Carmelo Anthony Traded to NY Knicks
In an NBA trade that was months in the making, both the Denver Nuggets and the Knicks finally decided it was time to play “let’s make a deal.” The Knicks, in my opinion, got robbed, giving up four starters for Carmelo Anthony. But let’s face it; they would have been killed if they had lost out on Anthony just to hold on to Timofey Mozgov.
So what exactly does the trade consist of?
In this trade, the New York Knicks got Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter, Corey Brewer and Renaldo Balkman.
The Denver Nuggets received Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, the Knicks 2014 first-round draft pick, the Golden State Warriors 2012 second-round pick and the Warriors 2013 second-round pick, along with $3 million in cash.
The third-party in this, the Minnesota Timberwolves, picked up Eddy Curry’s expiring contract and Anthony Randolph.
So who came out on top?
Putting the Timberwolves aside, the New York Knicks came away with Carmelo Anthony. So at the end of the day, they have the best player in the deal, and there is an old adage in NBA basketball that says if you got the best player, you won the trade. However, the problem with that line of thinking is that is exactly what Isiah Thomas achieved throughout his tenure with the Knicks. I’m not saying that Zeke ever brought in somebody with the promise of Anthony’s talents, but nine times out of ten, when Thomas made a trade, he got the best player in the deal, and you see where that philosophy got the Knicks.
Then again, it’s not as if I have to argue this point to everybody in the New York Knicks front office. As reports have suggested, Team President Donnie Walsh and Head Coach Mike D’Antoni were not in favor of this trade. Then again, Walsh and D’Antoni haven’t done much with the New York Knicks since arriving there, other than signing the lone major free agent available to them last summer by giving him more money than anybody else was willing to pay him. Still, their concerns are valid. The Knicks were the fifth best offense in the NBA so far this season, and to give way four of the five starters that made that possible is definitely questionable.
As for the Nuggets, they got a ton of players and assets in this trade. The only problem is that I’m not sure those players/assets are worth very much. While Chandler, Gallinari, Felton and Mozgov looked good in D’Antoni’s system, I’m not so sure they just weren’t the beneficiaries of being looters in a riot. D’Antoni’s mad-dash offense always results in enhancing the statistical performance of its players. Just look back at D’Antoni’s days with Phoenix and remember the great performances by Tim Thomas, Boris Diaw, Leandro Barbosa and Raja Bell. All of them have done nothing since leaving Phoenix, and they hadn’t done much of anything before getting there either. So who is to say that just because the Nuggets got four Knicks starters that any of those players are any good? Not me.
However, chances are, by the time I finish writing this article, the Nuggets may have moved half the players they received from the Knicks—if not all of them. Certainly, there are good teams out there in search of a quality point guard. Hell, the Miami Heat could certainly benefit from having Raymond Felton at the point instead of Carlos Arroyo. And when it comes to do-it-all wing men, Chandler’s exploits could be utilized by the Los Angeles Lakers or the Chicago Bulls. If the Nuggets can parlay some of these Knicks acquisitions into first round NBA draft picks or VERY promising young players, perhaps they come out looking a little bit better than they did the second after this trade with the Knicks went down.
At the end of the day though, if I were to guess which team is going to be better for the rest of this season, I would have to say it’s the Knicks with Billups at the point and with Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony at the forward positions. Next year, the Knicks will again have the better team. Projecting out two years from now, perhaps after the Knicks scoop up another superstar point guard like Deron Williams or Chris Paul, the Knicks will likely be the better team. And unless the Nuggets acquire a transcending player in the NBA Draft really soon, I would guess that the Knicks will be the better team five years from now, barring significant injuries.
Thus, it looks as if the “best player in the trade” theory wins out in this scenario. As much as I think the Knicks got robbed in this trade, it’s hard to argue with the notion that they have two great players they can build around, and it’s much easier to conjure up role players than it is to conjure up superstars. Knicks owner Jimmy Dolan made the decision that he needed to get Carmelo. Certainly, Isiah would have made this move, and some reports suggest that Isiah did make this move. Either way, for the next five years, most GMs would want to be in the Knicks position and not that of the Nuggets. And for that reason, the Knicks win this trade, but given what they had to give up, it was one heck of a crappy way to win it.
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