Carmelo Anthony had been linked to the Cleveland Cavaliers for a while before the Houston Rockets pulled off a blockbuster trade for his best bud Chris Paul. When that happened, Anthony focused his attention on — and told his team he would only waive his no-trade clause for — the Rockets. That all changed when talks continuously broke down between the New York Knicks and Rockets, who had no other asset to offer that would make the money work than Ryan Anderson. The Knicks scoffed at this and nothing ever got done.
With training camp looming, Anthony expanded his options to the Cavs and Oklahoma City Thunder, and within days the Thunder and Knicks agreed to a trade. After pulling off a trade for Indiana Pacers superstar Paul George, the Thunder have a legitimate Big 3 that can possibly give the mighty Golden State Warriors a run for the Western Conference title.
But it almost never happened.
ESPN reported back in July that the Cavs almost pulled off a trade for George. It would have sent Kevin Love to the Denver Nuggets and Gary Harris and the No. 13 pick to the Pacers. The deal ultimately fell through.
Now, Carmelo is saying the Cavs had a deal in place to also acquire the 10-time All Star on draft night. Per ESPN:
“Me and PG have a very close friendship. Actually, it was funny because me and PG was supposed to be in Cleveland on draft night. We were communicating about that. The deal was actually done and it got called off on draft night, so me and PG stayed connected throughout the course of the [off]season.”
Imagine that. Who knows if Kyrie Irving would have followed through on his demand for a trade if the Cavs were able to pull that monster haul off. A lineup of Irving, LeBron James, George, Carmelo and [insert anyone you darn well please] would have definitely challenged the Warriors in the finals. Especially if that fifth guy was still somehow Dwyane Wade.
Still, it’s going to be a fun season with another big time contender in the mix. You now have four legitimate title contenders (haven’t forgot about you, Boston Celtics), with the Rockets nipping at their heels as well. It should be a fun season.