Carmelo Anthony to OKC – What this means for the Thunder and the rest of the league.
In the wake of Carmelo Anthony’s shock move to the Western Conference’s Oklahoma City Thunder, we dissect what this means for the team and the state of the league.
The Knicks have traded 10-time All Star Carmelo Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Carmelo waived his no trade clause facilitating the trade, which sent Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a 2018 second-round pick to New York.
Carmelo will be linking up with two all-stars in Russell Westbrook and Paul George creating yet another super team in the NBA’s stacked Western Conference.
Westbrook and George were heavily involved in Anthony’s recruitment which is probably why the Knicks star chose the Thunder. Anthony has been linked with a number of franchises in recent years but the one key element keeping him in New York was an absence of love being shown from the others.
The Thunder now boast one of the best 1-on-1 basketball team’s in NBA history. All three of their stars are experts in isolation. Going one out could save the Thunder’s blushes on multiple occasions. How this translates to cohesive team basketball such as what we see from Golden State is another question entirely.
The Northwest division now has the likes of Westbrook, PG, Melo, KAT, Butler, Lillard, Wiggins, Gobert, Jokic among others. This is going to be such an exciting division and we haven’t even listed the rest of the stars in the West!
With a big three firmly in place, Oklahoma City fans are rejoicing at their prospects for the upcoming season. However, do you really think that adding Carmelo, a often criticised ball stopper with sub par defensive skills on the wrong side of 30 will boost your title hopes that much?
Scepticism is slowly growing after the honeymoon feel to the trade passes. The Golden State Warriors are firmly entrenched as the favourites of the west. The Spurs still have Kawhi, Aldridge, Gasol, Gay, Parker and Ginobili and a wizard of a coach. They’re still strong contenders in the mix.
The Anthony move could well have locked up third spot in the West for the Thunder with the rival Houston Rockets adding Chris Paul this offseason. The Rockets are still notably lacking that third amigo to partner with Paul and last year’s MVP runner up James Harden.
Will Westbrook, George and Anthony mesh as a unit? We’ll find out soon enough but we should be able to guarantee that it’ll be exciting watching them nonetheless.
By Nik Hatzi