Should Cavs trade for Carmelo if it means unloading JR?

Carmelo Anthony and the Rockets parted ways in November, much like J.R. Smith and the Cavaliers.

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.

5 Comments on "Should Cavs trade for Carmelo if it means unloading JR?"

  1. This is a bad deal for Cavs. The most valuable aspect is JR’s $3 million buyout, on a $15 million salary for next season.
    The $12 million net in salary cap relief is worth a lot more than Melo. Can get an asset from a cap stricken team.

    • Rich, JR has made it clear he’s not agreeing to a buyout. That $3.4 million next season is going to keep the Cavs from making some moves. They need to trade him, if not before the deadline, then definitely over the summer or they’re hurtin. Buying a player out requires agreement from said player. JR has decided to stick it them.

  2. Some teams are waiting for the draft next season, Cleveland is one of them

  3. Im in the yes, it cant hurt at this point category to take Melo, at least for the rest of the season anyway and getting rid of JR at the same time. I would suggest the simple trade would be JR Smith for Melo and Brandon Knight’s expiring contract.

    • Disregard my trade for Brandon Knight, I didn’t realize he had another year to go, I thought his contract was expiring.

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