Thinking to the future and looking to revamp the lowly New York Knicks, team president Phil Jackson pulled the trigger on a surprising trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers last season, sending J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Lou Amundson and Lance Thomas, the latter who has had an impact on the Knicks so far thus season with his shooting.
Knicks star, Carmelo Anthony, who led New York to a 54-win season in 2012-13 flanked by the likes of Smith and Shumpert, said earlier today that he misses both of his former Knicks teammates, whom he considers his “family.”
Carmelo on Shumpert and JR not playing tonight: “I would love to play against my brothers. It seems like LeBron took all my family from me.”
— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) November 4, 2015
As much as Anthony misses his “brothers,” Jackson made the right move by ridding the Knicks of Shumpert and Smith.
In no way is that statement meant to undermine the abilities of either of those players, but New York was stuck in the muck with those two, and now Anthony and the Knicks are in a much better place due to the deal.
Jackson spent this summer filling out the roster with respectable NBA talent such as Arron Afflalo and Robin Lopez, and he snagged up two rookie studs in Kristaps Porzingis and Jerian Grant in the 2015 NBA Draft. The season is still young, but the Knicks look as if they’ll be a lot more competitive than last year’s contingent of fringe NBA-ers.
As for Anthony’s buddies, they’re now two important cogs on a championship-hopeful Cleveland Cavaliers team. Although Smith played poorly in the NBA Finals, and Shumpert was hobbled by a groin injury, the Cavs will need both of those two if they hope to reach the championship round again. Anthony can be happy that his “brothers” are in a prime position to succeed and sniffing the playoff success he could only hope to get a whiff of.