How Will the Carmelo Anthony Trade Affect the Various Teams Involved?

Posted on by Dennis Velasco (dvelasco)
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Carmelo Anthony finally got his wish as he was traded from the Denver Nuggets to the New York Knicks in a blockbuster deal that sees 13 players changing their basketball addresses. Along with Anthony, the Knicks also receive Chauncey Billups, Renaldo Balkman, Shelden Williams, and Anthony Carter. The Nuggets get back Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov, the Knicks' 2014 first round pick, as well as two second round selections (2012 and 2013) and $3 million. The Minnesota Timberwolves, the third team involved for cap space purposes, take on Eddy Curry and Anthony Randolph and send Corey Brewer back to the Knicks and Kostos Koufos to the Nuggets.

Okay, let me catch my breath.

First let's get the cellar dwellers out of the way and talk about the T-Wolves. The effect of this massive trade does nothing positive for the team other than to create cap space for after the season when Curry's contract expires. However, considering the current condition of the T-Wolves, who would sign there as a free agent? They are actually worse off after the trade personnel-wise as they trade for Randolph, a player with the ubiquitous "upside" that hasn't succeeded with two NBA teams (Golden State Warriors and Knicks) that catered to his skill set and athleticism. There's just no hustle in Randolph's game. T-Wolves also traded away Brewer, a player known for his effort and defensive ability. Yes, there's something rotten in the state of Minnesota.

While it's rough to lose a star franchise player, all things considered, the Nuggets did pretty well in the trade and didn't have to go through what the Cleveland Cavaliers did when LeBron James took his talents to South Beach to play for the Miami Heat. The Nuggets get back three quality starters in Felton, Chandler, and Gallinari, as well as a skilled big man in Mozgov. The team significantly upgraded their depth and improved as a whole. Of course, Anthony's presence will be missed since he's one of the most gifted offensive players in the game today, but the Nuggets have a good base of players to move on and build upon. The draft picks won't provide any immediate help, but are valuable assets down the road.

Of course, the biggest effect will be felt in the Big Apple where Anthony will join forces with another NBA star in Amar'e Stoudemire. This union was one of the worst-kept secrets in basketball as Anthony, who married long-time girlfriend and TV personality Lala Vazquez in New York City last year, hinted at wanting to play with his friend Stoudemire. In fact, at Anthony's wedding, Chris Paul made a toast hoping that he, Anthony, and Stoudemire could join forces to form their own Big Three to rival the Heat's trio of James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. However, will it happen?

The NBA's collective bargaining agreement (CBA) expires this summer and many owners, particularly small-market owners, want to institute something similar to the NFL's franchise tag that would allow teams to designate a player on their respective team as basically untouchable. A franchise tag would prohibit the league's superstars from forming a group together with a select few teams and allow teams to continue to build around its homegrown star. If it's not a franchise tag, something will be implemented and the hopes of a Big Three in New York will be dashed.

Of course, regardless of a franchise tag, the issue of salaries will exist as Stoudemire and Anthony will be the last of the max contracts given out with the current CBA. In lieu of the salary cap, it might not even be possible to add a third large contract for the team. Would Chris Paul or Deron Williams and Dwight Howard, two other high-profile free agents in 2012, take a paycut? It's doubtful since Anthony's situation clearly shows that it's about the money, as he didn't want to risk losing the $65 million extension that was on the table and be forced a trade to another team before a new CBA was agreed upon, which many think will be less than favorable for players.

However, that's more down the line; how about this season? Expect the Knicks merchandise brandishing Anthony's name to sell out quickly! The addition of Stoudemire created a stir, but the acquisition of Anthony has created a tsunami of attention and Madison Square Garden should be rocking more than usual. Yet, expectations should be tempered for various reasons. First, the sheer number of players changing teams need some time in order to mesh with their new organization and new offensive and defensive schemes. Second, Anthony and Stoudemire basically work in the same space near the rim and need to adjust to each other's game. Third, Anthony is a great fit for the Knicks' defense since neither are concerned about playing it. This last item is what will limit the Knicks in how far they'll go in the playoffs. Yes, they'll make it, but they won't last very long, especially when they play one of the top four teams in the Eastern Conference - Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Orlando Magic.

Just like in Anthony's previous postseasons when he lost in the first round of the playoffs in six of his seven seasons with the Nuggets, it looks like things will remain the same for him, but in a different uniform. The trade for Anthony will surely produce off the court, but on the court, things will likely stay the same.

Will the New York Knicks go deep into the playoffs with Carmelo Anthony

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Debate It! 5

While I agree with most of your post - your assessment of the T-Wolves is wrong. Being a Minnesotan and a hoops fan I am subjected to them often. This trade IS a good thing for them. They had a log jam of wing players and getting rid of Corey Brewer will help that situation immensely. And Brewer is one of the most inept offensive players in the league. Sure he had occasional defensive abilities but much more often he'd take risks going for the steal and come up empty leaving his guy wide open.

Randolph is extremely athletic and has a 7'3" wingspan. He has at least some upside, being only 21 years old. Brewer has already shown his ceiling... and it's pretty darn low.

Posted By SimpleDude,

Yeah, but here's the thing... at least Brewer tried. Randolph doesn't give any effort on the court and he played for two of the most loosey-goosey offenses in the NBA - the Warriors and Knicks - where if you're a player and you feel like shooting the ball even though someone else is open, go right ahead! I live in New York and Randolph was the key in the David Lee trade because of what you said. I've watched him during his short time with the Knicks and he really spaces out. He's one of those players that relaxes on his talent... no work at all. Does he turn it around in Minny? Maybe. He's young enough, but he lacks a ton of effort.

Posted By dvelasco,

You're right about the two offenses in NY and Golden State so you probably have a point. Its not like he didn't have a chance to show what he had to offer. I guess we'll see - hopefully he realizes there are only so many chances in this league.

And despite another lousy season, two of the bright spots Wolves fans have had are Michael Beasley and Darko - two guys who we picked up on the cheap because other teams (your Knicks in the case of Darko) had given up on them. Obviously Wolves management hopes Randolph is another one of those.

Posted By SimpleDude,

Also, Dennis.. very good article. I agree with all your takes on the Melo situation.

Posted By SimpleDude,

SD... thanks for the compliment. And, I wouldn't say "my" Knicks as I basically got fed up with them when they traded away Patrick Ewing... haha! But, I still do follow them because I love basketball. I'm more of a Nets fan at this point and actually write for ESPN/TrueHoop's Nets blog, Also, write about fantasy basketball for The Basketball Jones... see, I told you I love basketball. Ha!

Posted By dvelasco,

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