No organization has had more issues this season than the Knicks, and arguably no player has had more controversy surrounding them than Carmelo Anthony. It has been a rough year for the Knicks who, for some reason, signed Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Brandon Jennings, and Courtney Lee. Instead of trying to rebuild around their rising star Kristaps Porzingis, they signed a handful of past-their-prime vets, none of which have come close to winning a title, or even competing for one. It has not worked out well, to say the least. Since December 13th, the Knicks have the second worst record in the NBA and the ownership, fans, and players are sick of it. Carmelo has begun to receive boos from the crowd at Madison Square Garden, and the Knicks have been trying to trade Melo for a few months. Like most other teams, the Hawks have not shown much interest, but it is about time that they do. If the Hawks want to be legitimate contenders in the East this season, the Hawks need to trade for Carmelo Anthony.
Don’t stop reading just yet. I know it sounds ridiculous, and it did to me too the first time I thought about it, but it really is not that crazy at all. The Hawks are a good team that will make the playoffs, and probably get home court advantage for at least one round. But, unless Lebron James, John Wall, and Isaiah Thomas all get injured, it would take nothing short of a miracle for the Hawks to make it to the finals. This team needs that guy, that playmaker that, when everyone else is cold he can step up and carry the offense and Carmelo Anthony is that guy. The Hawks offense relies on the streaky scoring of Kent Bazemore, Tim Hardaway jJr, and others like Muscala and Thabo. That is why the offense can look so good some nights, but brutally lost other nights. With Carmelo, the offense will just about always look good. When the rest of the team is playing well Melo can let everyone do their thing, but when the shots aren’t falling, Carmelo can take over the offense to settle everything down. The game he just played against the Hawks proves his worth as a basketball player. He hit shot after shot to carry the Knicks through 2 overtimes before fouling out. He left the game with 45 points and probably could have scored 50 if he had not gotten in foul trouble.
Inserting Melo into the starting lineup of the Hawks would make one of the most dangerous starting fives in the East. First of all, the floor would open up more for Dennis Schröder to slash and either score or dish it to one of his teammates. Bazemore would get more open looks, and his field goal percentage would continue to climb from the dreadful start he had to the season. Carmelo would continue to do what he does, but in coach Bud’s system he would not be able to hold the ball as often as he does with the Knicks. Paul Millsap will also improve with this move. Right now he gets more attention than anyone on offense, but Melo would take some of that away from Millsap, getting him easier looks. Dwight Howard’s role would basically stay the same, clean the glass and dunk the ball. With Melo the Hawks have the full package on offense. A great passer and athlete at point, a lockdown defender with a good shot at SG, a pure scorer at SF, a consistent all-around talent at PF, and a great, physical rebounder at C. That is the type of team that would be able to compete with the Cavaliers in a 7 game series. Signing Dwight Howard was a step in the right direction, but the Hawks are still in need of a real game changer, and that is what Carmelo Anthony is.