It was only a matter of time before the New York Knicks and Carmelo Anthony parted ways. But no one thought it would be this lengthy. And just when Knicks fans thought Carmelo will still be around come training camp, Knicks president Steve Mills officially announced the trade sending the ten-time All-Star to Oklahoma City.

“This is a deal we feel works for both this franchise and Carmelo,” Mills said in a statement. In return, the New York Knicks received Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and the Chicago Bulls’ unprotected second-round draft pick next year.

Incidentally, the Thunder will host the Knicks during their first game of the 2017-18 NBA season.

No-trade clause finally waived

Even Knicks general manager Scott Perry thought Carmelo will remain part of their roster when the training camp starts this week. “Look, Carmelo's going to be back here,” Perry said last Friday at the team's training facility as quoted by ESPN. Yet, the Knicks remain open to searching for a suitable trade partner that will benefit both camps.

The next day, a trade deal sending Carmelo to the Oklahoma City Thunder was agreed in principle, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. To accommodate the deal, Carmelo will also waive the $8.1 million trade kicker. Carmelo’s no-trade clause stays with him as part of the deal.

The trade between the Knicks and Thunder was officially completed last Monday.

Rebuilding the Knicks

With the Carmelo Anthony era now over, a new breed of young, athletic and exciting players will finally don the banner of the rebuilding New York Knicks. In addition to the Knicks’ young core of players like Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Willy Hernangómez, Frank Ntilikina and Ron Baker, they got two 25-year old players plus an additional pick next year.

According to Perry, Kanter and McDermott will bring additional youth and athleticism, perimeter scoring and defensive aggressiveness to the Knicks frontcourt. “We are glad to have finalized a trade that made sense for all of us,” Perry said.

The 6’11” Turkish center averaged 14.3 points and 6.7 rebounds for the Oklahoma City Thunder last season despite playing only 21.3 minutes per game.

Enes Kanter, who was selected by the Utah Jazz, was the third overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Doug McDermott was the 11th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft selected by the Chicago Bulls. Before jumping to the NBA, McDermott was the NCAA leading scorer with 26.7 points per game as a senior playing for Creighton Bluejays.

Players’ style of basketball

Last Friday, Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek already hinted the possibility of introducing a new style of basketball in New York, away from the triangle of former Knicks president Phil Jackson. Though he did not directly mention of moving away from it, Hornacek made it clear that the offense is definitely going to change.

“The biggest thing for us [is] to try to put our guys in the best position,” Hornacek said.

“Whether [if] it's post-ups if it's outside shooting 3-pointers; you look at the roster; you look at the players’ strengths and you try to build from there.” Indeed, this sounds like youth and athleticism have finally taken over the locker room of the New York Knicks.