Orlando Magic at New York Knicks

The Clippers have had nearly the same roster over the past 3-4 seasons. They have their main core of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan, and their main role players in JJ Redick, Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers, and some interchangeable players such as Luc Richard Mbah A Moute or Wesley Johnson. They’ve had an old Paul Pierce on the roster the last 2 seasons for veteran leadership, and have picked up Brandon Bass and Mareese Speights as backup bigs, who have shown that they can produce in limited minutes. But this team needs more to get past the 2nd round of the Western Conference Playoffs. No matter what way you look at it, barring any injury, the Clippers will have to go through either Golden State or San Antonio, and on the highly unlikely chance that they actually do make it past either of those two, they’ll most probably see the Cavaliers in the Finals. The thing all 3 of those teams have in common is their strength at the Small Forward position. Golden State has Kevin Durant and Draymond Green can slide over there if they want to play a big lineup, with Kawhi Leonard on San Antonio and of course, Lebron James playing for the Cavs. The Clippers have Mbah a Moute and Wesley Johnson.

Carmelo Anthony has stated that he would waive his no trade clause if the Clippers are who he would be traded to. This trade makes a lot of sense for both sides, considering the gaping hole the Clippers have at SF and the Knicks’ deteriorating relationship with Carmelo Anthony. The Clippers can put together a package of Jamal Crawford, Austin Rivers, Luc Richard and Wesley Johnson, throw in a pick or two, and get back Carmelo Anthony and Brandon Jennings, which works for both teams cap-wise. The Knicks are not in a great situation, and they don’t get anything back resembling a Carmelo Anthony, but the picks could be useful in the trade, as well as the veteran leadership of Jamal Crawford (in his return to the NYK no less) in helping the likes of Derrick Rose and Courtney Lee. Austin Rivers can help in the backcourt as well, and although they are both not great offensively, Luc Richard and Wesley Johnson can take the pressure off some of the other Knick players as they are better than the average defender.

As far as the Clippers go, this should be a no-brainer for them, just based off the fact I mentioned about the lack of skill at the SF position. Carmelo Anthony is not done yet, as he can score 30 points on any given night, he can take some of the pressure off of Chris Paul or Blake Griffin, and is a better rebounder than he gets credit for. He may not be a great defender, but Carmelo is one of the few players in the league that can actually play defense with offense, meaning he can tire out his competition by going at his defender more aggressively on offense. This can come in handy in the playoffs going up against the likes of Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant. Also, if this trade does happen, it gives the Clippers at least enough leeway to make it through Blake Griffin and Chris Paul’s contracts (ending in 2018) before blowing up the roster. If the trade doesn’t happen, I believe the Clippers’ roster could and should be blown up because the roster as is, is just not good enough to pass the 2nd round. Adding Carmelo Anthony to the core, without losing any of their ‘big 3’ greatly increases the Clippers’ chances at seeing their first ever Western Conference Finals appearance, and maybe even beyond.

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