Is Melo Going to the Cavs Really the Best Move for Cleveland?February 15, 2017
With the recent Chris Anderson trade to the Hornets, it’s becoming more and more obvious that Carmelo Anthony will be wearing a Cavs jersey before the trade deadline. Despite Lebron’s claims that these rumors are “trash”, it only makes sense that the only player rumored to be traded to the Cavaliers would find a way onto the roster with a spot recently opening. Melo would would be the solution to Lebron’s need of a “play maker”, who was quoted this month saying that they won’t repeat in the NBA Finals this year without adding one more. But is the price too high to acquire this “much needed” piece? The Cavs, who are running out of valuable assets to move in trades, would have to pay a significant price to land the former franchise piece of the New York Knicks, and I’ve broken down whether it’s worth it or not.
According to the most recent trade rumors, The Cavaliers would send Kevin Love to the Knicks in exchange for Melo. Of course, this will deal is subject to change with Kevin Love’s recent injury leaving him off the court for 6 weeks. However, even if Love was still apart of the trade, I still don’t think it is worth it for the Cavs, even though Melo has a much more impressive career. Love is better at rebounding, hustles more on both ends of the court, has better consistent range from both mid range and beyond the arc making one of the most deadly stretch fours in the league, especially in the playoffs, and is overall the better “play maker”. Not to mention Love is younger, takes up less cap space, and has had more success in the playoffs than Melo. Giving up Love for Melo would result as a loss for Cleveland. Despite the fact that Melo and Lebron make up 1/2 of the banana boat crew, the playing ability they would give up outweighs what they would get from bringing Carmelo to Cleveland. Anthony, who is 32 years old, is approaching the tail end of his career, not to mention that he hasn’t played in the playoffs since losing to the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals in 2013. Even though at one point Melo was one of the best players in the league, those days are over for Carmelo, regardless if he is on a team with on of his best friends or not. The Cavs are once again about to give up a lot only to fail to break even on the deals they make, further showing that the gap between them and the rest of the Eastern Conference is slowly closing.
If Melo does join the Cavs, his short term performance will be phenomenal. By joining one of his closest friends, Lebron, I guarantee his playing style will be the greatest we’ve seen from him since his time as a Denver Nugget. Not only that, but this is the first time Melo will have a chance to win that elusive NBA Championship ring since his deep playoff run with Denver in 2009, where they lost to Kobe Bryant’s Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. The Cavs are almost guaranteed to make the Finals this year, and the addition of Melo will practically secure a spot for Cleveland in the NBA Finals. With the potential to finally silence the Carmelo Anthony haters about not having a Championship ring to go with his NCAA Tournament Championship win, his 3 Olympic Gold medals and 1 Olympic Bronze medal (for those who don’t know Carmelo is the most decorated male athlete in not only USA Olympic Basketball, but in Olympic Basketball period), and other insane accolades, Melo will play unrelenting basketball every night until the end of the postseason. However, once Melo wins this Championship, his playing style will completely drop off. He will go back to playing lazy, selfish basketball, and just like his best friend Lebron, he will constantly eat up a prominent amount of cap space. Essentially, after this ring is earned, Melo will finally be able to relax with a Hall of Fame worthy career that could even regard him as one of the greatest Basketball players of all time, and will become a waste of a roster spot. With Lebron and Melo on the same team, there will be absolutely no room to improve in free agency. Unless the Cavs want to continue to give up important pieces in trades, they will continue to worsen as the rest of the Eastern Conference catches up to them. Adding Melo is a great move for the short term, however I guarantee it will hurt the Cavs in seasons to come.
Cavs fans, adding Melo will only be worth it for this season alone. If Cleveland adds him to the roster, he will almost guarantee another NBA Championship this year, but it will be the last NBA Finals Cleveland wins for a long time. With teams like Washington and Boston on the rise, the Cavs only have a few season left as the dominant force in the East before they get replaced by a new, more deserving team. It would be stupid for Cleveland to give up Love for Melo, but that would just further show why players shouldn’t get involved with front office deals and how Lebron will be a terrible owner after he retires from playing in the NBA. After the Kyle Korver trade, the Cavs, in my opinion, have plenty of key pieces to repeat this season. However, Lebron if you really need to add one more “play maker” to the roster, giving up a “play maker” for another “play maker” still means that you’re one “player maker” short.
Written by Erik Clark