It was Friday, September 24, 2010, New York Knicks Media Day, when I first recall hearing rumors of Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets being involved in significant trade talks to the New Jersey Nets, as many of us watched the talk on television. ( http://razzandjazzsports.wordpress.com/2010/09/28/at-new-york-knick-media-day-players-unite-in-goal-of-making-the-playoffs/ ).
Four months later, on January 19, 2011, with Nets Majority Owner Mikhail Prokhorov flying into the United States for what many thought was a meeting with Anthony, he shocked the basketball world by announcing the Nets were backing out of the chase for Carmelo Anthony. ( http://razzandjazzsports.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/prokhorov-carmelo-nets-jazz-103-95/ )
With five days remaining before the National Basketball Association(NBA) trade deadline (3pm Eastern time Thursday, February 24, 2011), it has been reported that both the Nets and Knicks have deals on the table for Anthony. It has also been reported for some time that Anthony prefers to play for the Knicks and met with Knicks owner James Dolan Thursday night.
Both the New Jersey Nets, soon to be the Brooklyn Nets, and the New York Knicks, who play in the World’s Most Famous Arena, need to make the trade for Anthony, and here are some of the many reasons why. Anthony, who turns 27 in May, is arguably the best scorer in the league, averaging 24.8 points per game over his career, an average that would surely increase in a system run by the offensive-minded Knicks Coach Mike D’Antoni. He is durable, as he has played 65 or more games in each of the first seven years of his career. He has championship pedigree, as he led the Syracuse Orangemen to a NCAA championship in his freshman year in 2003.
With the looming NBA lockout potentially beginning July 1, 2011, Anthony, who has an $18 option for this season, but also a clause where he can terminate the deal after the 2011 season, wants to pick up the option and add the three-year, $65 million deal currently being offered by the Nuggets, thus the reason, which appeared to be the original strategy for the Knicks, for the team not waiting to sign him after the end of the season. Whereas that may have been an option for the Knicks before, it doesn’t appear to be one now, as Anthony doesn’t appear willing to leave those funds in jeopardy.
Knicks and Nets fans would prefer to keep certain players over others, but the bottom line is this: no NBA team without at least one super star and multiple all stars has won an NBA Championship in the last 25+ years, with the exception of the 2004 Detroit Pistons, who, ironically, had Chauncey Billups on the team, rumored to be a part of both the Knicks/Nuggets and Nets/Nuggets deals.
This is why the Nets are reported to have offered Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Troy Murphy, Ben Uzoh and four first-round picks for Anthony, Billups, Shelden Williams, Melvin Ely and Renaldo Balkman. The deal to the Knicks is reported to include Raymond Felton, Eddy Curry, and either Landry Fields or Danilo Gallinari for Anthony, Billups, and Anthony Carter.
In a league dominated by superstars with rings (Kobe Bryant 5, Tim Duncan and Shaquille O’Neal 4) and teams with multiple superstars (Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls) it is a deal that must be made by the Nets to add a superstar, and the Knicks to add a second superstar. The team that wins the Chase for Carmelo will had a great chance of winning fans in the New York City area that are on the fence.