Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Carmelo Anthony is a New York Knick....finally

Mercifully, the Carmelo Anthony drama has come to an end as the Denver Nuggets traded him to the New York Knicks Monday night. The Knicks sent F Danilo Gallinari, F Wilson Chandler, C Timofey Mozgov, PG Raymond Felton, a 2014 first round draft pick and 2 second round draft picks to the Nuggets in exchange for F Carmelo Anthony, PG Chauncey Billups, F/C Shelden Williams aka Mr. Candace Parker, G Anthony Carter and F Renaldo Balkman. Minnesota also received Eddy Curry and Anthony Randolph in the deal while sending F Corey Brewer to the Knicks.

I like Carmelo Anthony as a player. In my eyes he's the best pure scorer in the game, and there isn't a single thing offensively he can't do. I admit I wasn't on board with this trade a week ago, but when I thought about it, I realized that only one of these players really had a long term future with the team (Gallinari), and that put me at ease. I don't think the Knicks handled it as well as they probably should've but given the magnitude of the player at hand, and the uncertainty of the current CBA something had to be done. As much as the tired 'You could have signed him in free agency' card gets played, Anthony wasn't going to pass up $65 million. If the Knicks were going to get him they needed to do so now, and they did exactly that.

The Knicks also upgraded their point guard spot, getting Chauncey Billups to replace Raymond Felton. Felton is a tough guy, a leader, and I enjoyed watching him play but he can't shoot and he wasn't a long term option at PG anyway. I like Felton but at the very least Billups is a lateral move. Billups is also a knock down shooter from three. Neither one of them is going to be here after next season, so that isn't overly significant one way or another, but I think it helps the Knicks in the short term.

Wilson Chandler is a solid player. He can credibly guard three positions, he can shoot it, he can get to the rim and overall is a solid basketball player. Denver got a nice player in Chandler, and his versatility is a weapon for any basketball team. From the Knicks standpoint, Chandler is a restricted free agent and the Knicks had to renounce his rights to open up space down the road. He wasn't going to be a Knick after this season so that loss is minimal. I think the Nuggets made out well as a whole since there was no way Carmelo was going to come back to the team in the offseason.

Danilo Gallinari is the only part of the trade that hurts for me. Gallinari is already a solid, albeit inconsistent, NBA player who can shoot the ball, put the ball on the deck, and is an underrated defender who is a still developing 22 year old. I like Gallinari and am sad to see him go. I think he has a bright future in the NBA and I personally enjoyed his flair for the dramatic as well as his charisma. I also thought, if somehow the Knicks could have kept him, he would've been a nice piece to go along with the current team. But as the old adage goes, "You have to give to get". As sad as I am to see Gallinari go, I'm even more happy to see Carmelo Anthony arrive.

I thought the Knicks should've drawn the line at Mozgov on general principle alone but at the same time how would Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni ever be taken seriously again if their claim to fame was 'We wouldn't trade Timofey Mozgov for Carmelo Anthony?' Answer? They wouldn't be, unless Timofey Mozgov turned into a top center in the NBA.

The rest of the trade isn't even worth discussing (Eddy "I eat a cheeseburger for every million I steal" Curry, Anthony "Splinters" Randolph).

Did the Knicks give up a lot from a "this year" standpoint? Yes, now the Knicks have absolutely no front court depth. Chandler, and Mozgov were both important in that particular regard. But this trade isn't about this year, it's about competing for jewelry in the near future. Whether or not the Knicks will be, we don't know, but they are closer to that ultimate longer term goal now than they were yesterday.

The Knicks started on the "Let's get two superstars" goal, three years ago. Now they completed that goal, with a third superstar in mind. What's to complain about? I think the first time Mr. Anthony drops 45 on 60% shooting while single handedly winning a game, you'll hear a lot of 'Who did we trade again?' sentiments.

One thing we can all agree on, is the relief that this drama is finally over. After long last, Carmelo Anthony is home. Knick fans, rejoice. In the words of Ice Cube, "Today is a Good Day".


http://www.ehow.com/members/stevemar2-articles.html said...

I agree with you that it is good to see all the hype surrounding Carmelo Anthony is over. I’m glad he’ll be playing for the Knicks. It will be interesting to see the short-term and long-term effects of this trade for the teams involved.

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