By John Schmeelk
After Adrian Wojnarowski’s great reporting Thursday night on the Carmelo Anthony-Denver Nuggets saga, Knicks fans everywhere seem to be clamoring at nearly the LeBron-James-free-agency level. I get the excitement to some extent, but I’ve purposely tried to avoid becoming too obsessed with Carmelo since it’s likely nothing would happen for quite some time.
Now, apparently, that is no longer the case. This is not a good thing for the Knicks, since at this moment they are very limited in what they can offer the Nuggets in a trade. As Wojnarowski pointed out, right now the Knicks don’t have the assets to offer Denver. Other teams do.
The Knicks can’t trade a 1st round pick until 2014. Gallinari’s value is still not as great as his potential. Toney Douglas and Bill Walker are not valuable pieces to anyone. Eddy Curry’s only value is his expiring contract. If the Nuggets have in fact decided Carmelo Anthony needs to go right now, the Knicks are in trouble.
UNLESS – Carmelo Anthony decides the only team he’ll be willing to sign a contract extension with is the Knicks. No team would trade a king’s ransom for Anthony unless he agrees to sign an extension with them. This scenario would destroy any leverage the Nuggets have in getting any sort of fair value offer, and would put the Knicks in the driver’s seat. This scenario is VERY unrealistic, and can be classified under “pipe dream”.
The best case scenario for the Knicks is for the Nuggets to be stubborn, and hold onto Anthony through the start of the season. If Denver starts the year hot at 30-10 they wouldn’t trade Anthony at all, and go for the title. Then next offseason, the Knicks could acquire him for nothing but salary cap space. Like the scenario above, this is becoming more unrealistic by the day.
A more likely scenario is that the Nuggets hold out until the trade deadline to get the best trade possible for Anthony. The Knicks need to hope by then that Anthony Randolph, Danilo Gallinari, and Wilson Chandler, and possibly some others have played well and increased their value enough to be appealing to Denver. A lot of Knicks fans hate the idea of trading Gallinari for anyone, but let’s be real – for Carmelo Anthony it has to be done.
Of course, if Wojnarowski’s sources are good, it may never get to that point. Denver might decide to move Anthony now. If they do, it will be to the disappointment of a lot of Knicks fans, because odds are he won’t be coming to here.
Much like the LeBron James debacle from the summer – if Anthony wants to come to the Knicks, he can engineer it. But if he decides the Clippers, Rockets or Nets are just as preferable, it’s a matter of what team the Nuggets can get the most out of. That team is NOT going to be the Knicks. Patience, in this case, would be a virtue.
– I’m getting really tired of worrying and writing about players not on the Knicks roster. For once, the Knicks actually have a group of players that can win some games and make the playoffs. I’d love to worry about that instead of far-fetched trade or free agency scenarios.
– It’s a good thing that Danilo Gallinari has arrived in New York and is working out at the Knicks facility with a lot of his new teammates. The personality of the core players on the roster this year seems to be marking a character change this franchise has been begging for since Isiah Thomas arrived.
– Ricky Rubio will be a player in the NBA. After watching him in the FIBA prelims, it’s pretty obvious he has a great feel for the game, sees the floor well and passes like a true playmaker. He’ll never be a great scorer in the league. He isn’t a tremendous athlete, but his size and length will make up for some of that. I also firmly believe he will NEVER play a game for the Timberwolves.
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