Carmelo Anthony Trade Rumors: Should the NY Knicks Trade Gallinari or Randolph?

Allen KimSenior Analyst IOctober 29, 2010

Carmelo Anthony Trade Rumors: Should the NY Knicks Trade Gallinari or Randolph?

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    Carmelo has been silent up until this point regarding his standing with Denver, but recent statements appear to have made his stance clear.

    Anthony was quoted at the press conference following Denver’s win over Utah on opening night saying, "It ain't got nothing to do with the new GM, Josh, the players. For me, I feel it's a time for change.”

    With the Carmelo Anthony trade rumor mill turning once again, the Knicks' hopes on attaining his services remain high as New York is supposedly his preferred destination.

    Whether or not Denver would be willing to trade with the Knicks is a different story.

    The two names off the Knicks roster consistently linked in a deal for Denver's star player are Anthony Randolph and Danilo Gallinari.

    If Carmelo can leverage a trade to New York and Donnie Walsh is somehow able to convince Denver to take a package centered on Randolph or Gallinari, which of the two is considered a better trade asset?

    Better yet—if it came down to it— which prospect would they be most willing to give up in a package?

Basketball IQ

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    Gallo appears to have a better overall feel for the game. After all, he has basketball in his blood. His father—Vittorio Gallinari—played professionally in Italy with the Knicks current coach, Mike D’Antoni.

    The Rooster has also had much more professional experience playing basketball. He started playing at the pro level in Italy at the age of 15. Not to mention, he’s played a lot more minutes in the NBA than Randolph has at this point.

    Randolph still has to mature in his decision making. When he gets the ball, his scoring mentality takes over as he looks to attack the basket first and shoot out-of-range jumpers second. He has the tools to create offense in a number of ways, but he has not reached his full potential just yet.

    Playing in a new system, he still has a ways to go before he will fit comfortably within the team. He just needs to put everything together and really get some more experience on the court and in game situations.

    Verdict: Danilo Gallinari


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    Anthony Randolph is renowned for his defensive abilities. Standing at 6'11" with a 7'6" wingspan, Anthony is a matchup nightmare. He has the speed to take on point guards and the length to disrupt centers.

    The only issue Anthony has with guarding bigger players is the disparity in weight and strength. He has trouble holding up against forwards and centers that know how to throw their weight around to bully their man into the paint.

    Blocking is Randolph's specialty. In a late December game in 2009 against the New Orleans Hornets, Anthony blocked a career high eight shots. That is the sort of game-changing defensive play he can provide.

    Danilo showed flashes last season of strong perimeter defensive instincts. His height and length allow him to block shots that the average small forward could not.

    Even though he may desire to grow as a defensive player, Gallinari is still a liability. He gambles a lot, he's not particularly fast or agile and he can be late on rotations.

    Gallo just doesn't have the same natural defensive instincts instilled in him.

    Verdict: Anthony Randolph


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    With enough playing time, Anthony is capable of becoming a double-digit rebounder. He crashes the glass with a fierce tenacity that is badly needed on the current Knicks roster.

    What's particularly impressive about his rebounding numbers is that he has nearly a two-to-one defensive to offensive rebounding ratio. It shows that he's extremely active on both ends of the court and his ability to create second-chance opportunities for his team is extremely valuable.

    One of Gallinari's main weaknesses is rebounding. Standing at 6'10" with a long wingspan, he has the physical tools to excel in that department, but lacks the aggressive nature and instincts to make an impact.

    Due to his size and length, Gallo occasionally sees time at the power forward position. Last season, he ranked second-to-last in rebounding rate for a forward, a dreadful distinction to hold.

    Verdict: Anthony Randolph


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    Randolph has a developing mid-range jumper that—with enough time—can become a consistent part of his offensive arsenal. Eventually, he may even be able to hit the three-ball at a respectable rate, but only as a spot up shooter.

    Until then, his jumper is simply not reliable enough for Anthony to turn to. He shouldn't be shooting from anywhere beyond 15 feet and it would be unwise for him to pull up off the dribble to shoot under any circumstances.

    Many scouts believe that if a player can shoot from the line, he has the potential to develop a solid jumper with enough work and time.

    Anthony's free throw shooting jumped from 71.6 to 80.2 percent from his rookie to sophomore campaign. That is a noticeable progression and it only helps to have faith in his ability to improve on his jumper. However, as it stands now, he's not even remotely close to Gallinari in the shooting department.

    Gallinari dominates this matchup, as he is well known for his shooting touch. He has dead-eye aim from deep and has developed into a volume three-point shooter in a short span.

    Danilo's range extends a considerable distance from the three-point line. He is capable of hitting from several steps behind the arc with relative ease.

    Gallinari has a plethora of moves at his disposal to get off a shot. He can utilize step backs, pump-fakes, create separation with his cross-over, come off screens and pull-up for jumpers.

    If a smaller player is guarding him, Gallo can take advantage of his size and shoot right over the top.

    His ability to drill shots from all corners of the court make him particularly useful in D'Antoni's offensive system.

    Verdict: Danilo Gallinari


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    Basketball is a long grind, and injuries and fatigue can strike at any time.

    Gallo having back problems so early in his career is troubling. Even though Gallinari does not possess superstar-caliber talent, one can't help but think of Tracy McGrady. He was a prodigious talent who was plagued by back problems for a large part of his career.

    A bad back could spell potential doom for his longevity. However, he managed to play in 81 out of 82 contests last season, so it is a bit more reassuring.

    Danilo has played in 109 career NBA games while Anthony has played in 93. The difference is fairly minimal, but Randolph is currently sidelined with an ankle injury that will keep him out for approximately two weeks.

    Randolph missed 69 games last year due to injury and 19 the year before. Anthony starting the current season on crutches is a cause for legitimate concern.

    Anthony's durability came into question out of college and it has dogged him for a large part of his pro career. He has a rail-thin frame and he plays a bit reckless, as he's willing to throw his body into compromising positions in order to get the highlight finish or block.

    Verdict: Danilo Gallinari

Slashing/Penetration Abilities

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    Anthony is a one-man fast break. He runs coast-to-coast like a two-guard and finishes like a power forward.

    When he rolls to the hoop after a setting a pick, his leaping ability and speed allow him to easily get in the lane and catch lobs for acrobatic finishes.

    Randolph has advanced footwork and ball-handling abilities as he uses his agility to maneuver around—or in some cases over—defenders and take it to the rack.

    Danilo, on the other hand, isn't particularly fast and his footwork still needs work. While he's capable of getting by defenders, he relies almost entirely on his length to blow by his man.

    The Rooster's ball-handling also leaves a lot to be desired. He doesn't have many reliable moves to turn to. and his slashing abilities are considered sub-par.

    More often than not, Danilo is generally not successful in penetration, as his one-on-one offensive game isn't very strong.

    Verdict: Anthony Randolph


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    John Hollinger's famous Player Efficiency Rating (PER) system is used to determine the statistical production a player provides per minute.

    While the PER system is by no means an exact science, nor is it a clear indicator of a player's true value, it is still a useful tool to determine what sort of production a particular player can provide.

    The league average for this rating system falls at a 15.00 mark.

    Looking at Gallinari's numbers through his first two seasons, he has recorded a PER of 13.39 and 14.89—both under the league average.

    Anthony Randolph, on the other hand, registered an impressive 16.94 and 18.71 in his first two seasons.

    Last season, Gallinari came in at No. 145 overall, just below Matt Bonner. Randolph was ranked at No. 45 overall, just ahead of point guard phenom, Derrick Rose. That's a 100-player difference and certainly not a number to scoff at.

    If you take Randolph's numbers from last season and stretch them out to 40 minutes a game, he would have had a projected average of 20.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists. Gallinari, by comparison, would have put up a projected 14.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists.

    The difference is clear.

    Verdict: Anthony Randolph


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    Gallo is widely seen as having the potential to be a future All-Star. Of course, with all the positives in his game, he has an equal amount of negative aspects he has to improve upon.

    Danilo had a breakout season last year, as he earned a starting nod and more than doubled his numbers in nearly every statistical category.

    Gallinari really came on last season during the final eight games, as he averaged 22.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.8 threes. If Gallo is not traded soon, he has two seasons to prove to the Knicks brass that he is capable of getting those types of numbers over the course of a full season.

    Up until this point, Randolph has only shown brief flashes of how much he is capable of contributing on the court. He spent the majority of his time in Golden State in coach Don Nelson's doghouse.

    During the final month of his rookie season, Anthony averaged 15.1 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.5 steals and 0.9 blocks. These tantalizing numbers are a small glimpse of the sort of damage he can create with 30-plus minutes on the court.

    When things were starting to finally look up for Anthony in terms of playing time, coach Nelson turns back to his mad ways and relegates Anthony to the bench for his sophomore season. Randolph didn't complain and was extremely productive in his limited minutes, but his season prematurely ended due to multiple injuries to his left ankle.

    After being traded to New York this past summer, hopes are running high for Randolph's potential prospects in the Big Apple. His poor showing in preseason has hampered expectations as his role in the Knicks rotation comes into question.

    Could he be all flash and no show?

    It's certainly a possibility, as he has yet to make any sort of lasting impression in his short time in the league. But, Randolph is still young, and if he can stay healthy, the sky's the limit for him.

    Both are capable of filling an important role on the team. Randolph takes the place of Shawn Marion and Gallo as the primary threat from deep.

    However, Anthony's ceiling as a player appears to be much higher. Gallo is not capable of playing at the four for long stretches of time, and if he weren't included in a deal for Anthony, he would be relegated to sixth man. Randolph, on the other hand, could easily occupy the power forward position, helping to round out a more balanced roster.