The Boston Celtics are reportedly very interested in acquiring Carmelo Anthony this offseason.
The Boston Celtics are in a bad spot right now. Despite receiving offers from multiple teams at the trade deadline, the front office rejected all trades, including potential offers that would send Paul George or Carmelo Anthony their way. Now, the franchise finds itself in a 2-0 hole to the No. 8 seeded Chicago Bulls in just the first round of the NBA playoffs. They thought they had enough firepower to make a title run. Turns out they didn’t.
Assuming the Celtics aren’t able to mount a comeback (and the outlook isn’t good, FiveThirtyEight gives them an 18 percent chance of winning the series), some big changes could potentially take place this offseason, because according to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Celtics are very interested in acquiring Carmelo Anthony from the Knicks.
According to an NBA source, the Celtics coaching staff was in favor of trading for Anthony at the trade deadline, but general manager Danny Ainge had too many reservations. One of Ainge’s concerns, according to a source, was an Anthony trade would have given Boston no real cap space to work with for the 2017 free-agent class.
Based on everything that’s happened in the last few weeks, the Knicks would probably also be interested in a swap with Boston.
The Post has learned that in talks with the Celtics, their defensive small forward Jae Crowder would be a major player of interest for Knicks president Phil Jackson. In fact, Jackson lamented not trading for Crowder when he was on the table in the 2014 trade talks with the Mavericks for Tyson Chandler. Crowder is an active, gritty defender who can shoot from 3-point range.
The Celtics long have been thought of as a sensible destination for Anthony because of their expiring contracts and trove of draft picks that will include the Nets’ first-round selection (Boston is seeded first in the May 16 lottery, though that pick is off limits).
It makes sense, at least in theory. The Celtics need another scorer, period. Isaiah Thomas just isn’t enough to get it done, now matter how spectacular he can be on a nightly basis. Plus, the Celtics have the assets to trade for him. They’ve got a bundle of draft picks and a stable of serviceable players that the Knicks could desperately use. On the Knicks side, Phil Jackson made it abundantly clear last week that Anthony should probably find another place to play basketball. The relationship between Jackson and Anthony is unsalvageable at this point, and it seems pretty likely that Melo won’t be in a Knicks uniform next season, if the team can get him to waive his no trade clause.
This off-season will be the time for the Celtics to make their move.