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Knicks make final offer for Melo

Posted on: February 20, 2011 3:41 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2011 1:08 am
LOS ANGELES -- The Knicks have made what was described as their final trade proposal for Carmelo Anthony Sunday, pushing the months-long drama toward its merciful conclusion, has learned.

The Knicks would send three starters -- Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, and Raymond Felton -- to Denver for Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams and Anthony Carter, sources said Sunday. The Nuggets would get the Knicks' first-round pick in 2014, while Minnesota would get Eddy Curry's expiring contract and Anthony Randolph from New York. Curry would then be waived, and the Knicks would send as much as $3 million to Minnesota to pay his freight. 

The Wolves also would send Corey Brewer to Denver in the proposed deal. Carter must approve the trade and waive his Bird rights for the trade to be approved.

Confident that a Friday night meeting between Anthony, his representatives, and a Nets contingent led by Russian owner Mikhail Prokhorov and hip-hop mogul Jay-Z did not result in a commitment from Anthony to sign an extension with New Jersey, the Knicks are drawing the line. They are not offering rookie Landry Fields or Russian center Timofey Mozgov, two pieces Denver has asked for at various times in the negotiations, sources said.

"We shall see," Anthony said on his way out of Staples Center after the All-Star Game Sunday night, after being informed of the status of trade talks with the Knicks.

Earlier, Anthony revealed that he did not give, nor did the Nets ask for, a commitment from him on whether he would sign a contract extension that would trigger the completion of a trade that already has been agreed to between the Nuggets and New Jersey. He described the meeting with Prokhorov as "a good meeting" and "interesting," and said he was "just listening" to the Nets' presentation.

"I didn't give anybody a definitive answer," Anthony said.

Anthony said the Nuggets "have been knowing everything since day one" about where he would and wouldn't sign an extension. 

"They know everything," he said.

While Anthony privately has been entrenched for months in his position that he would only agree to an extension with the Knicks if the Nuggets traded him, a person familiar with the three-time All-Star's thinking told Sunday night that he did not close the door on the Nets in their meeting. Doing so would have eliminated the Nets as a last resort to get the three-year, $65 million extension that would be off the table in a new collective bargaining agreement.

The Anthony drama now rests in the hands of Nuggets executives Josh Kroenke and Masai Ujiri, who must decide whether to accept the Knicks' offer, continue pushing for a trade to the Nets, or keep Anthony beyond Thursday's trade deadline. Sources say it is unlikely a deal would be agreed to Sunday.

"The deadline is Thursday," Anthony said. "So obviously something has to happen, whether they trade me or I stay in Denver or whatever," Anthony said. "The end is here. All this stuff will be over with. I'm excited for this stuff to be over with, and I'm pretty sure everybody else is excited for it to be over with."

Anthony said he would "not be upset at all" if he were still with the Nuggets after the deadline.

A person familiar with the trade negotiations told Sunday that the Nuggets were still working through specifics with the Knicks and were pushing for New York to add Mozgov to the deal. Denver also hasn't shut the door on the Nets, with whom they have agreed to the framework of a trade, according to the source. But it appears that key figures in the organization have grown comfortable with the Knicks' offer, which was sweetened significantly after the Nets re-emerged in the discussions during All-Star weekend in Los Angeles.

As the Knicks' pursuit of Anthony reached a tipping point Sunday, the team released a joint statement from Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan, president Donnie Walsh, and coach Mike D'Antoni saying all three were in agreement on the Anthony discussions. In a rare and obscure step, the statement also asserted that "no one from outside our organization" was involved in the Anthony process -- an obvious reference to former team president Isiah Thomas, whose input Dolan has received since Thomas was replaced by Walsh in 2008.

With so many agendas and obfuscation attempts at play, it was difficult to predict Sunday how Denver would respond. But Nuggets executives have signaled that they want a resolution to the Anthony matter by the end of All-Star weekend -- a timetable that Anthony publicly stated that he favored, as well. 

Just as the Knicks' negotiating strategy was sidetracked by Dolan's decision to get involved in the negotiations and meet with Anthony Thursday night in Los Angeles, so have the Nuggets' efforts been influenced by agendas affecting their still complicated hierarchy. Sources say Denver's reluctance to deal with New York throughout the process was prompted more by a feeling among some segments of the team's power structure that they should not give Anthony what he wants -- the extension with the team of his choice. But sources also assert it will be difficult for Denver to turn down what could be the best offer they will receive for Anthony -- one that gives them a quality point guard, Felton, on a better contract than the Nets' Devin Harris; a young, promising frontcourt player, Chandler, who is more polished than New Jersey's Derrick Favors; a hard-nosed, floor-spacing shooter, Gallinari, instead of multiple first-round picks from New Jersey whose ultimate value is undetermined; and $20 million in immediate savings.

The Nuggets' basketball staff is said to have preferred the Nets' long-standing offer centered around Favors and multiple picks, which would set the team up for a long-term rebuilding process -- whereas the Knicks' offer provides assets better suited to a quicker turnaround after Anthony's departure. But the Nets' competing offer ran its course with Friday night's obligatory meeting between Anthony and New Jersey officials, which reported was allowed as a condition of Anthony receiving permission to meet with Dolan on Thursday.

Keeping Anthony beyond Thursday's trade deadline remains an option, though the likelihood of that has decreased dramatically, sources say. Denver is not seriously considering a nuclear option with Anthony, which would involve telling him the team will not trade him to new York and also won't give him the extension -- making New Jersey the only path to the money for Anthony. That option, sources say, would reflect poorly on the organization and could hinder its future dealings with players.


Since: Mar 2, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2011 12:33 am

Knicks make final offer for Melo

Well, I wouldn't exactly say that Chandler or especially Gallinari are beasts on the boards either.  And Melo's career assists average is equal to both of those guys combined.  Plus, because Denver is a running team and has had Marcus Camby, Kenyon Martin and more recently Chris Anderson to control the defensive boards during Melo's tenure, it's hardly surprising his rebounding numbers are super high.  He's expected to get out on the break, not initiate it.

I still wonder though, why you think it's harder to find complementary pieces than it is to find stars?  The payroll thing is a question, but frankly no one knows how that's going to shake out.  But, I will say that right now Denver is much better off with one real star in Melo than they will be with two complementary players in Chandler and Gallinari.  And that means, talentwise, the Knicks are getting the better end of the deal. 

But, I completely understand the argument that Melo isn't the only thing the Knicks need to compete long-term.  They'll need to add more players. 

Since: Aug 9, 2010
Posted on: February 21, 2011 12:26 am

Knicks make final offer for Melo

  • i think he IS that good....not the total answer but a move in the right direction for this team.lets go knicks.

Since: Dec 20, 2008
Posted on: February 21, 2011 12:23 am

Knicks make final offer for Melo

@easybone  Nobody's saying that he's not a valuable offensive player to have on your team, what people are saying is he's not worth giving up all of what Denver is asking for.  If you really believe that a team of Billups, Amare, and Melo, and 2 makeshift starters and no decent bench at all is gonna get the Knicks deep in the playoffs, then you are another ignorant fan who cares more about watching a couple flashy scorers than the team actually winning. 

And as far as the next few years go, with the new CBA coming there's gonna be so many new rules, the Knicks may not be able to even get another big player.  They will miss all those good complimentary players that they'll have given up for Melo, you'll see when its not working out. That's if the trade happens as written now, Knicks can still modify it to lessen the offer if they wake up. 

Since: Dec 20, 2008
Posted on: February 21, 2011 12:13 am

Knicks make final offer for Melo

"What I will say, and I've said this before, is that Melo is not a leader.  He's a player who takes on the characteristics of the players around him.  If they play defense--as Denver did in its run to the Conference Finals a few years ago--then he'll play decent defense.  If they share the ball, then he will share the ball and he's an under-rated passer when he does.  When George Karl stays on him to rebound, he rebounds." -- Sciarbin

You are right about him not being a leader. Because he'e just a scorer.  As far as the defense goes the guy sucks man, there's no way around it.  I'd take Gallo, Chandler, or Felton as a defender over Melo anyday.  You claim he rebounds? He averages 7 a game, 6 of them are offensive rebounds. His mind is set on being a scorer, that absolutely gives him some value but not as much as an all-around player or what Denver is asking for him.

Since: Mar 2, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2011 12:12 am

Knicks make final offer for Melo

You can certainly abuse Melo for the Nuggets playoff failures, but the only other star Denver has had to run with him was Iverson on the downside of his career.  Melo's playoff numbers, for the most part, are equal or superior to his regular season numbers, meaning he upped his game even if people around him did not.  And that was playing against the cream of the Western Conference which has been the superior conference for some time now. 

To me, he's shown he's a reliable playoff performer, but, as I said, he's not a leader.  Get a leader, and he'll be someone you want to have on your side of the court when the playoffs come around.  

Since: Sep 25, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2011 12:11 am

Knicks make final offer for Melo

It's kinda stupid that all you none basketball people are saying the Knicks are crazy for trading for Anthony. The Knicks are 2 games over .500 right now & thats nothing to brag about. They can't do nothing but get better. Yall say Anthony don't play defense, well Anthony has took Denver to the West Finals & he didn't disappear when he got there. Billups isn't worse than Felton. The players they are getting rid of is players you can easily get in the draft. After Melo get to the next & they start winning i'm going to be sitting back laughing at all you trolls because all of you are ignorant if you all think Melo & billups don't & want make the Knicks way better than they are. A team don't need 5 superstars. All they need is 2 or 3 & the rest roll players. So just sit back & watch the knicks win. It's funny because the same people was saying the Knicks was stupid for signing Amare & look how that turned out.

Since: Dec 20, 2008
Posted on: February 21, 2011 12:03 am

Knicks make final offer for Melo

Considering how Gallo and Chandler are always exciteable about coming through in big regular season games (if you watch Knicks games at all you'll know this already) I see no reason to believe they wouldn't be just as amped or clutch in the playoffs.  And how can you claim they won't be if they haven't been there yet? At their age they're still young and improving their game.  Melo on the otherhand, we've basically seen him at his fullest already, he has been there, and his Denver team always seems to be getting knocked out in the first round. What does that say about him? How can you claim Melo is more clutch? How far has he gotten them into the playoffs? NOWHERE but the first round.

Since: Mar 2, 2009
Posted on: February 20, 2011 11:58 pm

Knicks make final offer for Melo

@Atthewall--I disagree with the assessment that Melo is only an offensive player and that he's simply a 'me, me, me' player. 

What I will say, and I've said this before, is that Melo is not a leader.  He's a player who takes on the characteristics of the players around him.  If they play defense--as Denver did in its run to the Conference Finals a few years ago--then he'll play decent defense.  If they share the ball, then he will share the ball and he's an under-rated passer when he does.  When George Karl stays on him to rebound, he rebounds.

But, the key is to have veteran   leadership willing to push him because he all to easily slips back into the habit of playing the 'fun' part of the game.  When Iverson was there, everyone saw a team that looked fun but didn't do the little things needed to win.  When Billups arrived, the attitude changed almost overnight and the team gelled.  But then Billups backed off and said it was Melo's team and the backsliding began.  With the right leader who Melo respects, the Knicks could end up with a player who will be a more all-around talent then you expect.  But, you have to find that guy.

Since: Mar 2, 2009
Posted on: February 20, 2011 11:47 pm

Knicks make final offer for Melo

Here's a question for Knicks fans regarding scoring. 

When it comes playoff time and defenses start to tighten up, do you think Chandler and Gallinari can be relied on consistently to match their season scoring average?  Because that's the most important thing when you're talking about who can put up the most points.  Melo has shown that he's a load to guard in the playoffs as well, while only Felton has been to the playoffs and his numbers went down from the regular season in his one appearance.  Maybe Gallinari and Chandler will prove to be NBA stars capable of replicating their performance under playoff pressure, but, to me, that's a BIG maybe.

Since: Dec 20, 2008
Posted on: February 20, 2011 11:46 pm

Knicks make final offer for Melo

When you look at what type of player Melo is, he isn't an all around player, he's just an offensive scorer. A very good mid-range scorer most of the time, still not what most NBA teams are looking for, or willing to sacrifice most of their team for, which is why you see so few teams interested in trading for him. He's not worth one proposal Denver has requested from any team for him so far.   Defensively, the guy sucks.  I've seen him so many times during games, while he's supposed to be guarding an opposing player all he does is effort-lessly stick his hand out while he's fading away or off-balance... as if that's supposed to be a good enough form of defense or something.  When it comes to being on the court he's a me me me type player which is not a great thing for any team trying to win anything significant.  Knicks are really just better off passing on the guy unless they can work a deal where they can keep one of their main 3 starters(aside from Amare)

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