LESS IS MORE: Big Move for the Big Apple

Posted: February 22, 2011 by The Cheap Seat Fan in NBA
Tags: , , , ,

It is done, finally. After a drama that played out the entire first half of the NBA season and had commentary from everybody ranging from Conan O’Brien to the NBA’s Emperor Palpatine, David Stern, the greatest New York-based drama since Michael Corleone killed the heads of the Five Families is over.

Yes, Lala, er Carmelo, Anthony has been traded to the New York Knicks. This move triggers a ton of dominos off, not the least bit being the ifs, whys and maybes of this deal, that has everybody talking. I haven’t seen this many street GMs in a long time. Well, I’m supposed to be on vacation to prep for baseball season (I’m taking the alternate approach of the boys in Florida, staying inside & holding out on my tan in a style even Vincent Jackson would be proud of), but I’ll go head & tackle this one because it’s too good to pass up.

1. THE DEAL: With there being three teams involved in this deal, with the Timberwolves playing the vultures/lynchpin to the deal, lets look at EVERYTHING coming & leaving from the Knicks. They move out 3/5’s of their starting lineup in Raymond Felton, Danillo Gallinari & Wilson Chandler, along with Timofey Mozgof (who was being spoken of as a sticking point to this deal as if he was Wilt Chamberlain reincarnated) to Denver. Also Silkk the Shocker (Anthony Randolph) & the biggest crap the city of Chicago ever took (twice), Eddy Curry, will move to Minnesota.

For those keeping score, that’s 6 of 12 guys from the previous roster gone in one move. In return they get Corey Brewer, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter (who I couldn’t believe is still in the League, I swear he was on NBA Action on Sega), Renaldo Balkman (an awesome baseball name), Chauncey Billups & Kobe’s favorite client & surefire future member of Dipset, Carmelo.

2. THE AFTERMATH: Now I know that plenty of folks are saying they gave up too much, but I don’t see that. Lets break it down some, and look at what really matters, what took what’s spot on the roster:

To look at a three team deal as being only a head-to-head move is a mistake. You gotta look at this from the big picture for the Knicks, because they gave up the most in quantity. Essentially they swapped out garbage for garbage in Curry & Carter/Balkman. Lord knows, I could go on & on about this part, but Eddy hasn’t worn a jersey since George Bush’s first term, so he’s pure salary relief. Then look at the perimeter move: Brewer for Randolph? DUH! This is a great move, they move out Gumby, who is still living on past due potential he showed for two weeks at LSU for 3 years & two teams ago. For this they land a talented, tough defender unlike anything they had on their team already. Upgrade #1? Check.

Next, the Denver move. It basically breaks down to Chandler/Felton/Gallinari/Todd McCullough Jr for Carmelo & Billups. No matter how you slice this, this is a great move on both talent acquisition & strategy for New York AND Denver. Lets look to the chalkboard once again:

#1: NY traded high. Yeah, they traded out their entire core, but so what? It’s not like they broke up a classic alignment of guys, even in today’s game. This is a core that went 28-26 in a conference where if the playoffs started today two teams with losing records would be in. That’s not exactly being a world beating force outside of Amare. Felton & Chandler were both playing at the roofs of their talent, and Gallinari is worth the expenditure. Landry Fields is capable of stepping up for him. So if you get a chance to add one of the top 10 players in the NBA for these guys & get one of the great winners of the last 10 years in Billups as a toss in, you pull the trigger quicker than The Punisher.

#2: The strategy was a must anyway to land Anthony, even in the offseason. Chandler’s contract is expiring, and he wouldve cost more to retain anyways. They couldn’t have landed him & Melo, and there’s no competition who to go with there. Also, after next year they’ll be making a run for Chris Paul or Deron Williams, so Felton was expendable anyway.

The hidden bonus? Billups has a year left on his deal, right in time for the Knicks to let him walk for the upgrade. So they move only Gallinari over the long term gain of Carmelo. Brilliant.

AND IN THE END….and beginning: The Nuggets get to move a lot of contracts (they’ll be trading Gallinari shortly) & rebuild with a lot of cap flexibility. The Knicks, most importantly, handle long-term business. While they may be thin right now, they get one of the best duos in the game to build around. Building the supporting cast is the easy part, getting one cornerstone is hard, let alone two. Look at the Lakers after they got Gasol, everything came into place. The same thing goes for the Heat. Building the cast is the easy part, and the Knicks will do that this offseason. Bringing in the extra defense & frontcourt help will be pretty easy with the buzz & recruiting of Melo & Amare leading the way.

The bottomline is that the Knicks weren’t going to win it all this year, and they still won’t. But I believe that if you aren’t the best, make the moves you need to in order be it. They held off the Nets & knocked out Ivan Drago & Jay-Z with this move, and inked a new franchise player in the process. In New York, presence means as much as result, MSG’s residents have more presence now than they’ve had in 15 years. 

And most importantly, they took a much needed laxative to drop a huge, steaming pile of Eddy Curry off as well. That’s gotta feel better.The Carmelo saga is completed, and after a Lord of the Rings level drama, here how I see the dust settling from The CHEAP SEATS.

  1. Diggame says:

    The reason I say it was too much was because of the could have got him in free agency! The Nets and the Nuggets played the Knicks! Ne was never gonna sign with the Nets so the trade wouldn’t have happen. Prokorov is even quoted being happy driving up the trade value.

    This trade may end up being the equivalent of Hershal Walker going from the Cowboys to the Vikings…

  2. Oates says:

    I’m going to disagree w/ the above guy, while if Carmelo went to FA the Knicks would have had the inside track…thats a very large IF to gamble on. Russian Mark Cuban made it clear that he wasnt gonna trade for Melo w/o the 3yr/$65M guarantee. Melo had to have that also because while we dont know whats gonna happen in the CBA discussions this June what we can assume is that a 3yr/$65M might not be available. So yeah towards the end, the Nets probably drove up their price to force the Knciks to drive up theirs but dont for a second believe if the Knicks hadnt up’d their offer that he would be a Knick anyway. Prokhrov is Russian but he aint stupid.

  3. I think it was a do what it take scenario. After all of the misses that the Knicks have made over the years (Curry, Marbury, Francis, etc) to try to turn their high profile program around, this was the rare can’t miss in a closed market. I don’t think they gave up too much because that core plain wasn’t gonna win them any championships over any of the elite in the East. For me, the Nets issue was of no consequence really.

    Take the Pujols scenario as an example, get the deal done while nobody else has a chance to interfere. The Knicks learned from missing out on LeBron to not wait for the open market because tomorrow never knows.

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