Blog Entry

Knicks, Nuggets agree to Melo trade

Posted on: February 21, 2011 9:57 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2011 9:35 am
Seven months after the famous toast at Carmelo Anthony's wedding, the second member of the Knicks' proposed Big Three is on his way to New York.

Just like he wanted all along.

And now that Anthony is finally a Knick, teaming with Amar'e Stoudemire to form one of the most lethal scoring duos in the NBA, the question of how it's going to work is as important as who's coming next.

The Knicks and Nuggets agreed Monday night on a massive, three-team, 13-player trade sending Anthony to New York, three league sources told

The deal, approved by league officials Tuesday night, is Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Timofey Mozgov and New York's 2014 first-round pick going to Denver for Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Renaldo Balkman and Anthony Carter. The Timberwolves agreed to take Eddy Curry's expiring contract along with Anthony Randolph from the Knicks and send Corey Brewer to New York -- not Denver, as was discussed in a previous version of the trade. The Wolves get $3 million from the Knicks, which will be used to buy Curry out of the few remaining pay checks on his $11.3 million contract.

The Nuggets also get Golden State's second-round picks in 2012 and '13 from New York -- an incredible haul for Denver general manager Masai Ujiri considering the superstar he was forced to trade in his first few months on the job only had one destination in mind. Denver also gets Greek center Kosta Koufos from Minnesota for a second-round pick, a wrinkle added during the trade call with league officials Tuesday. Mozgov and the second-round picks being added after the Knicks made what was described as their final offer Sunday further called into question whether Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan overruled his basketball staff to close the deal.

As they said on one of the news shows Monday night in New York, "If your name is not Amar'e Stoudemire ... you've been traded!"

"They gave up their team," one rival executive said of the assets New York surrendered for Anthony, the league's sixth-leading scorer and a four-time All-Star.

Despite the assets surrendered for Anthony, the deal was another bold step for Knicks president Donnie Walsh, who needed only two years to clean up a decade-old mess at the Garden and put two of the top 10-15 players in the NBA in Knicks jerseys in a span of seven months. Though the Knicks team that emerges from this trade will have flaws, it is the most relevant -- and most dangerous -- team that has inhabited the Garden in more than a decade. The key player the Knicks would have refused to give up in the deal was Landry Fields, a second-round pick who has emerged as one of the top rookies in the league.

Pending the passing of physicals, Anthony and Billups will make their Knicks debuts Wednesday night against Milwaukee at the Garden.

The question becomes whether Walsh will have enough flexibility to make the third member of the Anthony wedding trinity, Chris Paul, appear between 31st and 33rd Streets when he is a free agent in 2012. Deron Williams also will be a free agent that summer, and reported last week that Williams began contemplating a union with Stoudemire last summer. It isn't clear whether Stoudemire and Anthony making a combined $40 million in 2012-13 will allow space for a third max player under a new collective bargaining agreement. But once the Lakers, Celtics and Heat set the precedent for superstars teaming up, it can't be good for them and not good for others.

The Nets, whose pursuit of Anthony ended Monday night in a crushing disappointment for Russian billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov, could expand the deal by taking two ex-Knicks from Denver but are not fully committed to the idea, according to a person briefed on the negotiations. The Nets' involvement depends on which two of the four ex-Knicks the Nuggets want to trade. Nuggets officials have been pushing for some degree of assurance that they can flip two of the Knicks players they are getting for draft picks, which they value more.

It was presumed earlier Monday that Denver would flip Gallinari and Mozgov to New Jersey for two first-round picks, providing the final incentive for Denver to part with its franchise player. But sources indicated Monday night that the Nets may actually want Felton in that scenario, and that New Jersey prefers Felton over acquiring Andre Miller from Portland in one of several separate potential trades they are discussing.

Either way, Anthony finally will get his wish Tuesday -- a three-year, $65 million extension with the Knicks, the team he has pushed to be dealt to since September. reported in December and again in January that Anthony, if traded, wouldn't sign an extension anywhere but with the Knicks. His persistence was tested in recent days, when Anthony agreed to meet with Prokhorov, hip-hop mogul Jay-Z and other Nets management figures during All-Star weekend in Los Angeles as a condition of getting permission to meet with the Knicks' Dolan. Anthony was careful not to give any commitment to Prokhorov, but he also didn't turn the Nets down. To ensure that the Nuggets could get a competitive offer from New York, Anthony needed to leverage the possibility of signing the extension with the Nets. So in a way, Anthony and Ujiri were working in tandem all along to get Anthony to his preferred destination in a way that satisfied both their agendas.

Anthony, 26, will join fellow All-Star Stoudemire, 28, to form one of the most potent offensive duos in the NBA -- and the highest-profile superstars in their prime that the team has had in the lives of most Knicks fans. But with the Knicks giving up three starters and Mozgov, a 24-year-old 7-footer, New York will have a thin bench and still won't have a defensive big man to take pressure off Stoudemire. In addition, Stoudemire and Anthony will be scheduled to make $40 million combined in 2012-13 -- perhaps hampering the Knicks' efforts to land a member of that summer's star-studded free-agent class including Paul, Williams, and Dwight Howard.

Meanwhile, Denver's new basketball brain trust of Ujiri and executive Josh Kroenke passed an enormous test of their will, patience and negotiating chops with flying colors. Going all the way back to September, when they refused to pull the trigger on a four-team Melo trade involving Charlotte and Utah, Ujiri and Kroenke expertly played the Knicks and Nets against each other to the tune of a potentially massive package of assets for Anthony. The strategy resulted in an out-of-control groundswell of public support in New York for the Knicks to acquire Anthony, a player some significant members of the organization were determined not to give up major assets to acquire. And in an unimaginable twist given the obstacle that Anthony only wanted to re-sign with the Knicks, the Nuggets could wind up walking away with significant assets from both of the teams that pursued their star player.

It is common for general managers to print money in trades through contract-swapping. The Nuggets could essentially wind up printing draft picks by flipping two of the Knicks' players they didn't want for assets they value more. Even if the Nuggets wind up trading none of the ex-Knicks to New Jersey, it was an extremely impressive debut in the hot seat for Ujiri, a Nigerian-born former international scout who was part of the Toronto front office that got burned by free agent Chris Bosh last summer.

The Knicks get older, but arguably better at the point guard position with Billups, 34, taking over for Felton, 26 -- though Billups is not a classic pick-and-roll point guard and will have trouble playing the heavy minutes Felton endured. Williams, a disciplined, 6-9 reserve, will help bolster New York's undersized front court, and the addition of Brewer to the deal gives the Knicks a much needed wing defender.

In the end, this one's all about Melo -- a sidekick for Stoudemire who will cause problems for Boston, Miami and Chicago while serving as further magnetism for future free agents.  

They're still one shy of a Big Three.

For up to date news on the NBA trade deadline, follow Ken Berger on Twitter at @KBerg_CBS
For more on the Nuggets' trade of Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks: 
Ben Golliver breaks down the winners and losers from the trade
Did this trade make the Knicks contenders? Royce Young has his doubts
Carmelo Anthony: No one man should have all that power , thinks Matt Moore. 


Since: Oct 22, 2009
Posted on: February 22, 2011 11:38 am

Knicks, Nuggets agree to Melo trade

Seriously is this how bad it has gotten that aquiring 2 top 10 players isnt enough to make you serious contenders? The original "Big 3" (celtics) seems to have weakened the competitiveness of the NBA, and the big 3 in miami has just completely destroyed it. Now the knicks aquire carmelo to pair with
stoudemire, while hoping to grab the top point guard in the offseason. This is all fine with me, just dont start comparing these guys to the all-time greats who didnt need to flee a bad situation in order to win a championship, because those are the guys who have earned greatness not these clowns shaping all-star&n
bsp;teams so they can call themselves champions. 

Since: Feb 15, 2011
Posted on: February 22, 2011 11:31 am

Knicks, Nuggets agree to Melo trade

Should be fan's new Carmelo.... sing song.

A team drafted and let you develop.  The fans loved you. The team surrounded you with talent and you were paid top dollar. You were the Man. You were unable to elevate a team and your teammates to a championship. You gave up.

A team (in the city you wanted to be traded to) begged you to be the Man. The person they would build their franchise around. Your response appeared to be... only if I have too.

You choose to be a role player for Amare. You are a Rodman or Pippen to a Jordan. A Fisher or Artest to a Bryant. I'd say a Bosh to a James but they haven't proven they can win. All good players - just not the Man.

It's probably not fair to call you yellow... Clint Eastwood said it best " A good man knows his limitations".
Think Chris Paul has the same insecurity?

I sure hope Kevin Durant breaks this weak spirited generation of player and builds "His team" ,a small market team at that, into a contender. We need some old school - Coach Sloan, Russell, Bird, MJ, Magic, Malone etc... must shake their heads sadly at how none of you want to be the Man.

Since: Jan 24, 2011
Posted on: February 22, 2011 11:27 am

Knicks, Nuggets agree to Melo trade

@ , I think you mean your Lakers!! With all the $$ tied into these 5 players, you tell me 2-3 years down the line, who will be set up better for a Championship run.

Artest - 31 Yrs old - 7 Mil in 2012, 7 Mil in 2013, and 8 Mil in 2014
Kobe - will 32 this year - No trade Claus - 25 Mil in 2012, 27 Mil in 2013, and 30 Mil in 2014
Byrum - 23 Yrs old , but can’t stay healthy - 15 Mil in 2012, 16 Mil in 2013
Gasol - 30 yrs old - 17 Mil in 2012, 18 Mil in 2013, and 19 Mil in 2014
Lamar - 31 yrs old - 8 Mil in 2012, 8 Mil in 2013
Plus No Phil Jackson!!!

Since: Nov 16, 2010
Posted on: February 22, 2011 11:14 am

Knicks, Nuggets agree to Melo trade

Since: May 1, 2008
Posted on: February 22, 2011 11:11 am

Knicks, Nuggets agree to Melo trade

The only run the Knicks are setting themselves up for is a run at the lottery for years to come....

Since: May 1, 2008
Posted on: February 22, 2011 11:10 am

Knicks, Nuggets agree to Melo trade

The only run the Knicks are setting themselves up for is a run at the lottery for years to come.....

Since: Feb 22, 2011
Posted on: February 22, 2011 11:04 am

Knicks, Nuggets agree to Melo trade

looks like his fat ghetto bitch LA LA got her wish, hey melo grow some nut hair and make your own choices, clown shoe

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: February 22, 2011 10:58 am

Knicks, Nuggets agree to Melo trade

Shaq was right up there with Olajuwon and the Admiral in the mid 90s. He was debatably the best center at the time each year.

Since: Jan 24, 2011
Posted on: February 22, 2011 10:42 am

Knicks, Nuggets agree to Melo trade

This trade was for the future. Most realistic Knick fans know that having 2 superstars on a team will help the Knicks attract veteran players who just want to win! In addition, with the exception of Balkmen all of the players acquired (Except Melo) have expiring contracts this year. “Big Shot” Chancy can come off the books after next year (14 Mill), and/or he can be bought out for 3.75 Mil after this year. As most of us already know, In the summer of 2012 the Knicks will have cap room (depending on the new CBA) to sign another Max guy (Williams, CP#, and Howard-I think he is Going to L.A). I also think that the Knicks are not done Wheeling and dealing. 2 More days to try and add some length. 2013 = Run at the Championship!!

Since: Jan 6, 2010
Posted on: February 22, 2011 10:38 am

The Mile LOW City

Well, at least Denver sports fans still have the Broncos . . . er, I mean the Avalanche . . . er, I mean their college sports teams.  No wait.  I mean . . .   Oi vey!  From one time being one of the greatest sports towns in America.  Now?

Time to blow the dust off the Pikes Peak Hill Climb!

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