Clause. And two, because everyone knows why the Knicks should trade him.
Carmelo himself is smart enough to understand that the Knicks best path towards true contention is to trade him. We all know the formula. Trade Carmelo, buy out Rose, hand the team to Porzingis, and hope to end up near the top of the lottery to draft one of the multitude of potential franchise point guards coming out this season. Any one of Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, Dennis Smith, De’Aaron Fox, and Frank Ntilikina would provide the Knicks with a young, talented point guard to pair with Porzingis and build around. There’s nothing complicated here.
It’s nothing against Carmelo. It’s just the reality of the league. This Knicks team is not built to seriously contend – not with Carmelo exiting his prime and Porzingis still years away from reaching his. The best path to contention is to bottom out and build around young talent that will start to peak as Lebron and the Warriors start to fade. It’s what teams like Philadelphia, Minnesota, Milwaukee, and others have already realized and begun to work towards.
The Knicks have a superstar building block in Porzingis, a couple of decent complimentary young role players on great contracts the next few years, and all of their draft picks. The bedrock is there… it’s just covered in a pile of rubble. One move — trading Carmelo — would bulldoze that pile and clear everything up for a beautiful rebuild. Well, everything except Joakim Noah’s contract.
But it all comes back to point number one: the No-Trade Clause. It’s fun to write about a rebuild, but it’s futile while Carmelo wants to stay here. And from all indications, he does. He’s made it clear that he loves New York, and from all indications, he’s okay playing out his career in New York without winning a title. And unless he gets so fed up with the franchise and the media and the constant blame, he’ll stay here for good.
Last week, I thought we might’ve hit that point. I thought for few days there that a trade might be imminent. Phil was openly shopping him to any takers, the media was on him harder than ever, fans were chanting “Trade Carmelo”. For a second there, I thought he’d had it.
But now we’re past it. The Cavs turned down a straight-up trade for Kevin Love and have little else to offer. The Celtics exhibited no desire to part with their young assets. And the Clippers had nothing worthwhile to trade once Blake and DeAndre were off the table.
Carmelo won’t accept a trade anywhere else, and who could blame him? Who among us is giving up a key to New York City to live somewhere else and lose to the Cavs or Warriors? Who is giving up the type of power Melo has here just to lose somewhere other than the mecca? He’s outlasted Amar’e, D’Antoni, Linsanity, and every other person that’s come in here looking to seize power. And guess what, he’ll likely outlast Phil Jackson, too.
Melo is here and he’s here for good. All we can hope for is another frozen envelope.