Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

December 13, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Chris Sheridan

Chris Sheridan
  (2:00 PM)

Good afternoon from New York. All things Melo are open to discussion, of course. From the volume of comments on yesterday's story and e-mails I am receiving, let's just say there's quite a bit of interest in this topic. Those doubting the accuracy of my story are wrong. New Jersey is out. He won't sign there. Period. Same with Chicago. Questions?

Andy (Denver, CO)

Does Melo really think the Knicks will challenge the Heat during the years to come in Eastern Conference? If he is truly committed to winning a championship (rather than a lifestyle choice), he should compete in the post-Kobe Western Conference.

Chris Sheridan
  (2:03 PM)

If the Knicks added Melo, at the right price in a trade or as a free agent next summer, they'd compete with Miami through 2015, maybe longer. Both Amar'e and Melo would be under contract through then. Plus he'd get to live in New York, which is where he wants to be.

Gregg (NY)

Any chance the Knicks can pull a Lakers and get a steal for Carmelo like LA did with Pau Gasol? And only give up one from this group of three: Chandler, Gallo and Fields?

Chris Sheridan
  (2:06 PM)

As I've been tweeting, and as I said in today's writers roundup, I think their last best offer would have to be Gallinari, Fields, Curry and a No. 1 via Randolph. But I don't think they're offering Fields right now. Bill Walker? Yes. But not Fields or Chandler. If they keep playing well, there's no need for them to put Fields into their offer. That's why it could be a game of chicken right up until Feb. 24.

Andrew (Brooklyn)

Are all other teams out? Say the Lakers put together a package for him, is Melo really going to say "I'm not interested?"

Chris Sheridan
  (2:10 PM)

The Nuggets need to make this a rebuilding trade, which is why they were willing to do the earlier deal for Favors and two No. 1s. The Lakers aren't giving them Pau Gasol. The Nuggets aren't taking on Bynum's contract, especially given his current medical condition.

Bob (New York)

Do you think there's any truth to the Mayo to Knicks rumor? Seems like that would only require more gutting of the team, in addition to what we'd have to do to get Melo. Why not just focus on Melo?

Chris Sheridan
  (2:14 PM)

It's plausible that the Mayo rumors are somehow part of the whole Knicks-Nuggets equation. If NY could get Mayo and move him along as part of a three-team deal, that might be the player the Nuggets would want to have alongside Gallinari on the wings.


OK so lets say the Knicks get Carmello... can a Chris Paul to NYC scenario still exist?

Chris Sheridan
  (2:16 PM)

No. The Knicks are happy with Felton, and they'll be able to extend him at a fair price if the rules of the new CBA regarding contract extensions are similar to the rules in the current CBA.


So, assuming the "Knicks-only" scenario is true, what happens if Denver holds Melo past the deadline? Will the Knicks have enough cap space during the off-season to sign Melo outright?

Chris Sheridan
  (2:17 PM)

I am glad you brought this up, JB, because it gets interesting. ...

Chris Sheridan
  (2:20 PM)

Carmelo is under contract through next season, but he has an opt-out (actually an ETO, basically the same thing). So Carmelo is not considered an expiring contract, and he remains tradeable right up until June 30 if the Nuggets hang onto him past the deadline. Also, the extension that's sitting on the table is good through June 30, too. This is a piece of leverage the Nuggets hold over the Knicks, because NY needs to make the trade by Feb. 24 in order to include Eddy Curry's expiring contract in the deal. And you need the Curry money to make the salaries match.

John (Columbia, MD)

STAT-best free agent signing this summer & MVP candidate ... Felton-most under rated free agent signing

Chris Sheridan
  (2:25 PM)

Hard to argue with either of those statements if you go by expectations and how the Knicks are exceeding them. But look a the bigger picture: The Heat got LeBron, Wade and Bosh to sign for less than the maximum. Much less, actually, because all three gave up money to allow the Heat to re-sign Haslem. So while Stoudemire might be having the greatest impact of any single free agent acquisition, to say he was the "best" free agent signing is simplifying it too much. It's too early to say.

Brian (Phoenix, AZ)

Give me the odds of the Carmelo Anthony trade happening, 50% ? 70% ?

Chris Sheridan
  (2:25 PM)

75 percent.

Jon (Charlotte)

On ESPN bottom line there was info that Bobcats owner Michael Jordan was initiating talks of the trade to NY. What involvement do the bobcats have, if any?

Chris Sheridan
  (2:29 PM)

As I reported Saturday, Jordan has been trying to get Carmelo to save the Bobcats season. He is willing to take him on as a rental. Plus, when Larry Brown says some of his players are tuning him out, history shows that's what he usually says when he wants to trade somebody. Yesterday, at the Garden, Chris Broussard asked Carmelo if he thought the Nuggets would trade him to a team where he wouldn't sign an extension. And Carmelo said in a very confident tone that he does not expect that to happen.

larry (nyc)

Chris, with the Knicks on a serious hot streak, does it change their mentality with regards to Melo? Do they still think they really need him to get to that next level if it means giving up pieces who have been catalysts for this win streak?

Chris Sheridan
  (2:32 PM)

They're not fooling themselves into believing they are an elite team as currently constructed. They have a nice winning streak going, but their recent wins against Washington, Minnesota and Toronto all went down to the final minute. Any of those games could have gone either way, and those are not strong teams.

Jerry (LA)

a non-related Carmello question... do you see the Lakers as a darkhorse in acquiring Chris Paul ?.. with Kobe getting older and the Lakers needing to have "showtime" players I think they make a good match

Chris Sheridan
  (2:34 PM)

I do not see Chris Paul going anywhere as long as David Stern is the de facto general manager of the Hornets when it comes to making a decision of that magnitude.

kasey (new york)

where does donnie walsh stand in all of this? he can't give in and include too much in the package. (I believe your galo/fields/randolph package would be considered gutting the roster)

Chris Sheridan
  (2:37 PM)

Donnie himself has told me he is not going to gut the team. But Randolph, Gallo and Curry is not gutting the team. When you talk about including Chandler, Fields, you're getting into gutting territory. But remember, the Knicks have Kelenna Azubuike coming back relatively soon. He is a 41 percent career 3-point shooter who fits in D'Antoni's offense. He would help mitigate the loss of a player like Fields if he comes back healthy and stays that way.

Jason (Long Island, NY)

Shouldn't the Knicks be concerned with their lack of depth on the bench? It doesn't appear most of these guys are contributing much. Are there players out there for them to get that won't cost as much as Melo?

Chris Sheridan
  (2:42 PM)

D'Antoni is a coach who only goes seven to eight players deep in his rotation, and the place they need to keep what little depth they have is at the center spot. Let's say they do the Melo trade for Gallo, Curry, Fields and Randolph. That gives a starting five of Felton, Chandler, Melo, Stoudemire and Turiaf. Azubuike is shooter off the bench. Toney Douglas is backup PG and backup SG if Kelenna's knee is no good. Mozgov is backup C. There's your eight-man rotation, with Bill Walker/Andy Rautins/Shawne Williams vying for spot No. 9.

Danny (Bronx, NY)

What is the Knicks plan B if they don't get melo?? I'm hearing Iggy rumors...any truth to it??

Chris Sheridan
  (2:43 PM)

If they don't get him in a trade, they get him as an unrestricted free agent without giving up anything off their current roster. That's Plan B, and it's a good Plan B.

Erik ((NYC))

Why is the thinking that all of sudden Melo is incapable of playing in D'Antoni's system, when all he did was flourish under his style of play in the Olympics? I think Melo is more diverse of a player than people are giving him credit for.

Chris Sheridan
  (2:48 PM)

Melo was the MVP of the 2006 Team USA in Japan (only American to make first-team all-tournament), and he and DWade were the two most clutch players for Team USA at the Beijing Olympics. So you make a very valid point Erik. Also, D'Antoni and Coach K used Melo at the 4 in Beijing. D'Antoni would use him there in NY, too, with Amare at the 5, if he didn't want to start Turiaf. Right now, D'Antoni is more comfortable with Stoudemire starting at the 5 with Turiaf coming of the bench.

Kevin (Charlotte)

Plan B sounds a lot better than Plan A, doesn't it? They aren't going to win this year even with Carmelo, they might as well wait and sign him without giving up anything.

Chris Sheridan
  (2:49 PM)

That's why it all depends on the cost of Plan A.

Keith (Yonkers, NY)

in response to your response to Danny from the bronx...The Plan B seems to be the best route to go, why give up anything significant for melo if we can just wait til the summer and sign him as a free agent!

Chris Sheridan
  (2:52 PM)

Because no one knows what the rules of the new collective bargaining agreement will be, and there could be a lockout. If you trade for him this season and sign him to the extension, you have the piece of mind of knowing that he's on your roster for the next five years, no matter how long the lockout (if there is one) lasts.

mendel (fl)

Why is the all knick chat today? Is it in order to assuage all the bleeding jets fan. Chris stop wasting your time with these stinkin New Yorkers and tell us what your thoughts on the heats 8 game streak?

Chris Sheridan
  (2:55 PM)

I have no sympathy for Jets fans. I grew up a Giants fan. My main thought on the Heat's 8-game winning streak is this: They are doing what we all thought they'd do. Some did not account for the possibility that they might have some growing pains over the first 15-20 games of the season. They are still my pick to make it to the ECF, where they will lose to the Celtics.


Plan A (incl. Fields) is too costly. Plan A (w/o Fields) is better...i say Fields is the deal breaker.

Chris Sheridan
  (2:58 PM)

I have a hard time coming to grips with the thought that Landry Fields could be a deal-breaker. Yes, the Knicks love him. But they got him at No. 39, and they'll have a first-round pick next summer (the lesser of theirs or the Rockets') with which they can go out and try to replace him. And that draft pick will be on the rookie scale, whereas Fields is not.

Rob (Los Angeles)

So with Plan B, Denver gets nothing out of this, right? Why would Denver allow it to even get to that point?

Chris Sheridan
  (2:59 PM)

Denver will not lose him for nothing like Toronto did with Bosh and Cleveland did with LeBron. That's part of why I put the likelihood at 75 percent.

Chase (SLC)

To say that Fields is a deal breaker when you are trading for a top 10 player is completely ridiculous.

Chris Sheridan
  (3:00 PM)

Chase agrees.

jacob (conyers)

do you think the knicks will make it to the estern confrence smi finals?

Chris Sheridan
  (3:01 PM)

As currently constructed, no. They'd fail to get past Boston, Miami, Orlando or Chicago in the first round.

Chris Sheridan
  (3:03 PM)

That's a wrap, folks. Next national chat is next Monday, 2 p.m. EST