Blog Entry

Carmelo actually plausible for Knicks?

Posted on: August 17, 2010 5:20 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2010 10:21 pm
In a time when they have few real options for upgrades, Carmelo Anthony presents a unique opportunity for the Knicks, and one they need to cash in on immediately.
Posted by Matt Moore

The best and worst thing about the New York Knicks (beyond intangible things like history and their fans) is James Dolan. For all his gaffes, his petulant silence , and most damning, for his continued association with Isiah Thomas, the harbinger of New York Basketball Doom, Dolan brings the checkbook. And that's relevant. You don't have to be a big spender in a big market. Look at Donald Sterling. Or Jerry Reinsdorf. You can pull a profit, enjoy the perks, and not push the bill. But Dolan, for better or worse, spends money to try and make the Knicks a contender.

The problem? He's been willing to make deals and put his name on the marker for decisions that it wouldn't have taken much to refute. Say, calling a few friends to ask if they were good ideas. Or opening a window. Asking a taxi driver. Using the internet . Any of these options would have given him some level of insight that hey, you know what I shouldn't do? Anything Isiah Thomas tells me.

The result is that the Knicks are a team you can 100% count on to spend money to improve their team. Dolan will dive into the luxury tax like it's a nice warm pool. He's also had to do that in order for Donnie Walsh to clean up the mess at Madison Square Garden. It hasn't just taken money, but draft picks and roster compromises, though, and that's why they're seldom considered "on the rise" despite their summer overhaul.

The worst move of Donnie Walsh's time in New York was his concession of picks in the Tracy McGrady deal. The plan was simple. Get cap space to bring in two max free agents, regardless of what it takes. But in doing so, they agreed to swap with the Rockets next season (unless the Knicks get the top overall pick, in which case Walsh has bigger issues), and surrender their 2012 first rounder. This is after having to give the Jazz their 2010 pick in the last of the Isiah Thomas collateral damage.

For a team trying to go young, rebuild, and refigure, those draft picks are gold. Or more accurately, perhaps, they're timber. Imagine you're playing one of those civilization video games. You can harvest tons of crops, and train lots of soldiers. But if you don't have timber, you're not building any structures for them to live in. That's what draft picks are. And if the Knicks were going to try and aim for a top player in the league to team with Amar'e Stoudemire, fresh of the free agency gravy train, they needed those picks. It's why a deal with New Orleans was highly unlikely for New York, regardless of Chris Paul's wedding toast.

Quite simply, the reason most NBA fans and media don't think their team will trade with the Knicks is that they simply don't have anything to give back.

Which is why the Carmelo Anthony situation presents such a unique opportunity for the New York.

With Ken Berger's multiple reports that Anthony is angling his way out of Denver and recent word that the Nuggets have started to deal with that reality , even as they try and lock in a new GM, the Knicks are most talked-about as a destination. But Nuggets fans of course don't think the Knicks can return enough assets or, as I said, picks, to make the deal. But if you're looking at the big black barrel of losing Melo in free agency, the Knicks actually have a package that could be enough for Denver, if Denver doesn't take a hard line and if New York doesn't attach itself to outdated ideas.

First, you need money to make up for Melo's contract. That means Eddy Curry. And while taking on Curry may seem a bitter pill for Nuggets fans ("Trading Carmelo Anthony for Eddy Curry?! This is madness!" No, this is the NBA post-Miami Triad), his expiring contract will put them in a position to start rebuilding, which is what happens after you lose a star of Melo's magnitude. Next, they would acquire Wilson Chandler, which again, isn't a sterling asset, but is at least a capable scorer with a reasonable contract and would fill some of the gap. The big talent target, though, would be Danillo Galinari. The Rooster gives the Nuggets a pure scorer with as sweet a stroke as you'll find the league, young, versatile, and capable of playing at Melo's position. Throw in some 2014-2020 picks, and the package isn't toxic. It's not good, but it's more than what the Cavs got from Miami absconding with LeBron James.

There are other options, like recently acquired Anthony Randolph or tantalizing combo-guard Toney Douglas. But the point is the same. The Knicks can't offer a lot of teams what they would want for a star, and can't offer what the Nuggets would want in fair return for Carmelo Anthony. But that's honestly impossible to begin with. Either you're willing to trade Melo for less than he's worth, or you're not willing to trade him. Otherwise you're just standing there, saying "Multipass!" and not understanding why the strange man keeps looking at you longingly. And with the current NBA economic situation, with the CBA future in doubt, the Knicks provide an ideal partner, surprisingly.

Any deal for Anthony will be contingent on an extend-and-trade, where Melo gets the three-year, $65 million extension the Nuggets are offering and gets the new team. The trade partner has to not only be able to swallow his current contract, but willing to take on that kind of deal with the looming possibility of a greatly reduced and possibly hardened salary cap coming about from the CBA talks next summer. To handle that contingency, you need someone with deep pockets. A little down the road, whoever does take Carmelo and his extension, even if it's the Nuggets going forward, their ownership will likely resist any adjustment that eliminates their flexibility. Count Miami and Los Angeles in on supporting that paradigm.

Dolan's checkbook can speak volumes, for better or worse. And if the new CBA restructures the NBA to a hard cap, it'll be for the worse. But just as it's been in the past, Dolan and his wallet will cross that bridge when they get there.

Since: Dec 20, 2008
Posted on: August 19, 2010 1:26 pm

Carmelo actually plausible for Knicks?

I'm kind of hoping a deal gets done now before this season starts.  As a Knicks fan I know that Carmelo is in his prime, unlike some of the other superstars(or former ones) that were brought to NY in the past 10 years. I don't mind giving up a couple 1st rounders for him, Denver deserves at least something back.  It's gonna hurt to watch ESPN around the draft time, but I'm confident Melo will make up for it.  Hope Gallinari doesn't go as part of a deal, I think that Melo, Amare and Gallinari will make quite a trio, and I'd have to imagine another decent guard will be coming within the next couple years, hopefully Paul or Parker.

If you think about it, if Melo does come this will be the biggest postion the Knicks will be in for a title run in a very long time.
The rivalry that will start with LeBron and Miami will make ratings soar for those teams and the NBA.

Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: August 19, 2010 10:29 am

Carmelo actually plausible for Knicks?

I listened to a sports-talk radio show yesterday in which the hosts interviewed former Green Bay WR Antonio Freeman regarding Brett Favre's return to Minnesota.  However, on another topic, Freeman indicated that he was a close friend of Carmelo Anthony, and that he "knows" Anthiny is going to the Knicks.  I guess we'll see if Anthony is as close a friend as Freeman thinks he is.

Since: Apr 3, 2010
Posted on: August 19, 2010 8:58 am

Part of the reason why basketball is a joke.

Ok, when Jordan was playing there was still some integrity in the game. This was when
coaches had the idea of actually drafting players to try to build a team instead of just
buying the best free agent possible like today. The lakers perfected this art to build a
team for Kobe Bryant, now every team is copying them. Next thing that's going to happen
is an owner will have two teams and trade between both of his teams just so one wins a
championship. Maybe Mark Cuban will buy the Heat, then he can own the NBA finals by
trading. Even though he hasn't done something like that with the mavs, it's just an example
of an owner who could pull it off.

My point is, in other sports like football, you don't see Chris Johnson begging to get traded to
a better team so he can win a super bowl, maybe they want more money, but they have a heck
of a lot more team loyalty in football then basketball, the most screwed up sport in the world.
Pretty easy to rig a basketball team if you ask me, especially when all the teams have different
payrolls (talking to you lakers).


A couple teams might get lucky with a draft pick every year, but eventually he'll probably get
bought by another team, and the cycle continues.
No wonder they're begging for ratings, can't believe anyone watches this crap anymore, at least
football players stay on their own team and have loyalty the majority the time. Basketball players
could care less about it, such a disgrace to sports.

Since: Dec 20, 2008
Posted on: August 19, 2010 3:49 am

Carmelo actually plausible for Knicks?

It's hard to tell where this guy will end up, from the 4-5 teams in the mix for him.  If he just waits until free agency and doesn't mind a salary pay cut then it'll definitely be the Knicks.  I really think he should go to the Knicks, it will automatically make them true contenders with Gallo and Amare already there.  At some point in the next couple years, maybe even next year the Knicks can add the right point guard and that team will give Miami one hell of a rivalry and a run at the title for years to come. It would be good for the league if Melo chooses New York.  (Just hope its not the Nets)

This whole thing better not turn into a LeBron style circus if he asks to go on a sign a trade first.  I'm tired of the hoopla. 

Since: Sep 22, 2008
Posted on: August 19, 2010 2:03 am

Carmelo actually plausible for Knicks?

In Denver, we love him. We wish hed resign, anyone remember the Nuggets-Knicks fight? Id think Melo wouldnt go there just for that. The Nuggets are screwed without Melo... Chauncey is gettin old and the backup is Renaldo. PLEASE STAY IN DENVER!

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: August 19, 2010 12:13 am

Carmelo actually plausible for Knicks?

No. Assuming he leaves Denver, he said he would also play for the Rockets and Nets, both of which will do better than the Knicks this year.  Melo should realize that the Knicks haven't made the playoffs since 2004, & they haven't won a playoff game or had a winning season since 2000.  If Melo wants to win, he won't go the the Knicks

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: August 18, 2010 5:18 pm

Carmelo actually plausible for Knicks?

All this talk about things that may ccur next year shows how dull the sporting news is at this time. I am really tired of seeing these obnoxious athletes treated as some sort of fifth rated god. Most of these guys are jerks at heart, and are the most self centered jerks that you could ever meet. There are exceptions to the rule, Durant, Lee, etc., but they seem few and far between. The idea of the players talking and deciding which teams they want to play on together is something that should not be allowed. If the owners got caught talking this way, the union would be outraged and would raise all kind of a fuss. It should be a 2-way street. No Matter what Stern thinks, the situation in Miami cannot be good for the whole league, just television ranking when Miami plays the Lakers, How times have changed.

Since: Jun 22, 2010
Posted on: August 18, 2010 4:29 pm

Carmelo actually plausible for Knicks?

Carmelo Anthony will be plausible to any team if he will decide to go unrestricted free agent without giving the Nuggets the sign and trade option. In any case, the new CBA will definitely play a huge part in the decision on pushing for the sign and trade deal just to get the max deal.

Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: August 18, 2010 12:29 pm

Carmelo actually plausible for Knicks?

if the Nuggets were to do a deal with the Knicks for Anthony, i think they should say, we give you Carmelo and give the Knicks a bad contract too, then the Nuggets get Wilson Chandler, Eddy Curry, Anthony Randolpth and a first round pick in 2011 and a future 1st round pick.

Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: August 18, 2010 11:48 am

Carmelo actually plausible for Knicks?

if he do go, that's another 3yrs in the recruiting and building to be a real continder. but if he wonna win right away, hey melo, make magic with the big fella they have better assets.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or