There are still a few options/ long shots out there for Raptors president Masai Ujiri to make a move before the season starts, but perhaps none more exciting than attempting to squeeze into the rumored Carmelo Anthony to the Rockets or Cavs trades as a third or fourth team, assuming the Knicks might be interested in Valanciunas?
Sources: Knicks, Rockets working on Carmelo Anthony trade scenarios that include four-team deals. Sides motivated but no agreement imminent.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 12, 2017
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Knicks aren’t all that interested in older players with years left on their contracts and that has stalled out the process as all sides are looking for partners to facilitate a deal.
the Knicks and Rockets are confident that they have a willing third-team trade partner
The fourth team was needed to move a particular player contract that neither the Knicks nor Rockets could or would accept in the deal
The Knicks’ front office has been privately saying that the organization’s marching orders are now focusing on players 25 years old and younger
Three team deals are tough enough, but adding a fourth team dramatically boosts the complexity and likelihood nothing gets done. However, Toronto has a 25-year-old starting center they’ve been rumored to be shopping and an apparent motivation to reduce payroll that should make the Raptors easier to deal with.
(using the ESPN trade machine)
A move like this wouldn’t change the direction Ujiri is taking, but it would help re-balance the roster, cut $8 million off the payroll this year and $16.5 million next season.
It’s pure speculation, but the 32-year-old 6’8 Trevor Ariza could be the perfect veteran to mentor the Raptors young forwards and upgrade the team’s starting unit.
In New York, where nothing ever seems to go their way, landing Eric Gordon and Valanciunas for Carmelo Anthony should be seen as hitting one out of the park. (At least it shouldn’t be viewed as embarrassing.) Assuming Dolan can get over the fact he’s been burned by trading with Ujiri in the past?
In the extremely unlikely event the Cavaliers would entertain a trade including their conference rivals, the Raptors would almost certainly be interested in doing a deal.
The hunt is still on.https://t.co/hUTiZ0qOYr
— Cavs Nation (@CavsNationNet) July 12, 2017
There is a lot of motivation on the Knicks, Rockets and even the Cavaliers to find a way to make a very difficult trade happen. They might just have to swallow hard and allow a team like Toronto to squeeze in there to get it done.