That's right, I said it. If the Knicks are smart, they shouldn't trade for Carmelo.
With that being said, they should be the first team at Melo's front door when the 2011 free agency period commences.
Anthony has made it fairly clear that he wants to play in New York. New Jersey and Chicago fans are kicking themselves that they didn't yell out their windows at the three-time All Star, because Knick fans apparently won Anthony over with their shouting. So if Anthony really wants to play in New York, why trade for him when you can sign him in the offseason?
By waiting, the Knicks would keep some key pieces to championship potential roster. Budding star Danilo Gallinari headlines the names that would be headed to Denver in a potential trade. Just two years into the league, Gallinari could blossom into the three-point shooter that the Knicks will need should they acquire Anthony.
The Knicks would also get to keep third-year player Wilson Chandler and rookie Landry Fields, two names that have been rumored in trade talks. A first round pick was also rumored to be in the deal, which could be saved either for the Knicks' own use or for another trade.
The Knicks have a very good young core that would only benefit from playing with Anthony. With these pieces in place, along with Amare Stoudemire, Raymond Felton and Anthony, New York would be instant title contenders. But things wouldn't look as bright for the Knicks if they had to give up Gallinari, Chandler, Fields or any combination of the three.
Should the Knicks trade for Anthony now, or wait to sign him in free agency?
The Knicks would actually save money by waiting to sign Anthony, as he would likely sign a bigger extension before being traded to New York than the Knicks could offer him in free agency. Built around two max contract players (Anthony and Stoudemire), the Knicks would even have cash left over to fill in the pieces.
The only risk that the Knicks run by not trading for Anthony within this season is that Anthony would either sign an extension with Denver, or be traded to another team and decide to resign with them for more money than the Knicks could offer him. While this is possible, Anthony's recent comments about New York have to make the Knicks feel pretty confident that no matter what happens this season, Anthony will be theirs in free agency.