New York Knicks: C+
The New York Knicks bid against themselves in this trade. Despite knowing Carmelo was never going to sign an extension with the Nets, New York gave up 3 starters, a young center, 3 picks and $6 million in cash for Anthony and co. The trade was apparently approved by coach Mike D’Antoni, Donnie Walsh and James Dolan. However, rumors are swirling that it was in fact Dolan and former Knicks GM Isiah Thomas that orchestrated the deal. Now that the Knicks have their men, is all well in MSG or are we in for a New York power struggle?
Most NBA insiders are suggesting the Knicks simply gave up too much in this trade. If you believe Anthony would have just signed with the Knicks in the offseason, this trade is a disaster. If you believe he would have signed with the Nuggets, then the deal was a reach but necessary. But let’s not forget that the Knicks received a point guard in Chauncey Billups who has won a championship ring with the Pistons and a gold medal last year in Turkey. Don’t sleep on Billups. The downside of the Billups and Felton swap of course is that Billups is 8 years older than Raymond Felton. Still, the Knicks will be a scary first round opponent in the playoffs.
Losing Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry (two players who never played) will not hurt the Knicks. Although Randolph does have a higher ceiling than most of the players involved in this deal.
Knicks projected starting lineup
Pg. Chauncey Billups
Sg: Landry Fields
Sf: Carmelo Anthony
Pf: Amare Stoudemire
C. Ronny Turiaf
Bench: Corey Brewer, Toney Douglas, Bill Walker, Shawne Williams, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter, Renaldo Balkman
Denver Nuggets: A-
On June 17, 1992 the Philadelphia 76ers traded Charles Barkely to the Phoenix Suns for Jeff Hornacek, Tim Perry and Andrew Lang. The Nuggets did considerably better than this.
The Nuggets received Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, the Knicks’ 2014 first round pick and 2012 and 2013 second round picks. The Nuggets wanted to pull the trigger on a trade a few days before the deadline in order to possibly move pieces including Gallinari or Felton. The Nuggets are now under the luxury tax, armed with multiple first round picks for flexibility and have assets to move if need be thanks to their suddenly deep team. According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, the Nuggets are listening to offers for Gallinari, but are unlikely to move him. Raymond Felton may move prior to the deadline due to the Nuggets already having their point guard of the future in Ty Lawson. They are now also working on a contract extension with starting center Nene Hilario.
The Nuggets may have lost the best player in the trade, but gained considerable assets and lined themselves up for a bright future. A team cannot ask for anything more when dealing their superstar.
Projected starting lineup:
Pg: Raymond Felton
Sg: Aaron Afflalo
Sf: Danilo Gallinari
Pf: Kenyon Martin
Bench: Ty Lawson, J.R. Smith, Wilson Chandler, Al Harrington, Gary Forbes, Timofey Mozgov, Chris Anderson
Minnesota Timberwolves: A-
Minnesota traded Corey Brewer to the Knicks for Eddy Curry and Anthony Randolph and $3 million. Curry will likely be bought out by the Timberwolves. Looking at this simply as a Brewer for Randolph trade, the advantage has to go to the Timberwolves. Randolph is known around the league as a headcase with tremendous talent. Brewer is a defensive minded player who cannot really shoot. Actually, both players cannot truly shoot, but give the Timberwolves the edge because Randolph is younger and with playing time, can be a difference maker down the road.