Reaction: Carmelo to the Knicks

The trade we’ve been talking about for a millennium finally went down last night, as Carmelo Anthony got his wish and is now a member of the New York Knicks. Some are saying that the Knicks gave up too much to get him, while others believe that there way no way they could pass on a talent like Carmelo.

What do we think? Well, here’s what the STS crew had to say following last night’s deal:

James Holas – This trade makes me think of the classic Kenny Roger’s joint that’s now the anthem for every wanna be poker player: “You gotta knooow, when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em/Know when to walk away. Know when to run!”

The Knicks finally went all in on Melo, and we won’t know until the flop if they sold the bluff (those are real poker terms, right?). Seriously, to me, it feels like Denver got the best hand out of the deal. We’ve been hearing all along it was Knicks or Bust for Melo. The head-scratching part for me, from Melo’s point of view, is how going to an up-and-coming team like New York that has to give up 90% of the talent that made them “up and coming” is some kind of improved situation. New York obviously is trying to be 2012’s version of the Heat, looking to add another big name free agent in the near future. I’m going on record as saying this was a mistake on NY’s part. Looking at the most successful franchises, like the Lakers, Spurs, ’04-’07 Pistons, the championship- and current-era Bulls, winning is a combination shrewd drafting, talent development, AND free agent signings. For New York to give up SO much young legitimate talent (Felton, Gallinari, Chandler AND a 2014 1st rounder? 2 out of those 4 going I could see, but ALL of them, plus Mosgov seems a bit much). New York reminds me of my dad, back in the day, on a family outing. We were heading to an amusement park and he wasn’t quite sure where we were. He was so stubborn, that even when it was obvious that we were getting deeper and deeper into Lostville, he’d keep pressing on, until finally, 3 hours late and miles of meandering later, we’d arrive at our destination.

Yeah, NY reached it’s goal of aquiring Melo, but it took so long, everyone’s emotionally drained, and they gave up SO much, was it really worth it? . Oh, I’m sure Knick fans are giddy right now, and I’m excited about seeing Melo and Amare’ on the break with Chauncey pushing it. The pressure is now on the Knicks front office to put pieces around these 2 to win in the media pressure cooker that is Madison Square Garden. Melo-Stoudemire-Billups-Fields, with Shawne Williams, Tony Douglas, Bill Walker, and newly aquired Corey Brewer should provide highlights, and on the sheer strength of the talent of the Dynamic Duo Carmelomire, they;ll win agains weak to average teams.

For Denver, they took the lemons being pushed on them by Melo’s discontent and made pretty decent lemonade smoothies. A team of Nene’, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Rayond Felton/Ty Lawson, JR Smith, Arron Afflalo, Kenyon Martin, Bird Man Andersen, and still raw Timofey Mosgov will light up the scoreboard and can be long and active on defense. Compared to the LeBron and Bosh exits from their respective teams, Denver is definitely the winner of this trade. I think this was a situation where Melo’s move was necessary; sometimes a change of scenery is in order. Denver was spinning it’s wheels as a good-but-not-great team destined be forever looking up to the elite teams. Now they can build their own future, ala OKC/Portland/Memphis, by cultivating their young talent in a no pressure situation. Oh, and Minnesota gets to try to turn all of that “potential” in Anthony Randolph into “production. And Eddy Curry. Good luck, Kurt Rambis!

Marco Romo – When i first heard Carmelo was going to the Knicks my initial thought was “finally its over with”. After i got over my initial sigh of relief, I looked over the trade more deeply. After looking through it I thought about how bad this team will be defensively.

Take a look at what the probable starting 5 for this team might be. Fields, Amar’e, Carmelo, Billups, and Turiaf. That may look fairly good offensively but from a defensive prospective its atrocious. The best defender in that starting 5 would arguably be either Turiaf or Fields. Thats not saying much.

Sure the Knicks get Carmelo and Chauncey but they had to give up a lot of their good role players in the process. Now this has their bench even more depleted than Miami’s. Unless you consider Renaldo Balkman and Sheldon Williams terrific role players off the bench. Which I don’t think anyone does. I’m not saying this team will be “bad” per-say. I just see them being really bad defensively in which it will probably cost them a lot of games in the process.

In retrospect, I see this team getting the 6th seed and having an early 1st round exit of about 6 to 7 games. Though I think the Knicks are more concerned about the coming free agencies of Chris Paul and Deron Williams.

Andrew LynchThis is a fair trade. I come down on the (apparently rather unpopular) side of the blogosphere that says this is a fair trade for the two major parties, New York and Denver. As people much smarter than myself have pointed out, many of the pieces sent out by New York were either destined to be jettisoned in the future (Chandler) or readily replaced (Mozgov – the Knicks will be able to find another 7-footer to end up on posters,* I assure you). The deal essentially boils down to Gallo, a first round pick, and Mozgov for Carmelo Anthony. While I’m not as high on Anthony as many people are, I’d make that deal every day of the week.

*Do people even buy posters anymore? Other than 12 year old girls, I mean.

Regarding the Knicks’ ability to sign Carmelo in the off-season – we have no idea what the new CBA will resemble. It’s entirely possible that the Knicks would not have enough space to sign Anthony under the new salary structure or, even worse, that a newly-instituted franchise tag would prevent Carmelo from even becoming a free agent. That risk seems to balance out the potential downside of this trade.

A Canadian contrast. Throughout this trade process, I’ve considered the differences between Carmelo Anthony and his trade demands and Steve Nash and his insistence that he wants to stay in Phoenix. While I agree with the assessment that Denver will benefit from Carmelo making his desire public (enabling Denver to recoup some value on their fleeing free agent beyond a LeBron James-shaped trade exception that may not even exist under a new CBA), the angst this process has generated in Nuggets’ fans makes me appreciate the class with which Nash has approached the declining competitiveness of the Suns.

That being said, I am envious of the haul Denver received from New York for Carmelo. I’ve long been a proponent of not selling Nash low, but if the Suns could get anything close to this type of value for Nash, I’d wish him luck in his quest for a championship in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, the Suns might not be so lucky as to deal with Isiah Thomas in the future.

Steven Gelis – When Carmelo Anthony finally got traded, one word comes to mind: relief. I honestly believed that we would never have to hear about this again. Then I began thinking… This trade, and the events leading up to it, sets an ugly precedent for things to come. Everyone can probably get ready for Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, and Deron Williams to steal attention from actual basketball with trade sagas of their own. I’m certainly not looking forward to hearing about these players for the next two years.

With that being said, this trade doesn’t exactly make the Knicks much better short term. The Knicks were unfortunate that the Nets had to re-enter talks with the Nuggets, but again, it is only negative in the short term. The Knicks now have Chauncey Billups, who will be a large expiring contract right at the time when Howard, Paul and Williams are slated to be free agents. It will be exciting to see if the Knicks can acquire one of those players down the road and have a super team that can compete with the likes of Miami and the Bulls.

So this deal will obviously have its critics. In my opinion, when you can get a player of Carmelo Anthony’s caliber, you do it. Carmelo is a better player than Amar’s Stoudemire, and the Knicks will likely continue to be a hapless defensive team, but just imagine having two of the best pure scorers on one team. I look forward to seeing this team play, and I look forward to seeing them compete for many years to come.

Blake Lovell – First off, if we thought the Knicks were bad before on defense, then look out. This team might might approach some points allowed records down the stretch. But all kidding aside (not really), this was a deal that Donnie Walsh and James Dolan…..and Isaiah Thomas had to make.

The Knicks gave up some crucial parts to their success this season. But, that is this season. To me, it’s a no-brainer that you bring in one of the best players in the league, regardless of how much you have to give up to get him. Yes, the Felton/Gallinari/Chandler trio has been great for this organization this season. But now that you’ve brought in an All-Star, guess what? You will be able to attract an even better supporting cast for the top two players. So while the roster may not be what it needs to be this season, there’s now another drawing commodity on this team to attract top free agents (Chris Paul and Deron Williams).

Oh, and let’s not forget about the leadership aspect of this. If you’re going to bring in Carmelo and send half your team packing, chemistry issues would be a major concern in most situations. However, while he’s getting older, Billups is a HUGE part of this deal to me. Having a proven leader entering this unique situation is only going to help this team speed up the process. Billups will allow them to move past some of the bumps in the road because of his ability to lead on the floor and in the locker room.

On the other side, Denver has to be pleased with what they got in return. No, you don’t become Finals’ contenders by giving up your franchise player, but they at least have some things to work with. It’s looking like they’ll probably deal Gallinari, so they can add a few more pieces to the puzzle as well.

The Knicks may not be the best team in the league this year, or even next year. But going forward, this team has set itself up nicely to once again be an NBA championship contender down the road if they can build around the Big Two.

What do you think about the Melo deal? Let us know by commenting below or you can also follow us on Twitter (@theblakelovell, @SnottieDrippen, @snghoops, @thatsthedagger, @SerenityNowDDL). And be sure to head on over to our brand new Facebook page to get all the latest news and stories from STS!

Matt Moore

Matt Moore is a Senior NBA Blogger for CBSSports.com's Eye on Basketball blog, weekend editor of Pro Basketball Talk on NBCSports.com, and co-editor of Voice on the Floor. He lives in Kansas City due to an unbelievably complex set of circumstances and enjoys mid-90's pop rock, long walks on the beach and the novels of Tim Sandlin.