How will OKC benefit from getting Melo?
Carmelo Anthony’s move to OKC will surely affect the West.
When the news regarding the completion of trade which sent Carmelo Anthony from the New York to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott along with a future draft pick, a lot of people were surprised that the Thunder were able to receive a player of Anthony’s calibre for players like Kanter who averaged 14 points per game and McDermott who only averaged 6 points per game last season.
While many people thought that Carmelo’s age has something to do with it, we all know that he can still score 40 or 50 at any given game. In fact, Oklahoma wasn’t in the talks during the early stages of the current off-season as they have already traded for Paul George and one of Carmelo’s rumored destinations was the Houston Rockets. Of course, there were some whispers involving the possibility of Carmelo joining LeBron James in Cleveland. None of those rumors came true. ‘Melo to Oklahoma it is!
Now that the deal has been completed, let’s list down the 3 main benefits of the said deal:
1. Another Superstar
Of course! Another superstar to join reigning MVP Russell Westbrook and newcomer Paul George. Having Carmelo Anthony on board will give Coach Billy Donovan another legitimate scorer on his team as Anthony, still, one of the league’s elite scorers, averaged 22 points per during the 2016-2017 season. Russell Westbrook, for one, will have another new superstar teammate to pass the ball to especially come crucial moments of the game. While the trio has yet to play a game together, many have been predicting that this new Big 3 in the West will have the firepower to challenge the Golden State Warriors of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and of course, Kevin Durant.
2. Increases OKC’s Chances of Keeping Paul George
Paul George has already made it known to the public that he intends to play for the Los Angeles Lakers next season before the Thunder made the move which got them George from the Indiana Pacers to start off a very exciting off-season. And now that he has another superstar teammate to play with, if you are Paul George, would you still consider playing for the Lakers who are still undergoing rebuilding process?
Whether he admits it or not, Paul George himself knows that it’s already difficult to pass the opportunity to play alongside the reigning MVP and playing alongside ‘Melo will have a dampening effect on his desire to play for the Lakers- that if, he still desires it.
3. Become a Threat to the Warriors
When Paul George was traded to OKC, most NBA fans still think that the move won’t transform OKC into a legitimate threat to the Warriors or at the very least, to the San Antonio Spurs. That mentality changed when the news of Carmelo’s trade to OKC broke. Here now stands, another Big 3 in the already loaded Western Conference.
Sure, the Thunder have no true deadly shooter like Curry and Thompson but both ‘Melo and Paul George can take turns in defending Durant and in fact, if we’re going to look back at last season, both ‘Melo and George average more defensive and offensive rebounds per game than Durant. If they can get more rebounds, they can throw outlet passes to Westbrook for quick points at the offensive end.
As mentioned, the trio of Westbrook, George and ‘Melo has yet to play a single NBA game together so none of us can say for now if the trade was worth it because no matter how good the players are– if they don’t learn to blend with one another and more importantly, to trust each other, then the trade may been nothing but for naught.