Friday, February 7, 2014
Opening Tip: Would you say yes to Melo?
By Ian Begley
Knowing everything you know now, would you still say “yes” to the trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks in February 2011?
We ask because the trade's three-year anniversary is approaching, and the Nuggets are in town on Friday.
Before you answer, let’s take a brief look at some of the main players involved in the transaction:
Knicks: New York has gone 123-101 in the regular season since the trade and 7-14 in the postseason. The Knicks have won one playoff series.
Nuggets: Denver has gone 137-83 in the regular season since trading Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks. The Nuggets have gone 6-12 in the postseason. They have not won a playoff series.
Carmelo Anthony: Lifted the Knicks to a 54-win season and won a scoring title in one of his best seasons as a pro last year but will test free agency this summer, leaving open the possibility that he could bolt the Knicks for nothing in return.
Chauncey Billups: Billups played 21 games for the Knicks after being dealt in the Anthony trade. He was released via the amnesty clause prior to the 2011-12 season to create room for the Knicks to sign Tyson Chandler as a free-agent.
Raymond Felton: Felton was dealt from Denver to Portland in a deal that netted the Nuggets Andre Miller and Jordan Hamilton. After one unsuccessful season in Portland, the Knicks acquired Felton in a trade and opted to let Jeremy Lin sign with Houston. Felton had a strong 2012-13 season but has been uneven in 2013-14 for the Knicks.
Danilo Gallinari: Gallinari’s averaged at least 14.6 points per game with the Nuggets in two-plus seasons but has been limited by serious knee injuries. He hasn’t played since suffering an ACL injury on April 4. He was expected to return this season but needed a second operation and will be sidelined for the rest of the year.
Wilson Chandler: The 26-year-old has averaged 14.2 points as a starter for Brian Shaw’s Nuggets this season, more than two points fewer than he averaged for the Knicks before he was sent to Denver in the Anthony deal. Chandler, who signed a 5-year, $31.7 million deal with Denver in March 2012, after a stint in China during the lockout, has been playing well of late, averaging 18.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists in his last 10 games.
Timofey Mozgov: Mozgoz has never played more than 16 minutes per game prior to this season. That’s changed this year as the Nuggets have leaned on the seven-footer with JaVale McGee sidelined. Mozgov is averaging career highs in minutes (20.1), points (8.7), rebounds (5.8) and blocks (1.2) this season.
2014 first-round pick: The Knicks’ 2014 pick will go to the Nuggets this season. The 2014 NBA Draft is being billed as one of the best and deepest in league history, so the Knicks probably wish they could redo this aspect of the Anthony deal.
2016 first-round pick: Denver has the right to swap first-round picks with the Knicks if it so chooses. The Knicks will give the less favorable pick to the Toronto Raptors in the Andrea Bargnani deal (see below).
Donnie Walsh: Walsh, the Knicks GM during the Anthony trade, reportedly was against giving up all of the pieces required to acquire Carmelo. He hoped that Denver’s asking price would go down or the Knicks would wait to sign Anthony as a free agent. But he was overruled by Knicks owner James Dolan. Walsh left the Knicks that summer and eventually landed in Indiana, where he’s helped build the Pacers into one of the top teams in the East.
Masai Uriji: The then-Nuggets GM earned praise throughout the league for how he handled the Melo Drama in Denver, turning Anthony’s unhappiness into several valuable assets. He left the Nuggets and signed on in Toronto, where he agreed to a trade that sent Bargnani to the Knicks for Steve Novak, Marcus Camby, a 2016 first-round pick and two second-round picks.
So, given how things played out, would you do this deal all over again if you’re the Knicks?
Stephen A. Smith writes that it’s time for the Knicks to trade Carmelo.
Jim Boeheim, who coached Anthony at Syracuse, advises his former star to look for the best place to win an NBA championship during free agency this summer. Woodson hopes Anthony considers all that he’s built in New York when making his decision.
What’s next: The Knicks will take on the Denver Nuggets on Friday night.
Question: Knowing what you know now, would you do the Carmelo Anthony deal over again?