Monday, December 13, 2010

When Will Carmelo Be A Knick?

The question is no longer if the Knicks will get Carmelo Anthony, it's when they will get him. The options are either acquiring Anthony in a trade before the February deadline or waiting until the offseason to make him an offer as a free agent. After Carmelo's recent comments regarding his desire to play for New York the Nuggets have seemingly lost any leverage they had in trade talks. The Knicks have no reason to appease Denver by trading away any of their valuable assets like Danilo Gallinari. Before the season started it seemed as if trading Gallinari along with multiple other pieces was the only way to even enter the Melo discussions. The Nuggets were claiming to be fielding offers from the Nets, Bobcats, and many other teams but now the list has been shortened to one: The New York Knicks.

Trade for Carmelo: At this point Carmelo's trade value has significantly decreased and the Nugget's hands are tied but doesn't mean they will give him away. A trade offer from the Knicks will be centered around Eddy Curry's expiring contract which will also balance out the salaries. Denver would obviously want more than just the expiring contract and that is where the disagreement comes into play. The Knicks should label Gallinari as untouchable and look to include players such as: Wilson Chandler, Anthony Randolph, Landry Fields, and Tony Douglas. It makes the most sense to deal Chandler because he is a free agent at the end of the season and will be searching for a contract in the 6-8 million dollar range. Fields and Randolph both have very frugal contracts and are two of the biggest bargains in the NBA. Now and in the future Fields could be a very solid all around player and cement his position as the starting two guard. As for Anthony Randolph, if he can live up to just half of his potential then Randolph will be a very important role player as the back up big man on this roster. Chandler is expendable because he plays a similar style and the same position as Carmelo. Currently Chandler is blossoming in the starting lineup, as the 4, and even when he was the 6th man he put up huge numbers. But with the addition of Carmelo the 3 and 4 spots will be filled leaving Chandler back in his bench role. Except now his role as the sixth man will come along with fewer minutes and fewer touches significantly impacting his role.

Signing Carmelo in the offseason is still the smart move unless a very attractive offer comes to the table. Eddy Curry (11.3 million), Wilson Chandler (2.1 million), Kelena Azubuike (3.4 million), and Roger Mason (1.4 million) all come off the books which is a total of over 18 million dollars freed up in cap space. The Knicks could use this money to offer Carmelo a similar contract to Amar'e.

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