Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

January 7, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Chris Sheridan

Chris Sheridan
  (1:01 PM)

Good afternoon, and thanks for joining my weekly Knicks chat. Big trip for the team, which has been as good on the road as they have been at home. (Actually, they were better on the road than they were at home until Tuesday, when they beat the Spurs to win their 4th straight at MSG.) They are now 10-7 both home and away heading into tonight's game against Phoenix. The Nuggets, meanwhile, got smoked last night against the worst team in the NBA, the Sacramento Kings, one night after losing by 13 against the Clippers. Quote of the night from Carmelo Anthony: "It was embarrassing to be out there." Which leads us to your questions. Fire away ...

KG (nyc)

Walsh said he was signing Chandler, does that mean the Knicks arent pursuing Carmelo? How can they sign both?

Chris Sheridan
  (1:04 PM)

If they get Carmelo before the trade deadline, they can go over the cap to re-sign Chandler. If they don't get Carmelo in a trade and he opts out of his contract and becomes a free agent, they would have to move one or two players in trades to create enough room to sign Chandler, who will have a cap hold (the amount an unsigned player counts against a team's salary cap of $6 million) and Anthony.

chris (nyc)

Is there a chance we can swing Anthony Randolph for a backup big man?

Chris Sheridan
  (1:07 PM)

They are hanging onto Randolph instead of trading him for a No. 1 (which would be used in a Carmelo deal) because they have no other backup behind Stoudemire at PF. He is more useful to them now as an insurance policy than a future No. 1 pick would be.

Davis (New York City)

Would New Jersey really risk getting Carmelo without the promise of an extension? Or is Denver just trying to call Carmelo's/Knicks bluff and posturing as much as possilble?

Chris Sheridan
  (1:11 PM)

As I have reported before, the Nets will not do any 'Melo deal unless they are assured that he will sign the extension. And Melo is sticking to his guns that he will not sign an extension with any team, if traded, unless that team is the Knicks. That has been the case for more than a month, and it remains the case as of this very moment.

Jon (NYC)

What's your take on Broussard's most recent report? Are we really to believe that a deal that big really got busted up over one lottery-protected first rounder, or is that just cover because everyone involved knows that Melo won't extend in NJ? Also, if Melo will only extend with the Knicks, why are these other teams wasting so much energy trying to trade for him?

Chris Sheridan
  (1:15 PM)

Broussard's report was on the money, but what wasn't addressed in detail was whether 'Melo would sign the extension with the Nets. I don't believe the talks got to the point where there was a deal in place that could have been brought to 'Melo, and the haggling over who gets Golden State's No. 1 pick (Cleveland and Denver both want it) was one of the unresolved issues. To your second question, the Nets and other teams are expending energy on exploring 'Melo trades because they know the pressure of having that unsigned extension on the table could conceivably force Anthony to soften his stance.

Sunny (Bronx)

If Donnie can get a first round pick, why hasn't he done so?

Chris Sheridan
  (1:16 PM)

As noted in my earlier post about Randolph, the time to get that pick is when there is an opportunity to move it along in a bigger deal. Until then, it is more valuable to have a player as insurance, whether that player is Randolph, Toney Douglas or anybody else.


This all seems like a game of chicken...Melo wants extension, Denver wants Nets deal, Knicks want Melo to wait for free agency. its 1 minute to deadline...who blinks first?

Chris Sheridan
  (1:20 PM)

Here's the thing about that: Maybe nobody blinks. Maybe the Nuggets don't trade Carmelo, and maybe he notifies the Nuggets in late June that he will not opt out of the $18.5 million he is due to receive next season. If those things happen, Anthony can still be traded (and still sign the extension) right up until June 30 when the collective bargaining agreement expires. That is a piece of the whole Carmelo equation that hasn't been given quite as much attention as it merits.

harry (ct)

what would you consider a sucsessful western trip 2and 2 ? or more like 3 and 1? i think anything less than 2 wins would be considered a fallure

Chris Sheridan
  (1:25 PM)

I would consider 3-1 a successful trip, but I think the players will base the success of the trip on how they perform against the Lakers. That game is a true measuring stick game.

Joe (Wilton, CT)

Besides Carmelo, is there any other moves the Knicks are interested in making?

Chris Sheridan
  (1:29 PM)

They are seeing what is available among big men and backup point guards, because there is a chance they will have to include Douglas and or/Mozgov in a deal if they get Carmelo. I am not saying the Nuggets would want either of those players (in fact, the Nuggets are not very high on any of the Knicks players), but there are other teams that like those players (and Randolph), and if the Knicks could turn players like Gallo, Douglas and Mozgov into a player the Nuggets like, they'd have to get replacements at both spots. But again, they are not eager to do anything until the Carmelo situation plays itself out. And with as well as they are playing, it behooves the Knicks to stick with what they have.


What's been the biggest improvement in Wilson Chandler's game? And what about his game makes you thikn of young scottie pippen?

Chris Sheridan
  (1:32 PM)

His versatility and his demeanor remind me of Scottie. What has impressed me most is his defense, specifically his shot blocking prowess.

Kyle (Brooklyn)

Why are people saying the Knicks cant sign Will and get Carmello via free agency because of the money? If the Heat can pull off LBJ, Wade, and Bosh, I think the Knicks can figure out how to keep Will and get Carmelo and.

Chris Sheridan
  (1:34 PM)

The money gets tricky because Chandler is showing himself to be a $7-8 million per year player, and the more money the Knicks need to set aside for both Chandler and Anthony represents cap space they'd have to create by trading other players.

Mike (nyc)

Hey Chris. Chris Webber and Kevin Mchale were recently commenting on how the garden smells like elephants from time to time? Any truth to that? How do the players feel about it?

Chris Sheridan
  (1:37 PM)

It is true. It smells like elephants for a couple weeks each year when the Ringling Brothers Circus is in town, because the elephants are housed beneath the stands on the 31st Street side of the building.

david (nyc)

How can the Nuggets not be interested in Wilson Chandler or Laundry Fields, let alone Gallo? Chandler is playing near all-star level and Fields is the 2nd or 3rd best rookie in the league?

Chris Sheridan
  (1:39 PM)

Good question, but that is what they've been telling the Knicks -- in large part because if they do a 'Melo trade, they want it to be a true rebuilding trade in which they'd value draft picks over young veterans/rookies.

Nick (NYC)

Isn't Andre Iguodala a better fit for my Knicks than Melo is? We could give up a lot less to acquire him from Philly. Not to mention, he's a lot better defensively than Melo is, and we wouldn't have to trade Chandler away. Of course, Melo has more "star power" and will probably sell more tickets...

Chris Sheridan
  (1:43 PM)

Iguodala has three more years left on his contract at 13.5M, 14.7M and 15.9M, and you'd probably have to give up Gallinari and Curry to get him. This makes little sense for the Knicks because a) Gallo has more long-term upside than Iggy; b) Iggy caps them out through 2014; a c) it takes them out of the free agent market next summer.

mark (morristown)

A good defensive player who can rebound and hit open jumpers is exactly what the Knicks need. Isn't that guy Anthony Randolph?

Chris Sheridan
  (1:45 PM)

Not in a 7 1/2 man rotation.

Shane (Los Angeles, CA)

CS: If the Suns dont trade Nash, they will be one of the worst teams in the league when he retires. Seems like the Knicks would be good for Nash (Amare/D'Antoni). Why arent the Knicks pursuing Nash more?

Chris Sheridan
  (1:47 PM)

The Suns have said Nash is unavailable, and Felton has been superb. You can see his comfort level within the offense and his confidence level increasing with each game.

Fred L (NYC)

Have you heard of any specific reason why Mozgov isn't playing? Have they lost faith in him or just getting him ready? Thanks.

Chris Sheridan
  (1:48 PM)

He is their third-string center behind Turiaf and Stoudemire. He'll get Greg Butler minutes unless Turiaf has to sit with one of the injuries he picks up every night.

Asad (NYC)

Do you think Donny's comments about re-signing Chandler can be anything other than an attempt to pump up his trade value in the market? Seems counterintuitive to show your cards so overtly in the months leading up to what would otherwise be a contract negotiation, no?

Chris Sheridan
  (1:50 PM)

I think Donnie's comments were genuine, but if they serve to pump up the dialogue regarding Chandler's relative worth, that serves Walsh's purposes, too.

Ricky (Cincy)

How about showing love to a Knicks fan outside the trisate area? If you had to put a number on, what is the chance that the Knicks make a move prior to the trade deadline? Additionally, which team would you like to see the Knicks play in the first round? Knicks/Bulls would be awesome!!

Chris Sheridan
  (1:52 PM)

OK, Ricky. I'm with you on Knicks/Bulls. And I am still of the belief that there is a 75 percent chance C.Anthony gets traded to the Knicks, a 20 percent chance he stays with Denver and 5 percent chance he is dealt elsewhere.

HenryfromDC (DC)

Any word that Carmelo is getting really itchy to join the Knicks after seeing the hype and excitement at the Garden (and making the Spurs wave the white flag)? And also with the Nuggets playing only so-so. He must think if he was with the Knicks, they beat the Heat, Celtics and even Orlando in those close games.

Chris Sheridan
  (1:58 PM)

Carmelo's comments and coach George Karl's comments from after last night's loss in Sacramento betrayed an itchiness, the way I read them. (George said he was "blown away" by how badly his team played.) Will be interesting to watch how the Nuggets play on this four-game homestand, particularly in the first two games against the Hornets and Suns. They then get a stretch of five games in which four of the opponents are the Heat, Thunder, Spurs and then the Lakers two Fridays from now.

Carlos (Portland)

Wilson Chandler for most improved player? He's definitely in the discussion right (though I think Kevin Love will ultimately get it)?

Chris Sheridan
  (2:00 PM)

He is in the discussion along with K.Love (who was pretty darn good last year, even coming off the bench), Dorell Wright of Golden State and Wes Matthews of Portland.

C.E. (New York, NY)

Denver reporting no interest in Knicks pieces is bogus. The Nets are a poor team, the knicks are solid team. A solid team must have better pieces. This isn't brain surgery. Denver simply doens't want to help the knicks cause.

Chris Sheridan
  (2:01 PM)

You may have a valid point or two there, C.E.

Chris Sheridan
  (2:02 PM)

And with that, we'll wrap for this week. Enjoy the late games while the Knicks are out West. My advice: 7 p.m. cup of coffee.