Carmelo Anthony was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and played his college ball in Syracuse, New York.
While at Syracuse, Melo had the opportunity to play in Madison Square Garden during the Big East Tournament.
A New York City native getting to play at MSG? Gee, ain’t that the dream…
Now Anthony, an established NBA superstar and icon, has played on competitive teams in Denver, won medals for Team USA, and even won a National Championship in his one year at Syracuse.
So, now it’s time for Melo to return home, to play in the Garden, where he belongs.
Denver should realize by now that No. 15 isn’t signing a long-term deal to remain a Nugget.
And why should he?
Denver’s roster isn’t built for sustained success in the Western Conference.
Chauncy Billups has been running the point admirably over the past few seasons, but at 33 and with 13 NBA seasons already under his belt, how much more does he have in the tank?
Billups is under contract this season and has a team option for 2011-12. He’s one of the few Nuggets who is under contract after this season.
Nene, the Nuggets’ center, is in the last year if his deal (although he has a player option for 2011-12). Fellow big man Kenyon Martin is exercising his player option and is the final year of his deal now.
J.R. Smith is also in the final year of his deal with Denver.
So, to stay relevant out west, Denver needs to get younger and needs to add talent. Adding free agent Al Harrington was a good start, but the Nuggets need to build on that.
So, why not trade Melo and actually get something for him instead of letting him walk after the season?
Here’s the potential deal:
Denver sends Carmelo Anthony and Anthony Carter to the Knicks.
New York sends Danilo Gallinari, Eddy Curry, Wilson Chandler, and two future second-round draft picks to the Nuggets.
The Nuggets would likely throw in Carter, who probably wouldn’t play much with the new additions, anyway.
The Knicks would certainly be interested in acquiring another expiring contract.
On Denver’s side, they’re receiving Gallinari, who led the NBA in three-point shooting last season, and at 6’10’’, can play on the wing or down low. He proved last season he’s a decent rebounder, too.
Chandler has shown bright spots over the last season-and-a-half or so. The Nuggets would probably start him at small forward.
Chandler plays decent defense, nothing too spectacular, but would improve quickly playing in the West, and under George Karl.
Curry is the add-in on the Knicks side. After showing potential in Chicago, he’s amounted to nothing in New York. His $11 million contract expires after this season.
If this trade went through, Denver would be looking at a starting five of: Chauncy Billups, J.R. Smith, Wilson Chandler, Al Harrington, and Nene.
Not bad, considering they also have Ty Lawson and Kenyon Martin off the bench.
For the Knicks, they’d be losing a large chunk of their young core. But New York would certainly take it, and boast a decent starting five.
The Knicks would likely run out: Raymond Felton, Kelenna Azubuike, Carmelo Anthony, Anthony Randolph, and Amar'e Stoudemire.
Off the bench, Mike D’Antoni would have Toney Douglas, Bill Walker, Ronny Turiaf, and Timofev Mozgov.
Re-signing Tracy McGrady to a one-year deal wouldn’t be a bad idea either for New York.
T-Mac could log decent minutes at the shooting guard and small forward positions.
It’s clear New York will continue to wheel-and-deal until they’re a contender again.
With all the talk about superstars changing teams this summer, the Knicks, despite how badly they’ve played, been coached, and operated over the past decade, have contended with the league’s elite for star players.
With talks about a possible trade for Chris Paul swirling down the streets of lower Manhattan, the thought of missing out on LeBron James is dissipating.
If this summer has proven anything to us it’s this: The NBA is changing, and only the players really know their futures.
Let’s just hope they all don’t need one-hour TV specials to announce their decisions.
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