Carmelo Anthony reportedly wants to leave the New York Knicks, but nothing is simple. Anthony is still under contract until 2018, he has a no-trade clause that means he has to approve any trade the Knicks put together, he only wants to go to contending teams that lack an obvious way to get him, and the Knicks don’t appear interested in simply buying out his contract. Who can possibly predict how this mess of a situation will work itself out?

Inverse readers, that’s who. With the help of Unanimous A.I., we asked a swarm of 40 NBA fans/Inverse readers to predict where Carmelo Anthony will play this coming season, which tips off October 25.

In a nutshell, each participant controlled a little golden magnet below, and used it to drag the puck toward the answer they thought was the most likely outcome. Also, the closer a user puts the magnet to the puck, the greater the pulling force. This is where the hive-mind comes in: If a user sees the puck move toward an outcome, it triggers a psychological response. The user starts to readjust their decision-making, building toward a consensus. To read more about how Unanimous A.I. uses swarm A.I. to reach scarily accurate predictions, check out our previous article on how Unanimous A.I. uses “swarm intelligence” to make predictions.

Where Will Carmelo Anthony Play This Season?

For a second there, it looked like the swarm was evenly split between Anthony staying with the New York Knicks and heading to the Houston Rockets. But at the last moment, the swarm made up its mind and decided that Anthony would get what is reportedly his wish and be traded to the Rockets, where he would join close friend Chris Paul and perennial Most Valuable Player candidate James Harden.

Most of these choices are long shots at best. Portland Trail Blazers’ stars Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum have both publicly tried to sell Anthony on waiving his no-trade clause to join them in Rip City, while the Oklahoma City Thunder and Anthony reportedly have mutual interest. The Brooklyn Nets will most likely be the facilitator of a three-team trade that moves around pieces in a sufficiently convoluted way to get Anthony to his preferred destination.

The poor showing for the Cleveland Cavaliers here perhaps reflects the turmoil the team has experienced since they were first named along with Houston as one of Anthony’s preferred destinations. In theory, flat-Earth truther Kyrie Irving’s own demand for a trade — with New York as one of his own top choices — makes an Anthony trade more plausible for the Cavaliers, but the team’s front office uncertainty and the rumors that LeBron James may leave after this next season may have made the team less likely to go all-in on another title chase by trading for Anthony.


Want to join us? Participate in the next Inverse Predictions experiment here.

More “Swarm A.I.” predictions from the Inverse NBA series:

Photos via Getty Images / Scott Halleran