Carmelo Anthony to Knicks? Not so fast…
On his radio show in New York (and as noted in the video above), Stephen A. Smith let it be known that he is going to call for people’s jobs if the New York Knicks don’t have Carmelo Anthony on the roster at the end of the day on February 24, 2011, the NBA’s trade deadline. Of course, Stephen A. Smith can’t actually fire anybody, but if we could threaten Donny Walsh with the possibility of having to listen to an hour long scolding from Screaming Stephen A, maybe we could see some progress on these trade talks.
Then again, do we really need progress? Is it even progress at all?
Right now, the New York Knicks are essentially a slightly better than .500 team, and that’s what they will be at the end of the season if things are what they are today. As the roster stands, the Knicks can probably beat any team in the league in a one-game sample size, and they can lose to any team in the NBA in a one-game sample size. Their weaknesses are rebounding, defense and interior scoring when Amare Stoudemire is not in the game or is in foul trouble. The Knicks positives are three-point shooting, shot-blocking and good offensive movement.
Now, if you bring Carmelo Anthony into that mix, you’re not exactly helping us in areas of need. Carmelo’s a great scorer, and may alleviate some of the inside-scoring problems for the Knicks when Amare’s out, but Melo’s three-point shooting is atrocious, and that’s unacceptable in a Mike D’antoni style offense. Not to mention, Anthony needs the ball in his hands, and with high-caliber point guard like Raymond Felton on the team, Anthony’s need for the ball, coupled with Stoudemire’s, may stagnate an offense that has moved the ball well all season long. And of course, on the defensive side of the basketball court, Carmelo Anthony makes the New York Knicks worst than they already are. He can’t defend a 3-year old toddler on the perimeter, and his rebounding, as good as it can be at times, is spotty at best on average.
Let’s face it, as presently constructed, the addition of Carmelo Anthony to this team, coupled with loss of somebody like Wilson Chandler or Raymond Felton, is too high of a price for the Knicks to play. It’s quite possible, that should the sixth place Knicks make that trade, they could miss the playoffs. It’s not likely, but given how shaky the Knicks are right now and how much worse Anthony makes the Knicks in some spots, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Knicks finished the season 41-41 and missed the postseason after depleting their team in a Carmelo Anthony trade.
What Knicks fans and Stephen A. Smith do not want to admit is that their basketball team is actually better off if it holds off and waits to get Carmelo Anthony in the off-season, when they may also have a shot at trading for Chris Paul. Granted, that may be a pie-in-the-sky scenario, but nobody wants to see this team take a step back in the mist of the season, and a Carmelo Anthony trade could end in such a tragedy.
So what’s the best alternative to trading for Anthony? Standing still.
Sometimes it’s okay to go the pace. The New York Knicks aren’t winning the NBA championship just by adding Carmelo. They aren’t winning the championship if Chauncey Billups comes with him, as was reported of a potential trade a few days ago. So why go trading for a piece that won’t even have the kind of positive effect on a team that receiving a player of Carmelo’s caliber should have?
The Knicks, and Knicks fans, including Stephen A., need to just chill out and let the Knicks wait until the off-season to sign Carmelo. Of course, with a new collective bargaining agreement and free agency waiting for Anthony, nothing is guaranteed when Anthony hits the free agent market this summer. However, there’s also nothing guaranteed to the Knicks by getting him at such a steep cost. If the Knicks are going to be a great team centered on Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, there needs to be other pieces involved. The reported trades on the table don’t have the Knicks keeping or attaining enough of those other pieces. Without them, it makes acquiring Carmelo via trade pointless and the fans crazy. Let Carmelo yoke this thing out in Denver for the rest of the season, New Yorkers. It’s what’s best for you, even if Carmelo never winds up being a New York Knick.