Boston’s shown minimal interest in Anthony, preferring to continue its pursuit of persuading Chicago (Jimmy Butler) and Indiana (Paul George) to engage in trade talks that involve two younger, more well-rounded stars.
Either player would be a huge addition to the Celtics but they would both likely require a hefty ransom. George seems like more of a long-shot; however, if Woj says there's been discussions then I wouldn't totally rule it out. He was unhappy with the Pacers' chemistry earlier this season, and with the emergence of Myles Turner his team might opt to build the team around him by getting a treasure trove of assets in return for George. The Pacers have turned their early season struggles around and are riding a hot-streak, they've won 7 of their last 8, but they've got some tough matchups looming between now and the February 23rd trade deadline including Golden State, San Antonio, Washington, and Cleveland. This upcoming stretch will be a great measuring stick to see where they're really at.
“That is half the battle,’’ Butler said, when discussing making a player from another team feel welcome. “And I could still do that. I think everybody knows what Carmelo can bring to a team. The dude is a helluva player."
Personally I'd love to see Melo to the Bulls, it'd be like throwing kerosine on a dumpster fire. Rondo, Wade, and Melo in the same locker room would be electric, but I'd rather see Butler in green. Both Butler and George are locked up for the next few years on very reasonable contracts and would give the C's the second scoring option they desperately need come playoff-time.
Smaller deals might come to fruition before the deadline, but don't expect any blockbusters until the February 23rd deadline as teams will hold out for the best offers they can get before moving a star. Ainge is holding some big chips with those Brooklyn picks and some good young players, but he could have a solid trade season by making just a smaller move for a paint presence/rebounder for the short term.