On Saturday, September 23rd, 2017, the New York Knicks agreed to trade Carmelo Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The assets that New York received were Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a 2018 second-round pick (via the Chicago Bulls). On July 6th, 2017, the Indiana Pacers agreed to trade Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domas Sabonis. So, the Thunder acquired 10-time All-Star Melo and four-time All-Star PG13 for Kanter, McBuckets, Oladipo, Sabonis, and a second-round pick. Holla Holla.
Before I begin, I want to remind everyone that the 2017 Razzball Commenter Leagues (RCL) are open. Do you have what it takes to sit on the throne of the RCL landscape? Click HERE if you think you can be the best of the best.
Sam Hinkie receives much adulation for his Manifesto and #TTP, but General Manager Sam Presti of the Oklahoma City Thunder needs to be shown the same amount of love. How many GMs would’ve crumbled after losing a Kevin Durant? Granted, he traded away James Harden back in the day, but you can’t win them all. Presti is the guy at the poker table that is the aggressive maniac. He doesn’t sit at the table meekly waiting for a good hand. He’s betting and folding, but never checking. Will the moves work? No idea, but here’s the thing…at least he’s giving his team a chance. And….he’s all-in baby for 2017. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Presti Manifesti.
Westbrook has a Player Option for 2018. So, he’s basically a free agent after this upcoming season. George also has a PO for 2018 and we all know he’s going to the Lakers next season with Lebron. Melo has one more year at $27.9 million. After that, he’s off the books. As I said, Presti is all in. Rather than sit on his ass and pray for mediocrity, he actually did something to at least go down swinging. Will they beat Golden State? Probably not, but at least the probability is higher than before. Will Russ and George leave after this season? Probably, but what if they do make a run this season? Anyways, I always see the motivational post of, “If you don’t try, you’ll never know. If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never get it…and if you never ask, the answer will always be no.” Since this is a basketball site, I feel obligated to quote the GOAT, Michael Jordan:
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over against in my life, and that is why I succeed.”
Whether the Thunder succeed or not this season, I love the fact that Presti is shooting his mother f-ing shot.
Now, let’s try and break down the actual trade and see how it affects both teams.
What will the starting lineup be? Russ and Steven Adams are locked in at point guard and center. Will they go with Andre Roberson at shooting guard, George at small forward, and Melo at power forward? Stretch four would seem to be the ideal fit for Melo, but he’s balked at playing power forward for years, as he’s never wanted to bang down low with the bigs. Will George start at shooting guard with Melo at small forward and Patrick Patterson at power forward? Well, Patterson had an arthroscopic scope on his left knee in early August, so there’s that. Let’s also not forget that Russ had PRP treatment to his left knee. My guess is that they go with Melo at the four. The most obvious question will be how will the offensive pie be allocated, as Russ had a 41.7 usage rate last season, George was at 28.9, and Melo at 29.1. My guess is that George becomes third fiddle, which I don’t think he will have a problem with. Russ will remain the alpha with Melo right behind him. When KD was in OKC, the offense was basically, “Here you go Russ. Go do your thing. Ok, your turn KD.” The same dynamic will probably play out the same for Russ and Melo. Now, with Russ pretty much able to break down a defense at will, Melo and George will have plenty of open spot up looks. Melo and Russ played together on the 2012 Olympic team, while Melo and George played on the 2016 team, so there’s some familiarity there. All three are bonafide scorers and great players enjoy playing with other great players, so things should be all good, as long as they are successful. Winning cures all things, right? Really, the only question I have on offense is if Andre Roberson can drain the open jumper because he’s going to be left wiiiiiiiiiiide open. If he can’t, then the George at SG with Melo at SF and Patterson at PF will get more run. Now, about the defense and rebounding. Both come down to effort. I can envision seeing everyone putting forth the effort. I also used to envision myself making love to Cindy Crawford when I was a teenager. This squad is going to try to out-bucket everyone. There are only two scenarios for this team. Happy faces or….imagine the intersection of a busy street that has all the traffic lights turn to green at the same time.
Dougie McBuckets aka Doug McDermott is coming to MSG!!!!
It looks like he has a good chance to start at small forward for the Knicks. He does shoot around 37% from three-land, but doesn’t really do anything else. The torch has now been passed to Kristaps Porzingis, who will now be the face of the franchise. Yeah boyeee!!! PorzinGod does it all and his usage rate is going to skyrocket from the 24 rate he was at with the Black Hole in town. The trade looks like it will be a negative for Willy Hernangomez. With that said, he was viewed as a franchise piece earlier in the offseason, so let’s see how things play out. With the glut of big men that the Knicks have, maybe there’s another trade in the works. Hmmm, who am I kidding? There’s no way the front office has the foresight to think steps ahead. The second-round pick is a nice asset, as the Bulls should be one of the worst teams in the league. They could get a good player without the contractual obligations of paying him first-round money. The Knicks are in full rebuild mode with PorzinGod as the center piece. Hopefully they suck enough to land Luka Doncic.