Should Carmelo Anthony be a trade target for Boston?

With just over forty days to go until the start of the NBA season, most trades and signings-- big and small-- have happened. At this point the last free agent shoe to drop is Metta World Peace and unless Danny Ainge swoops in with a franchise-rattling-trust-shattering deal to bring Panda Friend to Boston, MWP will most likely land in LA and the free agent talent pool will officially be dried up.

While sources like HoopsRumors and ESPN are a little light on juicy NBA rumblings and most news coming from FIBA, you only have to point your browser to NBA Reddit to get a burst of basketball shenanigans, which is exactly what I did to find this post:

Knicks ‘getting closer’ to Trading Carmelo Anthony. Should Celtics try to trade for him?

No. No they shouldn’t.

According to a recent Grantland piece by Zach Lowe, the Knicks are starting to come around to the idea of parting with their franchise guy.

The Kings and Knicks should take a look, even though neither has movable assets that would interest Phoenix — unless the Knicks are ready to engage in Carmelo Anthony trade talks. (They're not there, yet. But they're getting closer.)

Obviously, Phil and the squad in NYC aren’t chatting very openly with anyone otherwise the internet would be on fire right now. Plus, Melo has a no trade clause, so if he were going anywhere it would probably be to an already stellar situation in a warm client.

But we've got a while to go before real news starts to occur, so let's just dive in to this hypothetical on a Sunday morning.

Melo, for all the criticism he has taken since landing in New York in 2011, remains a top player in the NBA and one of the few marquee name trade targets. Despite being north of thirty and coming off of season ending surgery last season, Melo is still a player who could net a big return for a team in need of an impact player.

That team just shouldn’t be the Boston Celtics.

On paper, or in NBA2K, trading for Melo seems to work. The Knicks need to seriously entertain the idea of a full on rebuild that will bring picks and pieces to the team. The Celtics are lacking a marquee guy who could bring another top tier player --or two-- to Boston and usher in the Big Three 3.0 era. With the arsenal of picks and low cost short deal high potential players, Boston would seem like a great dancing partner for New York.

But the answer is still no.

The amount of assets that would need to leave Danny Ainge’s goody bag in order to bring Melo to Boston would be astounding. Unless this trade would guarantee the signing of another marquee free agent in the 2016 offseason, a move like this would tie all the hopes of Banner 18 to a 31 year old who needs to shoot constantly and hates to play defense on a team whose identity is centered around defense.

Simply put, the amount going out would be greater than the amount coming in over the term of the deal.

If the Boston Celtics are a Christmas tree that needs to be decorated, you don’t start by putting the star on top right away. The first thing you do is make sure all the lights work bulb by bulb, straighten out the tinsel, and unwrap all the ornaments to make sure none are broken. For the last two seasons, Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens have been checking bulbs for duds and ornaments for cracks. To take all the decorations (players and picks) and trade them all for a star to sit atop the tree (Melo), is the perfect recipe for an sparse looking holiday season, and an expensive one, too. Melo’s $22M a year (elevating every year eventually getting to $27MM in 2018-19) could buy a LOT of ornaments.

Melo in a green uniform looks great on PS4-- I know from experience. It looks especially good in rookie mode when for Melo, the rim is essentially an ocean. In the real world, Melo on the Celtics would be a much different team, and not one that would sit atop the Eastern Conference. Boston does need a superstar to climb back into annual contention, and the best way to do that is to draft smart, hope for a superstar to emerge, and keep lots of hand to strike when the moment is just right to acquire a franchise shifting star.

This just isn’t that moment.

Follow Padraic O'Connor on Twitter @padraic_oconnor

Sources: Grantland; Zach Lowe

Photo: Getty Images