The New York Knicks have traded perennial All-Star Carmelo Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The deal marks the end of a seven-year period of Anthony as the face of Knicks basketball. As part of the deal, New York receives Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a 2018 second-round pick via the Bulls.
The deal, completed just two days before the start of Knicks training camp, will allow the 33-year-old Anthony to join forces in Oklahoma City with two other marquee players — Russell Westbrook, the N.B.A.’s reigning most valuable player, and Paul George, a four-time All-Star — as the Thunder begin a wildly ambitious bid to challenge the supremacy of the Golden State Warriors, who have claimed two of the last three N.B.A. championships and are the strong favorites to win another next season.
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At the same time, the Knicks can finally close the chapter on Anthony’s turbulent tenure in New York and try to move on without him. Anthony, who desperately wanted out of New York, had been determined to join the Houston Rockets. But as training camp neared, he agreed to waive his no-trade clause for a couple of more teams, including the Thunder.
The trade comes after a noisy summer for the Knicks, who fired Phil Jackson after a unsuccessful tenure as team president and hired Scott Perry as the new general manager.
It became increasingly clear that Perry, along with Steve Mills, who was promoted to team president in the wake of Jackson’s departure, wanted to move on from Anthony.
Both Perry and Mills have repeatedly expressed their desire to commit the struggling Knicks to a rebuilding plan that would emphasize youth and defense. Although they did not say so directly, that description seemed to leave no role for the 6-foot-8-inch Anthony, who has never been much of a defender and is fairly old by basketball standards.