Blog Entry

Knicks, Nuggets agree to Melo trade

Posted on: February 21, 2011 9:57 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2011 9:35 am
Seven months after the famous toast at Carmelo Anthony's wedding, the second member of the Knicks' proposed Big Three is on his way to New York.

Just like he wanted all along.

And now that Anthony is finally a Knick, teaming with Amar'e Stoudemire to form one of the most lethal scoring duos in the NBA, the question of how it's going to work is as important as who's coming next.

The Knicks and Nuggets agreed Monday night on a massive, three-team, 13-player trade sending Anthony to New York, three league sources told

The deal, approved by league officials Tuesday night, is Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Timofey Mozgov and New York's 2014 first-round pick going to Denver for Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Renaldo Balkman and Anthony Carter. The Timberwolves agreed to take Eddy Curry's expiring contract along with Anthony Randolph from the Knicks and send Corey Brewer to New York -- not Denver, as was discussed in a previous version of the trade. The Wolves get $3 million from the Knicks, which will be used to buy Curry out of the few remaining pay checks on his $11.3 million contract.

The Nuggets also get Golden State's second-round picks in 2012 and '13 from New York -- an incredible haul for Denver general manager Masai Ujiri considering the superstar he was forced to trade in his first few months on the job only had one destination in mind. Denver also gets Greek center Kosta Koufos from Minnesota for a second-round pick, a wrinkle added during the trade call with league officials Tuesday. Mozgov and the second-round picks being added after the Knicks made what was described as their final offer Sunday further called into question whether Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan overruled his basketball staff to close the deal.

As they said on one of the news shows Monday night in New York, "If your name is not Amar'e Stoudemire ... you've been traded!"

"They gave up their team," one rival executive said of the assets New York surrendered for Anthony, the league's sixth-leading scorer and a four-time All-Star.

Despite the assets surrendered for Anthony, the deal was another bold step for Knicks president Donnie Walsh, who needed only two years to clean up a decade-old mess at the Garden and put two of the top 10-15 players in the NBA in Knicks jerseys in a span of seven months. Though the Knicks team that emerges from this trade will have flaws, it is the most relevant -- and most dangerous -- team that has inhabited the Garden in more than a decade. The key player the Knicks would have refused to give up in the deal was Landry Fields, a second-round pick who has emerged as one of the top rookies in the league.

Pending the passing of physicals, Anthony and Billups will make their Knicks debuts Wednesday night against Milwaukee at the Garden.

The question becomes whether Walsh will have enough flexibility to make the third member of the Anthony wedding trinity, Chris Paul, appear between 31st and 33rd Streets when he is a free agent in 2012. Deron Williams also will be a free agent that summer, and reported last week that Williams began contemplating a union with Stoudemire last summer. It isn't clear whether Stoudemire and Anthony making a combined $40 million in 2012-13 will allow space for a third max player under a new collective bargaining agreement. But once the Lakers, Celtics and Heat set the precedent for superstars teaming up, it can't be good for them and not good for others.

The Nets, whose pursuit of Anthony ended Monday night in a crushing disappointment for Russian billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov, could expand the deal by taking two ex-Knicks from Denver but are not fully committed to the idea, according to a person briefed on the negotiations. The Nets' involvement depends on which two of the four ex-Knicks the Nuggets want to trade. Nuggets officials have been pushing for some degree of assurance that they can flip two of the Knicks players they are getting for draft picks, which they value more.

It was presumed earlier Monday that Denver would flip Gallinari and Mozgov to New Jersey for two first-round picks, providing the final incentive for Denver to part with its franchise player. But sources indicated Monday night that the Nets may actually want Felton in that scenario, and that New Jersey prefers Felton over acquiring Andre Miller from Portland in one of several separate potential trades they are discussing.

Either way, Anthony finally will get his wish Tuesday -- a three-year, $65 million extension with the Knicks, the team he has pushed to be dealt to since September. reported in December and again in January that Anthony, if traded, wouldn't sign an extension anywhere but with the Knicks. His persistence was tested in recent days, when Anthony agreed to meet with Prokhorov, hip-hop mogul Jay-Z and other Nets management figures during All-Star weekend in Los Angeles as a condition of getting permission to meet with the Knicks' Dolan. Anthony was careful not to give any commitment to Prokhorov, but he also didn't turn the Nets down. To ensure that the Nuggets could get a competitive offer from New York, Anthony needed to leverage the possibility of signing the extension with the Nets. So in a way, Anthony and Ujiri were working in tandem all along to get Anthony to his preferred destination in a way that satisfied both their agendas.

Anthony, 26, will join fellow All-Star Stoudemire, 28, to form one of the most potent offensive duos in the NBA -- and the highest-profile superstars in their prime that the team has had in the lives of most Knicks fans. But with the Knicks giving up three starters and Mozgov, a 24-year-old 7-footer, New York will have a thin bench and still won't have a defensive big man to take pressure off Stoudemire. In addition, Stoudemire and Anthony will be scheduled to make $40 million combined in 2012-13 -- perhaps hampering the Knicks' efforts to land a member of that summer's star-studded free-agent class including Paul, Williams, and Dwight Howard.

Meanwhile, Denver's new basketball brain trust of Ujiri and executive Josh Kroenke passed an enormous test of their will, patience and negotiating chops with flying colors. Going all the way back to September, when they refused to pull the trigger on a four-team Melo trade involving Charlotte and Utah, Ujiri and Kroenke expertly played the Knicks and Nets against each other to the tune of a potentially massive package of assets for Anthony. The strategy resulted in an out-of-control groundswell of public support in New York for the Knicks to acquire Anthony, a player some significant members of the organization were determined not to give up major assets to acquire. And in an unimaginable twist given the obstacle that Anthony only wanted to re-sign with the Knicks, the Nuggets could wind up walking away with significant assets from both of the teams that pursued their star player.

It is common for general managers to print money in trades through contract-swapping. The Nuggets could essentially wind up printing draft picks by flipping two of the Knicks' players they didn't want for assets they value more. Even if the Nuggets wind up trading none of the ex-Knicks to New Jersey, it was an extremely impressive debut in the hot seat for Ujiri, a Nigerian-born former international scout who was part of the Toronto front office that got burned by free agent Chris Bosh last summer.

The Knicks get older, but arguably better at the point guard position with Billups, 34, taking over for Felton, 26 -- though Billups is not a classic pick-and-roll point guard and will have trouble playing the heavy minutes Felton endured. Williams, a disciplined, 6-9 reserve, will help bolster New York's undersized front court, and the addition of Brewer to the deal gives the Knicks a much needed wing defender.

In the end, this one's all about Melo -- a sidekick for Stoudemire who will cause problems for Boston, Miami and Chicago while serving as further magnetism for future free agents.  

They're still one shy of a Big Three.

For up to date news on the NBA trade deadline, follow Ken Berger on Twitter at @KBerg_CBS
For more on the Nuggets' trade of Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks: 
Ben Golliver breaks down the winners and losers from the trade
Did this trade make the Knicks contenders? Royce Young has his doubts
Carmelo Anthony: No one man should have all that power , thinks Matt Moore. 


Since: Sep 12, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2011 10:12 am

Knicks, Nuggets agree to Melo trade

Just TRY and beat Boston;) Still won't happen, Miami can't the new Big 2 1/2 won't be able too.

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: February 23, 2011 9:46 am

Knicks, Nuggets agree to Melo trade

The Nets played their hand well. They knew there was no way they would be able to sign Melo to an extention, so instead they forced the Knicks hand. The bluffed them into giving up so much that even with the 2 superstars, the Knicks will not be competitive.

You are clueless. The Knicks starting 5 is excellent and they'll add next year. They have 2 premier players, a terrific veteran PG and Fields. Toney, Williams, Brewer and Turiaf will be in the roation. D'Antoni doesn't have a long one anyway. The Knicks only real loss was Gallinari. That's was it. Chandler is decent, Felton isn't as good as Billups and was here for 2 years only and The Big Ruskie is a project who didn't play 25 straight games. The Knicks got a top 5 player, a veteran PG who has grit and plays D and a decent youngster in Brewer. That's call adding talent and upgrading. That's what real teams do.

NJ played their hand well? I hope you don't play poker. The Nets got nothing, blew 5 months of negotiating and still are terrible. They've shown no one wants to come there or to Brooklyn even with the pleas and $ of Boris Badanov. The Nets are, and will be a 2nd class franchise only with a different destination. They should call themselves the Brooklyn B-Team.

The Knicks will nto onyl compete, but next year win 50 games. This year they'll win 43 games or so and few would want to play them in the playoffs. That's the reality for those who understand basketball. Your reality belongs on VH-1.

Since: Apr 17, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2011 9:19 am

Knicks, Nuggets agree to Melo trade

The Nets played their hand well. They knew there was no way they would be able to sign Melo to an extention, so instead they forced the Knicks hand. The bluffed them into giving up so much that even with the 2 superstars, the Knicks will not be competitive. They will have no floor general, no bench, no support, no draft picks, no cap room. Just imagine if one gets hurt. They could actually end up being the cellar dwellars. Dolan once again proves to be one of the dumbest owners around. Nobody else was making this deal. Carmello wanted to play for the Knicks and he was not signing an extention with anybody else. He could have been had for nothing as a free agent. Most of you reading this believe that. So kudos to the Nets and their bluff, costing their across the river rivals their future. It's like Isiah Thomas is still in control!

Since: Sep 22, 2007
Posted on: February 23, 2011 12:32 am

Knicks, Nuggets agree to Melo trade

I am excited about seeing Carmelo on the Knicks. However, i truly believe that the Knicks gave up too much in this trade, they gave up soooooo much young talent when its possible that they would of gotten Carmelo in the offseason anyway. Carmelo is a dynamic player, but that doesnt mean u trade your entire roster of young talent to get him.  We shall see how this shakes out, but as of right now, im excited to see C Melo play in New Yawk.

Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: February 23, 2011 12:14 am

Knicks, Nuggets agree to Melo trade

Nuggets got the best of this deal

Since: Feb 22, 2011
Posted on: February 22, 2011 10:22 pm

Knicks, Nuggets agree to Melo trade

Anyone who thought LBJ was coming to NY believed the media hype. I am a Knick fan since the 60s & I knew he wasn't coming. As a FA he could go anywhere & I don't care he went to Florida. I think he was full of it about the whole spectacle-I think he knew where he was going all along. If he really wanted to "win now" Chicago would have been the most logical & objective choice. This current trade isn't that wonderful because NY is now left with NO size, NO rebounding & even less d than before. This may get ugly in the playoffs because trying to just outgun your opponents in playoffs doesn't work...

Since: Dec 23, 2010
Posted on: February 22, 2011 9:53 pm

Knicks, Nuggets agree to Melo trade


ields...I wouldn't say Stoudamire and Carmelo have no supporting cast Redwings1969. Lets see how this all plays out

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: February 22, 2011 8:46 pm

Knicks, Nuggets agree to Melo trade

I am still shocked at how many Knick fans called into sports radio shows today down on this trade. They unloaded Chandler who they weren't keeping anyway, a 2 year stopgap pointguard that couldn't find a another team in the offseason, a undrafted free agent center that hardly played until recently, a useless Eddy Curry, a pick that won't be good 2 years from now anybody and Galo.

And you're complaining about other fans? You kill me... I love the spin you put on it, now let me give you the real story.

The Knicks trade four TALENTED YOUNG PLAYERS... all of which were under contract for cheap next season and two of which were under contract for the season after that.  And ALL of which COULD have been signed long term.

Who cares if a kid wasn't drafted or another couldn't find a team in the offseason.. that means nothing.  Their play on the court THIS YEAR is what counts...

Sounds like you've done a great job convincing yourself that Amare and Melo with zero for a supporting cast is the way to go..... good for you.

Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: February 22, 2011 8:12 pm

Knicks, Nuggets agree to Melo trade

I am still shocked at how many Knick fans called into sports radio shows today down on this trade. They unloaded Chandler who they weren't keeping anyway, a 2 year stopgap pointguard that couldn't find a another team in the offseason, a undrafted free agent center that hardly played until recently, a useless Eddy Curry, a pick that won't be good 2 years from now anybody and Galo. Galo is the only player that you'd even say was worth a damn. If I said we'll give you Anthony and Billups for Galo and Felton how in the hell would you say no to that. You get 2 superstars, you build around them and then you add the 3rd later. Pretty obvious way to go. How anybody would be unhappy is beyond me. Were Galo and Felton about to lead us to a title and I didn't know it? Or was Felton a product of the system and Galo a soft player who scores 20 points on 30 shots a night. I think Knick fans forgot how to be happy.

Since: Nov 16, 2006
Posted on: February 22, 2011 7:12 pm

Knicks, Nuggets agree to Melo trade

Sorry I meant I agree 100% with LatinSyko and the parity crap! NBA has always been about Superstars which is why Magic and Bird put the NBA on the map.

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