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Should the Cavaliers trade for Carmelo Anthony? I asked two general managers and one scout. (None work for the Cavs or Houston Rockets, Anthony’s current team).
GM No. 1: “I’d look into it. They could pump some life into the building. Say what you will about Carmelo, he is a (big) name. Mostly, though, I think the Rockets are interested in J.R. Smith. If the Cavs were willing to take on Carmelo, I bet they could unload J.R.”
GM No. 2: “No way, no how. Carmelo is at the end of his career. This is a reason no one wants to make a deal for him. He is not the right kind of player to be around young guys. He will want the ball and his shots. He is a good person, don’t get me wrong. But he is not a good fit for that franchise.”
Scout: “It depends. I know the Rockets have interest in J.R. Smith. You could always include Carmelo in a deal then waive him. But I don’t see the harm in keeping him. Why not? Who else do you have on that team that will be there beyond this season? (Collin) Sexton? (Cedi) Osman? There’s maybe five, six guys. … Put it this way, if it means unloading Smith I would do it.
“You can give Carmelo a shot and if it doesn’t work out, that’d be on him. I don’t think he wants to get waived again. He might play hard and enjoy himself, like Derrick Rose is doing (with the Minnesota Timberwolves).”
Anthony has been exiled from the Rockets, though he is still taking up a roster spot. The same goes for Smith with the Cavs. Both are at the tail ends of their careers. In fact, a lot of people think Anthony’s is already over.
Either way, the Rockets have had an interest in Smith since the summer. They recently have expressed an interest again, and likely will do so one final time before the deadline.
With Smith’s large contract, the Cavs would have to take some serious money back in a deal with Houston. That wouldn’t be an issue. At least then they could land some guys who might contribute and not just hold a roster spot hostage. And those players could be moved in another trade.
My personal opinion: I’m with the first GM and scout. If the Cavs can unload Smith, and have to take back Anthony to do it, that’s OK.
In that scenario, the Cavs could ask Anthony he wants to do: Play and help out the young guys, or be waived yet again and be sent into basketball oblivion?
I honestly think Anthony would chose the former. If not, it’s no harm, no foul, and J.R. is off the books.