Thursday, January 20, 2011

With NJ out, Melo to NY?

(Photo courtesy of

First off, I'm not convinced Mikhail Prokhorov isn't pulling his team out of the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes as leverage, especially now that Anthony said he would have been willing to talk with Prokhorov. But for now you have to believe that the deal is at least temporarily if not totally dead, because I don't think the Nets have any leverage. Either way, it gives the Knicks a chance to swoop in.

The question is: should they? I know a lot of people who might have said no last week will say yes now that they're riding a four-game losing streak, but that's not the right outlook. If they trade for Anthony and give up two starters like Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler, they won't win an NBA title this season.

This team is not deep and the starters play extensive minutes for a reason. Not to say that Anthony can't play 40 minutes a night, but you'd have to replace a lot more minutes than that. And one of the players who may pick up a few frontcourt minutes, Anthony Randolph, will surely be included or traded for a first-round pick to include.

The Knicks should definitely considering waiting until the offseason to make their play for Anthony. Why trade for a player when doing so would hurt your team for next year and beyond AND it won't win you a title this season?

If the Knicks could win a championship this season by trading for Anthony, I'd be all for it. Their offense bogs down sometimes with Amar'e Stoudemire out of the game; that wouldn't be an issue with Anthony on the floor. But this trade would mean starting Ronny Turiaf, giving Timofey Mozgov minutes again and continuing to struggle with Toney Douglas at the point when Raymond Felton needs a rest.

Felton has hit a wall lately because of his minutes and this team could use a backup point guard. I like Douglas as a player, especially defensively, but he doesn't run the offense well with the ball in his hands and is a much better fit off the ball. Obvious adding Anthony doesn't solve all of this team's problems and he wouldn't help their defense.

I think Anthony would rather play in New York for less money than elsewhere for the max, especially with an increase in the potential making-money opportunities off-the-court. He recognizes this and considering his strong ties to the state it's virtually a done deal that he signs in New York if he isn't traded.

The Knicks are good this year; much better than they've been in a very long time. But unless the Nets get back into the bidding for Anthony or another team makes a play, the Knicks should just wait until next year to become a title contender.

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