Raymond Felton is becoming a household name and is deserving of an All-Star spot on the Eastern Conference roster. Felton ranks 5th in the entire NBA in Total Assists and is running the league's best offense. Amar'e is also having the best season of his career but you need to consider who he's replacing, David Lee. Amar'e is averaging 26.4 ppg, 8.9 rpg, and 2.7 apg this season while David Lee averaged 20.2 ppg, 11.7 rpg, and 3.6 apg last year. If you add those three statistics up for each player you see Amar'e is only an improvement of "1.5". But on the other hand, look at the point guard play: Raymond Felton's numbers include 17.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, and 8.9 apg while Duhon only put up 7.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg, and 5.6 apg (not to mention he has had absolutely no impact this season for the Magic). Felton has contributed an outstanding "14.8" improvement when you tally up those three statistics for each player. Clearly Stoudemire is the better player but which pair would be better: Duhon and Amar'e or Felton and DLee. Amar'e brings energy, the intangibles, and star-power to New York and there is no way to gage the impact his presence alone has had. But looking purely at the numbers of each guy, and who he replaced, it is clear that the Knicks would be in much worse shape if they hadn't signed Raymond Felton and Chris Duhon was still running the team.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
On July 20th 2010 the New York Knicks signed Raymond Felton a two-year contract worth $15.8 million dollars. This move was overshadowed by New York's signing of Amar'e Stoudemire and also by the New Big 3 in Miami. But thus far Felton is easily the biggest bargain of the offseason. New York has been one of the most improved teams in 2010-2011 and the fans have been praising Stat as their savior. But the MVP candidate doesn't deserve all the credit for turning around the Knicks.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
"I'm not happy with the way ... this deal has gone until now," Prokhorov said. "It has taken too long. It has been played out in public and it certainly has taken a toll on the players and I believe that it has cost us several games. I think management did a great job, but there comes a time when the price is simply too expensive. I'm instructing our team to walk away from the deal."
Those are the words of New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov. Prokhorov said he never heard from Anthony. "Maybe he sent me an e-mail, but I don't have a computer," Prokhorov said. "Maybe the carrier pigeon got lost." Frustration has clearly set in as any chance of Carmelo coming to New Jersey has disappeared. During these long trade talks team morale was extremely low causing many disappointing performances. New Jersey's offer was centered around rookie forward Derrick Favors and multiple first round draft picks but the hard part was persuading Carmelo to commit to the Nets.
General manager Billy King expressed Prokhorov's role in these discussions and credited him with making this decision. It seems as if the Nets are going to shift their focus to rebuilding the team in other ways, including; draft picks, smaller trades, and other free agents. New Jersey has a solid core group consisting of Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, and Brook Lopez which could be the nucleus of exciting young team.
The most important effect this decision will have is in regards to the New York Knicks. Anthony has been linked to New York ever since his wedding and Chris Paul's infamous toast. Some reports have gone as far as saying Carmelo Anthony will only sign an extension if he is traded to the Knicks. New York has already hit the jackpot with one move, signing Amar'e Stoudemire to a max contract in July. In addition Raymond Felton has also proved he is worth every penny of his new contract.
Donnie Walsh should start increasing the pressure on the Nugget's front office to make a move now. A deal including Eddy Curry and Wilson Chandler would be most ideal because both of these players are free agents whose salaries come off the book this summer. These guys salaries match Carmelo's which allows the deal to work under NBA rules. At the same time New York retains its young core (Danilo Gallinari and Landry Fields) while also maintaining their trade flexibility by keeping Anthony Randolph as an asset for the future. The new starting five would be Felton-Fields-Anthony-Stoudemire-Turiaf, with Gallinari coming off the bench as the 6th man (taking over Chandler's role). This will allow for Gallo to be the leader of the second unit where he can blossom as the first option and a spot up shooter. Danilo can come in and play the 2, 3, or 4 depending on various matchups which will give D'Antoni even greater flexibility when giving his starters rest. Shawn Williams and Bill Walker will continue to be important spark plugs off the bench and Douglas will remain the back up point guard that locks down opposing perimeter players.
This trade swaps Eddy Curry and Wilson Chandler for Carmelo Anthony. In reality this deal is even better than it looks on paper. Eddy Curry has been irrelevant the past two seasons and will be on the bench either way. In Chandler's case he is a similar player to Carmelo so they would not be able to easily work together or ever be on the floor at the same time. It is better to keep Gallinari who has unlimited potential to develop into a smaller version of Dirk Nowitzki. Not to mention that Chandler is a free agent as well after this season and will presumably desire a large contract which the Knicks won't be able to afford.
This potential roster would easily be one of the best in the East because the Knicks are already the top scoring team in the league so imagine what could happen if they add another All-Star scorer. Carmelo brings the intangibles that are necessary to win, especially on a young team. In Denver he lead the Nuggets to multiple playoff appearances and even a trip to the Conference Finals. Also, Anthony was a part of the National Championship Team at Syracuse in 2003 and won a Gold Metal for USA in the Olympics. Miami has their new "Big 3" and everyone knows about the Celtics "Big 4" but a duo of Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire paired with Raymond Felton and Danilo Gallinari would immediately join that elite group, even without CP3.