Carmelo Anthony is getting his wish and leaving New York. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Knicks have come to terms on a deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder that will send Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a 2018 second-round pick in exchange for Anthony.
Wojnarowski reports that Anthony continued to pressure the Knicks front office into getting a deal done with training camp set to begin next week. However, the organization needed to jump through several hoops in order to turn his demand into a reality. First and foremost, the Knicks had to find a team that Melo would deem fit to waive his no-trade clause.
With the help of Thunder star point guard Russell Westbrook and the newly-acquired Paul George, Anthony waived his no-trade clause, as well as his trade kicker, in order to make the deal work. Did Westbrook and George ensure Anthony that they will be staying in Oklahoma City for the foreseeable future, even though their contracts are up at the end of this upcoming season? While George-to-L.A. next year seems like the league's worst-kept secret, maybe Russ has been able to get through to PG-13 on the idea of building something special in OKC.
For Anthony, the move allows him to settle into a role more suited for his style of play. The Westbrook-to-Melo drive-and-kick it out potential is enough to give the rest of the league fits. Add George into that equation, and you have a serious contender at dethroning the Goliath of the NBA, the Golden State Warriors.
Kyrie Irving is doing the best he can to avoid saying it outright, but the reason for him forcing his way out of Cleveland seems pretty clear. A star in his own right, Irving was sick of standing in LeBron James' shadow, and he was willing to sacrifice a near-guaranteed spot in the NBA Finals in order to forge his own way forward.
It's a pretty dramatic step, and one everybody with an interest in basketball is split over, including the players. On Wednesday's episode of Everyday Struggle, Damian Lillard joined the show to promote his upcoming album, Confirmed, and he weighed in on the divide between LeBron and Irving. Lillard feels the whole thing is pretty transparent, and that LeBron's ability to influence Cleveland's management eventually drove Irving away, but he also said it doesn't bother him when LeBron is pressing the Cavs to get guys like Tristan Thompson paid.
“I don't have a problem with what [LeBron] doin,” said Lillard, “because I want to see everybody get paid. I hope everybody get paid and walk away and do whatever they gon' do. But I think when somebody got so much control and you got other stars, maybe they might feel some type of way about it. Maybe that has something to do with the Kyrie situation.”
The more interesting angle is from a pure basketball perspective, where it just feels crazy to walk away from one of the best players of all-time. Though some have suggested playing with LeBron is not all it's cracked up to be, Lillard was quick to point out that it's not always fun to play alongside greatness, but it will definitely help you reach the promised land.
“People said it wasn't fun playing with [Michael] Jordan, it's just what you're willing to deal with to win, because you're going to win,” said Lillard.
Speaking of trying to win, Lillard also dished on trying to bring Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony into the fold for his Portland Trail Blazers. Lillard believes the Blazers would be a top-three team in the West if they can somehow bring Anthony in, and he discussed his respect for the veteran with the Everyday Struggle crew.
“Right now we're trying to figure out any way we can get better, and he'd make us better, a lot better,” said Lillard. “Melo is my type of dude, I like Melo, like how he operate, there's just certain stuff about him that just give me that vibe. They were coming at him last season, talking about this and talking about that, a lot of other dudes would have been quick to shoot back and do all that. But just how he handled it, that said everything I needed to see. Usually I don't even do all the trying to recruit and get people to come, but that thing alone I was like, I can run with him.”
You can hear Lillard talk about the LeBron/Kyrie split around the 32:10 mark in the video up top, and the segment on Anthony starting around 51:30.
After a week of some of the biggest brands, designers, and celebrities all showing out for New York Fashion Week Spring 2018, it's now time to take a look back at some highlights. During a time when many people are questioning the importance of New York Fashion Week in comparison to its European counterparts, designers delivered some signature moments to lighten the discrediting of the festivities, even if only briefly. Brands like Helmut Lang, Opening Ceremony, Kith, Fenty Puma by Rihanna, and Alexander Wang all brought their own signature aesthetic to their respective shows. Here is a recap of some of the most entertaining shows from New York Fashion Week.
Some of the biggest celebrity cameos of the week came at Ronnie Fieg'sKith Sport show. The designer's second fashion show took place on Thursday night at the Classic Car Club Manhattan, where he showed off upcoming collections with brands like Moncler, Adidas Soccer, Champion, Iceberg, and Nike. Virgil Abloh, Scott Disick, and Carmelo Anthony were among the crowd, but two of the most memorable guests appeared on the runway. First, NBA Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen walked down the catwalk sporting pieces from Fieg's upcoming Nike collaboration. If that wasn't enough, Fieg decided to close out the show by putting a spotlight (literally) onto arguably the best basketball player in the world, LeBron James, who lip-synched the lyrics to Kanye West and Jay Z's “H.A.M.”
This past Saturday night, Alexander Wang took to Brooklyn to celebrate #WangFest. The mobile show included the likes of Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner stepping out of an Alexander Wang tour bus before strutting down the Brooklyn streets. Their looks, complete with party style hats that read “WangFest,” further alluded to the show's party atmosphere. Notable attendants included Kim Kardashian West and Kris Jenner, amongst others. Of course, the after party that Wang has become known for did not disappoint either. Cardi B and Ja Rule hit the stage to perform, and Dunkin Donuts, Dominos, and Budweiser took care of the food and drinks for the affair.
Sunday night brought about even more festivities with Rihanna showing off her motocross and surf-inspired Spring 2018 Fenty line at the Park Avenue Armory. This was Rihanna's return to New York after her last two collections were debuted in Paris. Staying true to the theme, dirt bike riders tricked off of ramps over pink sand mountains to start the show. RiRi also took her bow on the back of a motorbike. The show boasted a star-studded front row that included Cardi B, Offset, Big Sean, and Jhené Aiko, to name a few.
Opening Ceremony decided to show off its Spring 2018 collection a little differently as well. Humberto Leon and Carol Lim debuted their collection using a dance performance titled “Changers,” which was written and directed by Spike Jonze. The collection itself featured plays on the collegiate wardrobe like varsity jackets, club T-shirts, sweatpants, and flannel shirts.
On Monday, Shane Oliver debuted his first collection for Helmut Lang at Pearl River Mart. The collection heavily referenced Lang's archive with a lot of pieces featuring fetish design, and leather accents as an added twist from Oliver. The former Hood By Air designer also included memorable head-turners—like an oversized bra that converts into a bag—in his collection. The ready-to-wear featured a line of Helmut Lang tour merch that featured red and white “HELMUT” branding throughout. ASAP Ferg, Ian Connor, Lil Yachty, Jerry Lorenzo, and more were among those who sat front row.
Public School is the definitive product of two New York City natives and their go-getter spirits. In less than 10 years since its 2008 inception, founders Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne —who met while working at Sean John— catapulted their own menswear brand to immense popularity with a high-fashion-meets-streetwear approach to design, racking up multiple awards in the process.
While the style and wearability of the apparel made a name for itself, Public School truly claimed its stake as leaders in the fashion industry when it teamed up with Jordan Brand. After working on exclusive friends-and-family versions of the Air Jordan 1, Air Jordan X, and Carmelo Anthony's M10, the NYC-based brand expanded its horizon and launched the PSNY x Air Jordan XII to the public — a dark-grey luxe rendition that resonated with the purest of sneakerheads and menswear enthusiasts alike. The collab was the precursor to three more Air Jordan XIIs that embodied the brand’s hometown of New York City, as well as Paris and Milan.
After a small world tour with the XIIs, the Public School duo is back home for New York Fashion Week to debut their Spring/Summer 2018 collection and a brand new capsule in collaboration with Jordan Brand. Using the black sheep of the Air Jordan lineage, the XV, Public School re-imagined Tinker Hatfield’s original design in ways never seen before. The collection includes Air Jordan XVs for men in black suede, an olive woven material, and for the first time ever, an Air Jordan XV boot for women.
The successful runway show located in the heart of Chinatown was followed up with a nearby pop-up shop, where the footwear and apparel was available for purchase. There, Complex caught up with the PSNY founders, joined fellow Sean John alumnus and current Senior Director of Energy Projects at Jordan Brand Gemo Wong, to talk about the latest drop.
Check out out the latest episode of #LifeAtComplex for a closer look at the star-studded event, inside the pop-up shop, and interview.
How did Public School’s relationship with Jordan Brand first come about?
Gemo Wong: So I’ve known Dao-Yi for a while, we used to work together. As his brand Public School kind of progressed, it felt like the timing was right to do something especially in the apparel space. The partnership started with apparel first and then we kind of explored footwear
After doing your first footwear collaboration, did you know it would become an ongoing partnership?
GW: We just kind of did what we felt was right. It’s all about time, who we [Jordan] are as a brand and who they are as a brand.
What was the motivation behind using the Air Jordan XV for this collab?
Dao-Yi Chao: It’s starts with a conversation. The great thing about working with Gemo and his team is that, there isn’t a set schedule, there isn’t a set plan. We only work when we feel it’s right. When we a great idea, we take it to him and if he likes the idea, he’ll set things into motion. With the XVs specifically, Gemo’s always challenged us to work on shoes that sort of lie outside of the 1s, IIIs, IVs, Vs, VIs, XIs — the really popular ones that iterated a l lot and so we enjoy that challenge. Coming off working on the XII, changing that iconic shoe into something that was definitively Public School, was something that we wanted to carry over on the XVs. It’s a love it or hate it shoe.
He’s said that on record. Were there any challenges you faced while designing these Air Jordan XVs?
Maxwell Osborne: Not really. Maybe on the women’s side, trying to make the boot.
DC: That was another idea that was born just out of conversation. Like, “Yo, we wanna do it during Fashion Week during the show, but it’s a women’s show. It would be crazy if we turned the XV into a boot!”
It already is kind of chunky like a boot.
DC: Exactly. We wanted to accentuate the obvious things about the shoes. The fold back on the tongue I guess is what you would call it — all of those things we wanted to really build on top of, but make it feel like our own shoe. That’s the point of any good collaboration. You gotta add something to it. It’s already great in its own realm, but how do you add to it and make it something better?
The tongue of the sneakers feature a “WNL” logo. What does the “We Need Leaders” motto specifically mean to Public School as a brand?
MO: “We Need Leaders” for us, was really a call to action. It was for everybody to step up. Us, our team, everybody around the world, just to step up and be better. It also mean when no one’s looking. So, are you the same type of person when the lights turn off and you go home? Are you the same type of person you show face to when you step out of that? WNL mean a lot to us in terms of special leadership and people stepping up to the plate.
When you first released the first grey PSNY XIIs did you expect such a big reaction?
DC: I don’t know, I didn’t know what to expect.
GW: You always have your fingers crossed. You always go in wishing the best. We took a different approach to it, so we were hoping for a good response, especially in [Public School’s] space, the fashion space, it was good overall.
Did the response play a part in following up with the city series or was it already in the works?
GW: Again it all comes down to what we felt was right timing wise, what these guys are into, and making sure the brands are in tune, so as a evolution as the grey we felt like doing the City pack was a good addition.
DC: We say that thing and always felt it was almost boot-like, the way we molded it out, so we just sampled it in a wheat colorway because it felt like a boot. So from there, again, just from the conversation, they put it into work. We it came back we were like, “What if we flip three colors — the Wheat is so New York— what if we created a colorway for Paris and a colorway for Milan?” That’s how it goes, then we try it out. If it don’t feel right then we keep it moving, but if we’re onto something, I think it all clicks with us and we push it forward.
When that release happened launching the collection over multiple cities, it really changed the way retail works. Do you guys plan to do that again, say with this release?
GW: It all depends on the project, the time, how we feel when we all get together.
Gemo, can you explain your role as head of Energy Projects at Jordan Brand?
GW: I’m Senior Director of Energy Projects. That’s everything from what you see here — footwear, apparel, to anything limited and sought after within the brand.
How do you decide on which people to work with like KAWS, Drake, or Travis Scott? GW: It just all depends on where the brand is at. I don’t want to feel like we have to do collabs. I feel like we should let collabs enhance the brand, rather than we need them for the brand. It takes the pressure off. There is no, “Oh man, I gotta do a collab this month, next month.” As with this project, it’s just timing, where we are as a brand and if it feels right, then we do it.
Why is it important for Jordan Brand to focus on fashion and lifestyle versus just sports?
GW: We concentrate a lot on sports as well. It just so happens that we do some fashion stuff. You look at our portfolio, we still do a lot in the basketball space with athletes like Russ and all their signature shoes, but we also do stuff in the fashion space. Our brand means a lot to everyone, which could be a gift and a curse. As result, we just try to balance it out.
What was it like working with Diddy back during your time at Sean John?
MO: All three of us met at Sean John actually. How did it feel? It felt great! [Laughs] You got Puff’s son behind you.
DC: That brand, that moment in time sort of represented this idea of aspiration. Everything about Puff, even outside of fashion was you should aspire for something better. I think that really stuck with us. That idea of aspiration, doing something unexpected, but always presenting this idea of aspiration to do something better or to make something better. We all went different routes, but that definitely stuck with us.
On Thursday, while he was being accosted by a TMZ cameraman at his own Kevin Durant Day parade in Seat Pleasant, Maryland, Kevin Durant did not mince words when it came to the man currently occupying the White HouseMonday through Friday.
Then, asked if he saw himself getting involved with public criticism at some point, he didn't directly respond while he was signing a shoe. However, it seems that was just a delay, as he basically answered later in the day during an interview with ESPN.
What Durant told the Worldwide Leader is that he wouldn't be visiting the White House if the champs were to be invited, which actually has yet to happen. “Nah, I won't do that,” he said. “I don't respect who's in office right now.”
Durant says that wasn't necessarily a team decision, but rather a personal one. “I don't agree with what he agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that,” he said. “That's just me personally, but if I know my guys well enough, they'll all agree with me.”
Considering the Warriors will probably win the championship every season for the foreseeable future, we'll see if this is a permanent decision on KD's part, or more of a one time thing.
He also spoke about what happened at Charlottesville this past weekend. “I just wanted to sit back and analyze everything and gather my thoughts,” he said. “I wanted to say something immediately, but I definitely want to be the voice of where I come from and people who have come from my neighborhood and deal with oppression.
“I'm representing a lot of people. As far as what's going on in our country, for one, as an athlete, you have to commend Colin Kaepernick, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, CP3 [Chris Paul] [and] Dwyane Wade for starting that conversation last year. Russell Westbrook also said something in his speech. A lot [of] guys with platforms have drove the conversation in a good direction. And what's going on in Charlottesville, that was unfathomable.”
“Get Throwed” is a landmark song for Houston rap music, and means much more beyond being a massive single off Bun B's first solo album, Trill. After UGK linked up with Jay Z on 2000's “Big Pimpin,” they were catapulted to a new level of fame, so Jay coming back and returning the favor with a feature only felt right.
But there's apparently a little bit more history to the song than we knew. During a new interview on the Rap Radar Podcast, Bun B confessed that Jay's appearance wasn't as innocent as it may have seemed on first glance. The Houston legend says Jay was clapping at someone on “Get Throwed,” and it sounds like it may have been someone close to him.
“If you listen to 'Get Throwed,' to Jay's verse—to some people it's going to be clearer than others—but there were shots fired in bars 8-12, and there were more shots from bars 12-16,” Bun B explains. “This was before [Nas]. This was more internal. You go back and listen to it, that's the only clue I'm going to give you.”
There are only 15 bars in Jay's verse, so we'll have to assume Bun meant 12-15 in his claim. But this begs the question: who the hell was Jay firing at on “Get Throwed,” and why? First, let's parse through the actual lyrics in question, starting from bar eight.
The competition is none, they deceased to exist
Let it breathe a little bit
He's off his rocker, he's a lil schiz'
Throwed like a football, Hov' used to cook raw
Now I got the game sewn like granny's good shawl
Pshaw, y'all niggas want war
Y'all got it backwards, y'all should want raw
Y'all should want more
The timeline suggested by Bun makes it really difficult to tell. Though “Get Throwed” came out in 2005, Bun claims this is something that came “before” his beef with Nas. What that means is anyone's guess; is Bun referring to how far Jay's relationship with the person goes back, or the period in which Jay was angered enough to pen these bars?
Things only really started to pick up between Jay and Nas around the turn of the century, but they had been trading subliminal shots for a lot of the mid-to-late 1990's. If Jay's animosity for someone in his crew goes back that far, it has to be someone real close. Either that, or Bun doesn't have the best grasp of the timeline, but he's the narrator here, so we gotta roll with it a little bit.
Here are a few of the strongest candidates.
I know, I know, Bun insists this is not about Nas. But you have to raise the question any time a Jay diss from that time period is mentioned, and it's not totally unfounded.
It's unclear whether the line about being a “lil schiz'” (short for schizophrenic) is referring to Jay himself or the person in question, but duplicity is something Jay attacked Nas hard for during their infamous battle. He referenced it briefly on “Takeover,” when he told the story about showing Nas his first Tec-9, but went even further on the title track of Blueprint 2. “Is it 'Oochie Wally Wally' or is it 'One Mic'? Is it 'Black Girl Lost' or shorty owe you for ice?”
The reference to “war” was also a trademark of his beef with the Queensbridge native. “If you want war then it's war it's gon' be,” he said on the BP2 intro, and he told the “little soldier” he wasn't ready for war on “Takeover.” There's a lot of circumstantial evidence suggesting Nas is the party in question.
But we'll take Bun's word for it on this one, and besides, by 2006 the two rappers were linking up for a song on Hip Hop Is Dead, the infamous “Black Republicans.” I doubt they'd be working together a year after “Get Throwed” if the battle was still raging on.
Here's a candidate that would appear to fit all the criteria for a good target. Dame Dash and Jay have a long and storied history together, having partnered with Kareem “Biggs” Burke to launch Roc-A-Fella Records in 1996, and nothing can build resentment like the passage of time. As Bun mentioned, this was allegedly an internal struggle, and given how influential Dame and Jay's voices were in any internal Roc-A-Fella conversations, there's no doubt they had some serious battles over the years.
During the mid-2000s, as the Roc's star started to rise, Jay and Dame began to clash even more, eventually leading to their separation as business partners. In interviews about their split conducted in the years since, other members of the Roc have admitted that Dame got a little too big for his britches. Consider what Beanie Sigel said in 2012.
“Dame was spending a lot of company money, going on a lot of trips and to other business ventures, robbing Peter to pay Paul,” he said. “Taking money from outta here and trying to build a brand and stuff, without consulting with his partners. That's what sort of really brought demise to Roc-A-Fella.”
When Dame did take his talents elsewhere, he started up a completely new venture, Roc4Life (which would eventually become Dame Dash Music Group), and tried to undercut Jay by taking some of his talent. That would explain Jay referring to multiple people wanting war in his verse; the shade was directed at Dame, but it also hints at the artists flocking with him to a new label.
Of course, there's one group in particular the two parties had a massive conflict over.
Cam'ron and the Diplomats
This is the answer that probably makes the most sense. Killa Cam and the gang coming to Roc-A-Fella in the first place was primarily orchestrated by Dash, a childhood friend of Cam'ron, and Jay was never really on the inside track of that relationship.
Though the partnership was successful and led to Cam's Come Home With Me going platinum on Roc-A-Fella, there was never a proper level of trust between all parties. Jim Jones and Dash accused Jay of stealing the beat that would become “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)” during a studio session in 2001, claiming the track was originally promised to Cam'ron. To make matters worse, Jay was in Europe and out of the loop when Dame Dash announced at a 2002 listening party that Cam'ron would be promoted to Vice President of Roc-A-Fella; Jay denied the promotion over the phone, and it was all downhill from there.
As it relates to “Get Throwed,” the bars seen up top can probably be seen as a shot at the Diplomats and Dame Dash simultaneously. Dame went off and did his own thing starting in 2004 following the sale of Roc-A-Fella to Def Jam, and he brought his friends along with him. Saying “y'all should want more” could be taken as a hint to Cam'ron, Jim Jones, and Juelz Santana that they were getting fucked over in whatever deal they had with Dash. Since Jay had worked with Dash for the majority of his career up until that point, he probably had an inkling of what they were in for.
Cam's first real shots at Jay didn't come until 2006 when he dropped “You Gotta Love It,” so Jay coming through with the subliminal in '05 may have been enough to prompt a full-scale attack from Cam and Co. later on. And if we're interpreting Cam's first Jay diss as a response to the bars on “Get Throwed,” there's even a not-so-subtle hint to back it up at the end of “You Gotta Love It.” Throwing the war line back at Jay, Cam apologizes to Beyoncé for what's about to go down with her man: “I'm sorry B, but I want a war.”
The real answer to the “Get Throwed” question is that it's probably intended to mock Dash, the Diplomats, and anyone else who was planning to team up with them in order to undermine Jay. The Diplomats were never really known as the most stable set of personalities in the world, so the schizophrenic nod could also be a nod to their eccentric, colorful (in Cam's case, literally colorful) personalities, which are either a flaw or a feature depending on how you feel about their music.
We'll probably never know if that's the answer for sure, because Jay doesn't do a whole lot of talking about old beef these days. But all signs point in this direction, so for now, it's what we'll choose to believe.
Ripping off designs from pricier and more desirable brands is, unfortunately, a pretty common occurrence in the world of fast fashion. H&M is at the center of the latest controversy, with some accusing the retail company of biting recognizable looks from Russian fashion designer Gosha Rubchinskiy and Parisian design collective Vetements.
As spotted by High Snobiety Tuesday, H&M has recently thrown some Gosha and Vetements-esque looks into stores. Among the H&M items being drawn into the ripoff accusations are hoodies, t-shirts, and socks. Take a look at the items in question below.
To be fair, the font stylings that have come to be associated with Vetements (H&M's Love tee comes the closest to this) are heavily inspired by the bloody, dramatic font choices of '80s metal bands. As for the Gosha vibes of the socks (see image up top), that one has nothing at all to do with metal.
Regardless, the controversy is likely to continue, particularly in light of recent events. Earlier this month, Gucci reportedly hit another fast-fashion provider with a lawsuit. Refinery 29reported that Forever 21 had been sued by the Italian brand for allegedly using its trademarked stripe design without permission. Last December, Gucci sent a cease-and-desist letter to Forever 21 asking them to discontinue the offending items. Instead, Forever 21 filed their own complaint against Gucci arguing that Gucci did not have a monopoly on “decorative stripes.” Adidas also sued Forever 21 for stripes-released reasons.
H&M did not immediately respond to Complex's request for comment.
It’s been more than three months now since that report came out, but it looks like Carmelo is still trying to convince La La to come back to him. The speculation surrounding their relationship has died down a bit in recent weeks, but on Sunday, Carmelo took to Twitter and Instagram to post the same photo of La La—a photo she put up in late June—along with three emojis that seem to suggest he wants her back in his life:
A post shared by Carmelo Anthony (@carmeloanthony) on Jun 25, 2017 at 9:53pm PDT
Plenty of people have taken notice of Carmelo’s sudden interest in La La’s social media posts, too. Since April, they have repeatedly pointed out that Carmelo has been a lot more active on her social media accounts in light of their marital issues:
Lol Carmelo is reportedly liking LaLa's Instagram pics for the first time like a truly desperate ex.
But regardless of what people might say about what he’s doing, Carmelo clearly isn’t going to let go of La La without putting up a fight. La La, meanwhile, has gone into overdrive when it's come to posting on social media and shown that she’s going to be just fine—with or without Carmelo. She hasn’t been shy about posting photos of herself early and often on Instagram, and in just about all of them, she looks like she’s glowing in the aftermath of her split from her husband.
At this point, Carmelo and La La haven't officially gotten back together. But it also doesn’t sound like they’re in any rush to make their breakup permanent, either. So we wouldn’t count on Carmelo scaling back his likes and comments on La La’s pictures anytime soon. As long as there’s still a chance for reconciliation, Carmelo is going to keep lurking on La La’s social media accounts.
LeBron James is one of only three NBA players with a no-trade clause built into his contract. LeBron, Dirk Nowitzki, and Carmelo Anthony have the ability to say, “Thanks, but no thanks,” to any trades that their respective teams work out for them. And while you wouldn’t think that LeBron would ever have to actually worry about using his no-trade clause—why in the world would the Cavaliers ever even think about trading LeBron?!—there is now some speculation over whether or not LeBron would use it if the Cavs decided to trade him in light of the recent Kyrie Irving trade rumors.
ESPN Sources: No matter the discord, the record, with or without Kyrie Irving, LeBron James not waiving his no-trade https://t.co/F8LRyZ42Mv
ESPN reporter Chris Haynesis reporting that league sources have told him that LeBron is not going to waive his no-trade clause for any reason during the 2017-18 NBA season. The growing belief is that, if the Cavs decide to meet Irving’s trade demands and deal him, they could go into a full rebuild mode, especially since LeBron is scheduled to become a free agent next summer and could leave the team for the second time in his career. So trading LeBron could land them some key pieces that would make that rebuild a lot easier.
But LeBron doesn’t sound like he’s interested in leaving Cleveland at any point during the upcoming season. Regardless of whether the Cavs trade Irving or not, Haynes is reporting LeBron “is focused solely on competing for a championship as a member of the Cavs and will fulfill his contractual obligations, whatever unexpected circumstances may arise.”
This should come as a bit of good news for Cavs fans who were blindsided by a report about Irving wanting to be traded this summer on Friday afternoon. If nothing else, it means they will be a title contender for at least one more season with LeBron on their team. But clearly, the Cavs’ future is in complete disarray, and there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding what it could hold for LeBron, Irving, and everyone else on the current roster.
If Carmelo Anthony isn’t back with the Knicks next season, the thought is that he will end up with either the Rockets or the Cavaliers. There have been trade rumors swirling around Carmelo for months now, and just about all of those rumors end with him in either a Houston or Cleveland jersey. Carmelo has a no-trade clause in his contract that allows him to nix deals to any teams he doesn’t want to play for, so he can basically force the Knicks' hand and get them to trade him to the team he wants to play for. As a result, you’re probably not going to see him playing anywhere other than New York, Houston, or Cleveland next season.
But one new potential landing spot for Carmelo emerged this week when the Trail Blazers’ top two players both started to indicate that they would love to be in the discussion for Carmelo this summer. Earlier this week, C.J. McCollum raised more than a few eyebrows when he posted a photo of Carmelo in a Portland jersey on Instagram:
And at a basketball camp on Wednesday, McCollum and his teammate Damian Lillard revealed that they have been actively trying to recruit Carmelo to come to Portland in recent days. Lillard imagined what it would be like to add Carmelo to the Blazers’ current roster:
McCollum went as far as to say that Carmelo was “interested” in what they had to say.
McCollum also did an interview on SiriusXM NBA Radio on Wednesday, and he suggested that, if the Trail Blazers were to add Carmelo to the mix, Portland would immediately leapfrog a bunch of teams and land near the top of the Western Conference.
“If we add Carmelo Anthony, we’ll be a top-three team in the West immediately,” he said.
McCollum also reiterated that point when he responded to a @siriusxmnba tweet that featured his “top-three team” quote and wrote, “Facts.”
Despite McCollum and Lillard’s interest in Carmelo, it doesn’t sound like Carmelo is as “interested” in getting traded to Portland as the two Trail Blazers players think he is. The New York Daily News reported Wednesday night that, despite McCollum and Lillard’s pitch, Carmelo is still not willing to waive his no-trade clause for anyone other than the Rockets and Cavaliers. A source told the NYDN that the Blazers are “positioned well” to get into the mix if Carmelo expands his list of teams. But at least for now, McCollum and Lillard are out of luck.
The idea of Carmelo playing for Portland seems like a longshot. But then again, if you had told us that Paul George would end up on the Thunder just a few weeks ago, we would have called you crazy for suggesting that, too. Stay tuned to see where Carmelo ultimately ends up playing after this whirlwind of a summer.