Melo to the Thunder. Wade to the Cavs.


In all reality, those two statements are all you would need to grasp the gravity of this article. Two Superstars, two different teams, two different conferences, one big weekend.


It all started on Saturday. News broke that Carmelo Anthony had finally been traded from the New York Knicks to a surprise team, the Oklahoma City Thunder. Many speculated that the Houston Rockets, or maybe even the Cleveland Cavaliers would be the most likely destinations for the 11- time all star. However, it would be the Thunder who would win the Melo Sweepstakes and snatch up the star forward to go along with MVP Russell Westbrook and recent free agent signee Paul George.


What made the news so big wasn’t the fact that he got traded, it was how and where.


Not only did the Thunder attain Melo, they did it while only giving up marginal players in comparison. It was almost like they were insulting the intelligence of the Knicks by actually agreeing to this trade. When you give up and offensive force like Anthony and get in exchange players like Doug McDermott and Enes Kanter, there’s no secret as to which side would come out on top. Not that McDermott and Kanter aren’t serviceable for any team, but the addition of Anthony will put any team into major contention and the value is way higher.


What this trade did was put the Thunder in a legitimate position to contend for the West and for a title. Clearly, this is a one year, all in type of deal. With Westbrook about to sign a massive extension, just signing Paul George and the salary cap that Melo demands, there’s no way that they will be able to keep all three again next year without giving up some other big pieces on the team as far as role players are concerned in order to make room in the cap. Therefore, for this upcoming year, the Thunder are primed and ready to be a legitimate threat to the Golden State Warriors.


If you think about it, they actually matchup up well with the reigning champs. Curry vs Westbrook, Roberson vs Thompson, George vs Durant, Melo vs Draymond and Adams vs Pachulia. In my estimation, that’s a pretty even take with similar players all across the board.


Where the true discrepancy will be is on the bench where the Warriors tend to shine while other teams don’t. However, pound for pound, player for player, the Thunder present the best option to take down the class of the West with this move.


With Melo and George, you have the versatility to put either at the 3 or the 4, most likely putting Melo at that 4 spot, matching him up with slower bigs who will lack the quickness to stay with his first step whether on the perimeter or in the post. George can take some of the pressure off Westbrook on the ball and allow Russell to play off the ball at times to focus primarily on scoring with George being a very capable playmaker in his own right who can also create his own shot.


The fact that Anthony and George can knock down the open three at a good clip will create driving lanes for the best slasher in the game in Westbrook, who will have even more room to attack the rim and get into the paint to wreak havoc.


(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Defensively, Melo’s lack can be masked by the four others who possess some type of defensive prowess. The overall speed, length, athleticism and quickness that the Thunder now possess will give any team trouble this season, especially later down the line where they really start to gel.


On the eastern side of things, the loss of Kyrie Irving was huge, but yesterday’s edition of Dwyane Wade was a huge pick up. Wade brings a championship DNA and a still expansive offensive skill set to a team that needs it. With Wade and LeBron teaming up once again, it will give the Cavs a fresh take on the upcoming season and keep the King motivated for sure. At a bargain price of $2.3 Million, the Cavs got a steal in Wade which also opens up the future acquisitions of other player around the deadline for the stretch run.


Wade’s experience and ability to still give you 18 to 20 points per game will provide much needed scoring support to James and Kevin Love, especially while Isaiah Thomas sits out with his hip injury until January.


Now, the real question will be whether Wade will be willing to come off the bench or will he demand to remain a starter, but you have to believe that at this point, for $2.3 Million, he just wants to win another title and do it with James, so however the lineup situation works out, he will make the most of it.


Point of the story is, the Cavs are in a much better position than they were two days ago and you can definitely say the same about the Oklahoma City Thunder.


With the recent moves, which team will fare better this season? Let’s talk about it here or find me on Twitter @Phenombc3.