Phil Jackson, the New York Knicks, and Carmelo Anthony are in the final stages of a messy divorce. All that is required to finalize the breakup is a trade partner willing to give the Knicks a player of value for their veteran star.
The Miami Heat should be that homewrecker. And the team's valuable trade chip should be none other than high-priced franchise center Hassan Whiteside.
Over the past two weeks, the Heat has reeled off seven straight victories, torpedoing any shot the team had at the top picks in this year's NBA draft. The wins have been a breath of fresh air for die-hard fans drunk on the now, and a nightmare for fans with one eye toward what's best for the franchise's future. Rebuilding through the draft just got that much more unlikely.
Acquiring Anthony is obviously a win-now move that would put an end to any talk of trading Goran Dragic. The move would give the Heat a head start on free agency, not to mention a player the Heat could use as a recruiting tool when trying to lure players to Miami this summer. Once Chris Bosh's money comes off the books, the Heat will able to add at least two, maybe three, difference-makers in the offseason to add to a core that would include Anthony, Dragic, Tyler Johnson, Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson, and whomever the Heat drafts in the first round this year.
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Unfortunately, you have to give up something to get something, and that something is Whiteside. He would head to New York, ending a successful but somewhat patchy career in Miami. One of the main reasons the Heat re-signed Whiteside to a max contract this offseason was to secure him as a trade asset.
Now is the time to cash in on the diamond they found in the rough. Willie Reed has proven to be a fine replacement for Whiteside at times, especially when you factor in salary. Re-signing Reed at a fraction of the cost of Whiteside and flipping Whiteside to New York for Melo just makes sense if you've been following Riley's career.
Riley isn't known for his patience, and he's 71 years old now. Trading for Anthony feels like the right move at the right time if Riley is intent on a championship run anytime soon. Carmelo and the Heat are both clinging to the final years of a window, so why not team up and try to win a championship together?