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Trade Grades: OKC Thunder huge winners in Melo deal with New York Knicks

Yash Matange
340   //    24 Sep 2017, 18:52 IST

Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony

After a drama-filled six and a half seasons, the Carmelo Anthony saga in New York has finally come to an end. The New York Knicks traded him to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a 2018 second-round pick (via Chicago Bulls). However, it wasn't the Thunder who traded him, it was Anthony who agreed to it since he had the no-trade clause in his contract.

Also read: 5 Trade packages for Carmelo Anthony

He joins the superstar duo of Russell Westbrook and Paul George in Oklahoma City, giving him a legitimate chance to contend for a championship. Any other offseason and this move would have had a league-wide impact but this summer, this deal is just one of many to go down involving a superstar of Anthony's caliber.

Ideally, trades should be beneficial to both parties but we know that hardly ever happens in the NBA. With media days and training camps to being in the next week, let's quickly get to the grades for each team involved in this trade.

Oklahoma City Thunder's grade: A

Unless the Thunder face a lot of problems and they don't finish among the top four teams in the Conference, Sam Presti, the General Manager, is already a front-runner for the Executive of the Year award. Given the talent pool on the franchise's current roster, it's safe to say that the organization has more than recovered from losing an MVP in Kevin Durant last year.

Anthony with future teammates Andre Roberson and Steven Adams
Anthony with future teammates Andre Roberson and Steven Adams

Impact on the account books and on-court fit are usually the biggest factors that decide the grades for every team in any deal. Here, the Thunder are taking on Anthony's heavy salary over the next two years and it does take them into the tax but they have reduced the cap hit by giving away an equally expensive contract in Enes Kanter.

Are they taking the plunge into the tax and assemble a super-team to make up for a super-team they missed out on in 2013 (Not paying James Harden)?

Basketball fit wise too, this isn't ideal with Anthony's defensive deficiencies but in the rest of their roster, the Thunder have enough ammunition in Andre Roberson, Steven Adams and even George to hide Anthony. And in the current era of high-scoring offense, it doesn't hurt to have a premier offensive threat constantly lurking on the perimeter.

The Western Conference is going to be very competitive and the Thunder are not holding back, going all in with this deal.

New York Knicks' grade: B-

Now, former teammates Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis
Now, former teammates Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis

From the Knicks perspective, they have obviously not gotten the complete worth for Anthony but this trade was more about moving on than anything else. The franchise let go of Phil Jackson as the President of Basketball Operations and signed a new GM over the course of offseason.

More importantly, they already had a franchise cornerstone in Kristaps Porzingis to now work around. New York achieves a net positive on the books with this deal. Letting go of Anthony's huge contract in exchange for something lesser and a draft pick is not a bad exchange. It'll take time but the players received can be eventually be implemented into a system and rotation around Porzingis.

If having a huge talent like Porzingis wasn't bonus enough, the Knicks franchise have a lot more things on their side as well. Salary caps, draft picks, young promising talent on the roster - this is everything the team hasn't had in a long time. This is now their situation to ruin.

The chance for a new start with a superstar in Porzingis is the only reason the Knicks get a B- instead of a possible D.

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Yash Matange
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