Monday, February 21, 2011

MELOnheads

Welcome to post 300 of TPLIYP. Slowly but surely continuing to break new ground. Now that I am only opining on groundbreaking stories, I felt that I should share my opinion on the minutes old trade of Carmelo Anthony. In short, the Knicks just got taken for a ride big time. They let themselves be put in the position to pay a king's ransom for a guy who was going to be a free agent in a few months. Moreover, I think that this trade wrecks what chemistry the team had and compromises their long-term future.

Carmelo is going to be a draw and is a solid player, no doubt about it. However, I can not believe the Knicks gave up so much to get him. The Nuggets demands in my opinion were purely a bluff. They were coming from a total position of weakness with Carmelo holding no-trade rights and coming off the books at season's end. New Jersey was brought in completely as a middle-man, and there is no way that Carmelo would have signed off to go there. Despite my belief, the Knicks failed to play hardball and gave up all of their young talent to acquire the star forward and Chauncey Billups. How can you let yourself get put in that position?

Now that Carmelo is supposedly locked up for the next three years, at over $20 million a year, how do the Knicks move forward knowing that they have over 40 million dollars invested in two players (Carmelo and Amare)? The salary cap as it is now is $58 million, but it is expected to maybe even come down in the next round of CBA negotiations. We have seen the Heat make it work, but they payed less for better players. The Knicks may have severely mortgaged their future with this move.

Not only is the move suspect financially, the Knicks also made the "you never do this" decision of trading young players for older ones. At only 23 years old, Danilo Gallinari was showing signs of brilliance, and has upped his points per game every year of his young career. Moreover, 26 year old Raymond Felton was the prototypical guard for Mike D'Antoni's run and gun system and was having a career year, Wilson Chandler was a talented young shooter, and young center Timofey Mozgov aka "Lurch" was an intriguing prospect starting to prove himself at center. Now they have been replaced with Carmelo, a star no doubt but with eight years of mileage being "the guy" on his team at age 26, 34 year old Chauncey Billups who doesn't quite fit the D'Antoni scheme but is certainly a good player, and some filler players. Not only that, the Knicks also gave up a first-round draft pick and cash in the trade. Starting to sound like not such a great deal, huh?

Carmelo Anthony wanted to go to New York, and the Knicks really wanted Carmelo Anthony. He will put butts in the seats and will no doubt make the Knicks an instant contender in the East. However, I think the Knicks got totally fleeced in this deal and let it happen. Had they stood a little firmer, I think as the clock ticked closer to the trade deadline they would have gotten their man 'Melo for a much cheaper price. But then they wouldn't be the Knicks, would they?