As we all attempt to move on from the shock of the Kyrie Irving trade, it’s easy to forget that there remains a number of big names without guaranteed homes for the 2017/18 season. Carmelo Anthony has been reportedly moving to almost every franchise in the NBA aside from the Knicks at various points this offseason, and yet still he sits on New York’s roster – despite a distinct lack of commitment from them.
Dwyane Wade is a 35-year-old on a roster which is clearly rebuilding. A buyout seems an inevitability, and a number of teams would gladly take on the three-time NBA champion. Meanwhile, Iman Shumpert, Josh Smith (remember him?), and Marcin Gortat are all names which have come up at one point or another throughout the offseason and are still seemingly yet to reach a solution.
Anthony has for many months been linked to various different teams, his apparent discontent symptomatic of a tumultuous period in the Knicks’ illustrious history. Phil Jackson’s departure suggested the winds of change had arrived, but Carmelo’s name still sits idly on their roster.
Houston, for a long time, seemed the most likely candidate after Melo reportedly placed them atop his list of preferred destinations. Talks between the Knicks and the Rockets, however, have stalled and recommenced time after time, and with each passing day an agreement seems less likely.
The monster trade between the Celtics and the Cavs has placed the latter back in the game, with the trade providing them with many more assets to play with to acquire Carmelo, should they wish to do so. There were rumblings earlier in the offseason about a potential trade between the Knicks and the Cavs, and LeBron James has in the past indicated a desire to play with Melo.
The likelihood of one of these teams acquiring the small forward appears to have increased after the Knicks released an advertisement for the upcoming season which didn’t feature Anthony. Though a long way from an admittance of a break-up, it certainly suggests that the commitment of each party to one another is far from strong.
When Chicago traded its best player, Jimmy Butler, to the Timberwolves for three players under the age of 24, it suggested a clear change in direction for the Bulls. The 35-year-old Dwyane Wade does not exactly fit the profile of a team with an increased focus on youth, and a trade or a buyout seems an inevitability. Various media outlets have added fuel to the fire, with reports that Wade’s kids have moved school from Chicago to Florida, suggesting the Heat may be a possibility to regain the man who helped them to championships in 2006, 2012 and 2013.
Cleveland is another prominent player in these discussions, and Wade’s well-publicized friendship with James following their success together in Miami adds an element of romanticism to this possibility. In recent weeks, the likelihood of this result has grown further, with certain sources suggesting it is a probable outcome.
With Chicago looking at a season closer to the bottom end of the Eastern Conference than to the top, and Wade proving last season that he can still provide value to a good team, these discussions are unlikely to cease anytime soon.
Iman Shumpert, Josh Smith, Marcin Gortat
Though Wade and Anthony are without a doubt the biggest names still on the trade block, there are numerous other players whose futures seem uncertain. Having previously played for the Knicks, and rumored to be looking for a move away from Cleveland, Shumpert could prove a handy bargaining point in a trade for Anthony.
The enigmatic Smith, previously of the Houston Rockets amongst various other teams, and currently playing for the Sichuan Blue Whales in China, has been linked to a return to the Rockets. Gortat sent the trade rumor mills into a spin when he suggested he would discuss with his agents if Washington was the right fit for him after the end of the 2016/17 season. In recent days he has clarified this statement, claiming he was simply ‘preparing for the worst’, but that he fully intends to remain a Wizard.
As with every offseason, rumors rule the headlines at this time of year. Many of them will prove to be unfounded, but as we found out with the Irving trade, where there is smoke there is very often fire. Anthony and Wade have the capacity to provide some serious icing on the top of some already well-adorned cakes, while a few depth players are still yet to clarify their futures. There is a distinct possibility that rumors surrounding these players will continue for weeks, if not months to come. Welcome to the NBA offseason.
Where do you think Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade will end up in 2017/18?
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