Anthony On his way to Knicks
Remember when Carmelo Anthony was the Denver Nuggets’ problem?
Now he’s the New York Knicks’ problem.
In an amazing blockbuster, seeing as how the Knicks might have signed Anthony as a free agent in the summer, they traded almost everyone except Amare Stoudemire to Denver for Anthony and Chauncey Billups.
If myriad reports are confirmed, it will be a three-way deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
New York will get Anthony, a four-time All-Star, Billups and Denver reserves Renaldo Balkman, Anthony Carter and Shelden Williams, who were put in to make the money come out right. The Knicks also will acquire Corey Brewer from the Timberwolves.
Denver will get Knicks starters Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari plus 7-foot rookie Timofey Mozgov.
Minnesota will get Knicks center Eddy Curry’s expiring contract and Knicks reserve Anthony Randolph.
With Anthony rejecting contract-extension offers, the Nuggets had shopped him for months, asking the Clippers for Blake Griffin and the Chicago Bulls for Joakim Noah. The Clippers, Bulls, et al., predictably said no.
Just as predictably, the distracted Nuggets, who were 37-19 at last season’s All-Star break, fell to 32-25, No. 7 in the West.
For months, Knicks officials complained that Nuggets officials wouldn’t talk to them, saying they had no one they wanted.
Unfortunately, it may have occurred to Knicks owner James Dolan:
What if we offer everyone? OK, except Amare and Landry Fields.
Convinced Anthony is the key to signing point guard Chris Paul in 2012, worried the New Jersey Nets would get him, or them, Dolan took personal control of talks here All-Star weekend.
Meeting with Anthony and Denver owner Josh Kroenke, Dolan threw two more of his starters in the deal plus the promising Mozgov. Until that point, Knicks General Manger Donnie Walsh had offered one starter -- Chandler or Gallinari -- convinced he could wait and sign Anthony in the summer.
We’ll never know if Anthony would have signed an extension with the Nets, having sent mixed signals -- mostly no’s -- for months.
In a James Dolan touch, the imperious owner who got his job the old-fashioned way -- from his father -- turned for advice to Isiah Thomas, whom he fired two seasons ago and now coaches Florida International University.
The discovery of Thomas’ involvement set off a firestorm in the New York press.
The embarrassed Knicks put out a statement in which Walsh, reportedly lukewarm on the deal, and Coach Mike D’Antoni, reportedly against it, insisted “the three of us are in complete agreement.”
They meant Dolan, Walsh and D’Antoni, not Thomas.
Among Knicks fans, Anthony’s stardom ran neck and neck with skepticism.
Insiders are skeptical, knowing Anthony is used to dominating the ball and could clash with Stoudemire, who was so happy being the star, he said he didn’t think the Knicks needed much.
The New York Daily News’ Frank Isola wrote that suggestions that Anthony is “Stephon Marbury with a headband” were unfair ... to Marbury, who didn’t force Phoenix to trade him to the Knicks.
Meanwhile, New Jersey owner Mikhail Prokhorov took credit for running the price up for the Knicks.
“I think we made a very good tactical decision to force [the] Knicks to pay as much as they can,” Prokhorov told CNBC. “So it’s very good, it’s very interesting, it’s very competitive.”
It’s very bold and/or dumb, putting Dolan’s stamp on this team, shaking up his organization with Walsh’s option to return next season yet to be picked up.
In the good news, assuming the reports are finally true, at least Anthony has gone somewhere.
(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)
The particulars, from various reports, of the trade that will send All-Star Carmelo Anthony from Denver to New York.
TO THE KNICKS
*--* Player P PPG Carmelo Anthony F 25.2 Chauncey Billups G 16.5 Shelden Williams F 4.7 Anthony Carter G 1.9 Renaldo Balkman F 2.6 Corey Brewer G 8.6 *--*
TO THE NUGGETS
*--* Player P PPG Wilson Chandler F 16.4 Raymond Felton G 17.1 Danilo Gallinari F 15.9 Timofey Mozgov C 4.0 Knicks’ 2014 first-round draft pick Warriors’ 2012 second-round pick Warriors’ 2013 second-round pick *--*
TO THE TIMBERWOLVES
*--* Player P PPG Eddy Curry C Inj. Anthony Randolph F 2.1 *--*
Note: Warriors’ picks were those traded to Knicks in previous deal.