Carmelo Anthony to Thunder trade: Fantasy fallout

ByJohn Cregan ESPN logo
Saturday, September 23, 2017

I love it when franchises go all-in.

But think about how exciting this would have been a couple of seasons ago -- I'm talking pre-Paul George injury. Adding the Melo of 2014, we'd be talking on the level of LeBron James to the Miami Heat or Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors. Today, the idea still enlivens, but with the Warriors being the Warriors, it's hard to see how this changes anything at the top of the Western Conference.

But this is still very interesting from a fantasy perspective. Looking at the history of superstar trifectas, one fact remains certain: All three players will get dinged in fantasy.

Coming off a 2016-17 season when Russell Westbrook set an NBA record in usage rate (41.7), then adding Anthony and George? It's getting harder and harder to make an argument for Westbrook as the No. 1 player overall. Westbrook had himself a campaign for the ages, but it was volume-driven, as opposed to efficiency-driven (see Durant, Kevin).

Now you add not one, but two other top usage guys in Anthony (29.1 USG) and George (28.9 USG).

I've never doubted George's ability to adapt to a new situation. Pre-Melo, in fantasy, I'd have put Westbrook near the top overall, and drafted George in the late second round.

And I believe this offense will click. I believe Anthony gets a bad rap for being selfish. Because here's the thing: Anthony can adapt, too. Look at what he's done on the Olympic team. Anthony can change his game to suit the situation.

In OKC, he should become the starting power forward. Working off the block, Anthony is a more efficient player. I still like him to retain top-50 value. George maybe slips to the very end of the second round. And Westbrook is still in the mix for No. 1 overall.

But after this trade, I'd rather have Giannis Antetokounmpo, Karl-Anthony Towns or Kevin Durant.