Ok… I didn’t see that coming, at all! In a drastic turn of events, Carmelo Anthony has been traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a 2018 second-round pick via the Chicago Bulls. This trade was a wild one, especially since the Houston Rockets and the Portland Trailblazers seemed to be the clear front runners to land Melo. Now, with a revitazlied offense, are the Thunder contenders or pretenders?
The decision to go out and sign a guy of Melo’s play style certainly does pose questions about this Thunder offense. Last year, Russell Westbrook had the task of leading his own team, with Durant’s decision to move on and play for the Golden State Warriors. Over the course of the season, Westbrook averaged 24.34 field goal attempts per game, with the next highest being that of Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan at 20.48 attempts per game. Earlier in the offseason, OKC acquired Paul George from the Indiana Pacers for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. George, an excellent two-way star, has career averages of 18/6/3, but those numbers don’t truly reflect the type of player he has been over the last few years. And just recently, the Oklahoma City Thunder have acquired Carmelo Anthony. Melo, one of the leagues best scorers, will now have to share the ball with two other studs, while he still gets his. This was a fairly easy task in New York, as he was the focal point of a lackluster offense, but now he’s got company. With only one ball to go around, who do you think will see a dip down in point production?
The Thunder have made big moves this summer to ensure a productive upcoming season. Having signed Russell Westbrook to a three year deal last offseason, which includes a player option for next season, trading for marquee free agent Paul George and now acquiring Carmelo Anthony from the Knicks. OKC seems to be in a “go big or go home” state of mind when it comes to this season and it is evident in their signings. Are they however, contenders? In previous years, of course! However, this offseason was one that shook up the landscape of the entire league. Signings such as: Butler to Minnesota, Millsap to Denver,Hayward and Irving to Boston and much more, have made things a little more complicated this year. Oklahoma City does have a great chance to shake things up this season, but can they win it all?
- Fantasy Impact:
Chances of Westbrook averaging a triple-double for the season again are probably pretty low, but with weapons like George and Melo around him, there’s a possibility. Paul George, looking to fill the shoes of Kevin Durant, will be a huge piece of this team’s gameplan, as he can simply do it all. For Carmelo Anthony, however, his points will likely dwindle from his career average of 24.8ppg. This is to be expected though, similarly to Durant, Melo will have to adjust to his new team and take what is given. Look for the Thunder to be more of a balanced team compared to the Russell Westbrook show that was last season.