Yesterday, during his press conference, Sam Presti sat composed and relaxed while he was answering questions about the upcoming Thunder’s season. Nobody expected what was really going on behind the curtains. What happened today came as a stunner. For everyone.
The Oklahoma City Thunder acquired Carmelo Anthony from the New York Knicks in exchange for Enes Kanter, Doug Mcdermott and the Bulls’ second-round pick in the next draft.
Carmelo Anthony is just another addition to a spectacular summer for Thunder’s general manager Sam Presti.
After today’s trade, I can see the new Thunder lineup being Westbrook, Roberson, George, Anthony, Adams.
This brings up two important questions:
- Will Anthony be ok to play at the four spot?
- How can Westbrook, George, and Melo get along while being all ball-dominant players?
When Anthony accepted the trade to the Thunder he was aware that Paul George will start at small forward. This is the reason why I think playing at the four shouldn’t be an issue for him. Plus, in certain moments/situations of the game, he can still be moved to the small forward position (I.e. George on the bench, experimental lineups, a closing lineup with Roberson at the four).
While answering the second question, it’s important to take in consideration that the new “big 3” had all high usage percentage in their previous teams also because they did not have other All-Stars playing with them. If they want to get results they can’t be selfish with the ball. The team has to come first. Westbrook, George, and Anthony are all great players and with the help of the coaching staff, there is a great chance that they will make it work.
On the other side of the trade, Enes Kanter will be extremely missed in Oklahoma City. His love for the franchise and for the city was big as much as the love of the fans have for him. However, the focus must be always on the NBA as a business. Teams will always prioritize winning over players’ love for a franchise.
One last important note: first Thunder’s game of the season will be against the New York Knicks on October 19th.