And while it’s still too early to go into full-blown panic mode, it’s apparent the Knicks need to do something in order to become a contender for the NBA championship. And that something should be trading superstar forward Carmelo Anthony.
While Anthony is having a stellar year, leading the Knicks in scoring with more than 25 points a contest, the fact is this team is not making any noise in the East, with teams such as the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls and even Philadelphia 76ers looking light years better than them.
The Knicks have to trade Carmelo in order to improve because he is their most valuable trade chip, as Amar'e Stoudemire’s injury history makes him almost impossible to trade.
But you don’t just trade a superstar that wants to play for you for nothing, so the Knicks need to find a deal that gets them even value for Anthony.
In comes Deron Williams. Williams is by all accounts a superstar point guard. However, he is stuck in New Jersey, where the Nets have been playing dismal basketball and his best teammate is rookie MarShon Brooks.
With Brook Lopez’s injury, not only have the Nets been a worse basketball team, but it’s also affected their pursuit of Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, as Lopez was the Nets' most valuable trade chip.
With the possibility of Howard joining the Nets diminishing by the day, Williams seems more and more likely to depart when he is a free agent this offseason. This creates the setting for a league-shaking trade between these two East Coast teams.
For the Nets, they get a superstar in Anthony, who still has a minimum of two years left on his contract. Additionally, they don't run the risk of losing Williams this offseason for nothing.
Those should be incentive enough for the Nets to go through with this trade.
For the Knicks, making this trade may be a tough decision, but no doubt the right one. The personnel in New York has to be considered when making this trade.
First of all, Stoudemire has always been at his best when he has a great point guard to dish him the ball. For many years that point guard was two-time MVP Steve Nash while he was with the Phoenix Suns.
Those Suns teams twice made the Western Conference finals, with Nash setting Stoudemire up for easy buckets all along the way. Williams can bring that kind of incredible passing to New York and help Stoudemire to be even more of an offensive force like he was in Phoenix.
Additionally, no Anthony means more opportunities for Stoudemire to score the ball, something he has been successful at his entire career. Williams is no slouch scoring the ball either, averaging slightly more than 18 points per game this season.
The Knicks wouldn't lose much scoring even without Anthony, and they would also be better at creating offense with a point guard like Williams.
A pairing of Williams and Stoudemire creates a team much better equipped for a long playoff run than the current superstar pairing in New York.