In a shocking and expedited turn of events, the Oklahoma City Thunder have acquired veteran forward and future Hall of Famer Carmelo Anthony. The Thunder have now vaulted themselves into the conversation of serious contenders in the NBA’s Western Conference and on paper they may be favored more than the steady San Antonio Spurs. With reigning MVP Russell Westbrook, new acquired Paul George and Anthony, the Thunder are now the new “It” team in the NBA. The Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers made valiant efforts to land Anthony but it was the Thunder who stunningly enough, pulled off two incredible trades this off-season. Thunder General Manager Sam Presti has done an excellent job keeping the team afloat post Kevin Durant and it’s possible that the Basketball Gods may deliver some sweet irony during the upcoming post season but as we all know it takes two to tango.
The Knicks finally granted the wish of Anthony who desired to leave the franchise and the move allowed the Knicks to have much-needed flexibility. Finally the rebuild has begun in New York with young talent such as Tim Hardaway Jr., Willie Hernangomez and Kristaps Porzingis that will now be free of a certain ball stopper.
Some will remember him as a ball-stopper whose preferred style of play ultimately impeded the Knicks’ ability to win. There’s merit to that theory.
Others will hang on to the idea that Anthony never had a chance to truly succeed in New York because of the Knicks’ perpetual roster and coaching instability. There’s plenty to support that point as well. As is usually the case, the truth probably lies somewhere in between.
As mentioned earlier OKC is poised to make a run at the reigning, defending, NBA Champion Golden State Warriors and they have all of the motivation in the world to secure an upset, hopefully in the Western Conference Finals. With the West being so stacked it’s easy to say that the next NBA Champion will rise from the West but now it seems as if it’s almost a certainty that the path to the NBA Finals will run through Oklahoma City.