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Monday February 21, 2011 10:51 pm

Carmelo Anthony traded to the New York Knicks, but will it matter?

Posted by Dennis Velasco Categories: Athletes, Editorial, NBA, News, Trades,

Carmelo Anthony is traded to the New York Knicks joining Amar'e Stoudemire

The 'Melo Drama is now over as Carmelo Anthony was traded to the New York Knicks in a blockbuster deal that sees him joining forces with Amar'e Stoudemire to hopefully change the landscape of the Eastern Conference. But, will it? The full deal has Anthony, who was scheduled to be a free agent in the offseason, Chauncey Billups, Renaldo Balkman, Anthony Carter, and Shelden Williams going to the Knicks and Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov, a 2014 first round picks, additional picks (second rounders), and cash going to the Nuggets. In addition, the Knicks will send Eddy Curry, Anthony Randolph, and cash to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Corey Brewer, who was reported earlier to go to the Nuggets, so this still needs to be substantiated.

However, this is more about Carmelo Anthony and the ongoing drama since last summer being over with, just days before the NBA trade deadline (3PM ET on Thursday). So, the question remains, does this make the Knicks a better team? Certainly off-the-court this will be a cash cow for the Knicks and the NBA. Whenever there is a good and exciting team in New York, the largest media market in the world, it's always good for the league. Also, 'Melo should make even more money with endorsement deals, including existing ones such as Air Jordan, who now has an All-Star player in New York. It's quite possible that 'Melo will be as overexposed in New York as he has been pre-trade the past several months.

On the court, the Knicks gave up a lot of assets and depleted their depth. Getting Billups will cover the loss of Felton this season, but Billups is getting long in the tooth and will make double-digit millions next year if there's a season. Gallinari is one of the top three-point shooters in the game today and started to play with a non-European ferocity. Wilson Chandler came into his own this season and contributed across the statistical board. Mozgov was a serviceable center that showed some minor flashes of brilliance and his loss will probably force the undersized and offensively-challenged Ronny Turiaf start at the center position. The additions of Williams and Balkman won't do much to improve the Knicks' frontcourt and Carter will probably find it hard to find time at the lead guard position behind Billups and Douglas. The quality as a whole takes a hit for the Knicks, but they now have two lethal scorers in Stoudemire and Anthony.

The problem is that both of them like isolations and 'Melo will hold the ball too long and in all likelihood work in the same space as Stoudemire down in the post. Granted there will be a lot of fast break points and both will get their numbers, but how long will it take them to mesh? For 50+ games, the Knicks had built a good chemistry with bumps in the recent past because of Chandler going down to injury, as well as Stoudemire briefly. Also, will the lack of shooters - Felton, Gallo, and Chandler - hinder the space that was normally created for Stoudemire (and now, 'Melo) to work in the box? Billups was the only shooter that came back ot the Knicks and more double-teams from the perimeter defender should be expected.

It would be foolhardy to think that this trade now makes the Knicks instant contenders for the NBA title. The Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Chicago Bulls, and probably the Atlanta Hawks are still better than the Knicks. In fact, without homecourt advantage in the playoffs and playing any of the first four teams mentioned, expect a first round exit, something that Anthony has become accustomed to in six of his seven full seasons. 'Melo is a clutch shooter, but he's a volume scorer and doesn't play any defense, which is why he'll fit right in with the Knicks. It's also the major reason that the team won't get far in the postseason.

In regards to after this season and the prospects of adding Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets, Deron Williams of the Utah Jazz, or Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic, it's not going to happen. If the Knicks want to trade for either the aforementioned three during next season (if there is one), they don't have the assets to trade for either of them. They have basically prohibited themselves from making another major move. After the 2011-12 season, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement will be coming up over the summer and a major point for the owners will basically be to stop another Big Three, such as with the Miami Heat (Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh), from happening again. Obviously the small-market teams are more for restricting this and there are rumblings of a franchise tag similar to the NFL being employed in the NBA. Of course, who can say for sure since there is still a few months before that gets hammered out.

For now, the Knicks organization and its fans should celebrate the addition of 'Melo... because they won't be celebrating much in June.



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