How much will a potential Carmelo Anthony trade impact the NBA landscape? That depends on where he goes — and whether you’re asking Damian Lillard or Draymond Green.
Per Drew Shiller of NBC Bay Area, Lillard detailed how the Golden State Warriors would have a hard time matching up on the defensive end against him, Anthony, C.J. McCollum, and Jusif Nurkic. The Portland Trail Blazers star closed by wishing the Warriors “good luck” in a hypothetical playoff series.
Draymond, for his part, doesn’t seem especially concerned.
So, who’s more on point here?
We first need to note that Anthony hasn’t indicated that he would even accept a trade to Portland. As Joe Freeman of The Oregonian noted, Carmelo “has reportedly has told the Knicks he’ll waive his no-trade clause to join the Houston Rockets or Cleveland Cavaliers.”
But even if we assume that Carmelo will end up in Portland, Dame’s argument still leaves a lot to be desired. Yes, the Blazers would be a tough defensive matchup, even for a strong defensive team like Golden State. But what about the other end of the floor?
Lillard and McCollum have generally not matched up well defensively on the perimeter against Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and even Green. Even in his prime years, Carmelo was never thought of as a peak defender.
Landing someone like Anthony would Portland would certainly give the Blazers a better chance at winning a shootout, but the Blazers would still have a lot to do to be favored in a seven-game series against the Warriors.
But even if nothing materializes, teams that have met in the playoffs in each of the last two seasons just got a little spice added to their rivalry. That can’t be a bad thing.