The title of this article suggests that in order for the New York Knicks to obtain Carmelo Anthony, Donnie Walsh is likely going to need to call in the entire Hogwarts faculty to perform some rather complicated magic.
Thankfully for the New York faithful, magic will likely not be needed to complete this transaction. Rather, some intricate wheeling and dealing should suffice.
Carmelo Anthony has made it no secret that he would like to be playing in the Big Apple. The prospect of winning a championship for one of the league's storied franchises may be enticing enough, but combined with the endless marketing opportunities, entertainment offerings, the Manhattan mystique and proximity to his wife, actress Lala Vasquez, playing in New York is simply a no-brainer for Carmelo Anthony.
Agreeing with this sentiment, Anthony has even reportedly stated that he would not accept a trade anywhere else other than New York.
As it seems highly likely that Melo won't be coming back to Denver next year, the Nuggets best move may be to trade him now, as such a move would be the only way to gain back some pieces after losing Anthony.
Denver has come close to dealing their franchise player numerous times with the New Jersey Nets, but ultimately, Anthony's contract stipulates that he has to approve any potential trade, thus narrowing the Nuggets shopping list significantly. If in fact Carmelo is true to his alleged word, the only potential suitor for Denver would be New York.
With that in mind, what would it take for the Nuggets to give up Carmelo to the Knicks and vice versa? Let's take a look at the chips on the table in what is shaping up to be quite the poker game.
Any trade the Knicks make before the deadline will likely involve Eddy Curry. Well, more accurately, it'll involve his contract.
Back when the Knicks sought to emulate the franchise model of the Washington Redskins, they signed Curry to a six-year, $60 million contract, which includes an $11 million option for this season. As his lack of any playing time whatsoever may be a major factor in the Knicks sudden resurgence this season, Curry's contract has eaten into the Knicks cap space the past few season more than Michael Phelps does for breakfast.
As Curry's contract is essentially deadweight, they would need to trade him away in order to have enough cap to allow space for Carmelo, who would come over to the Knicks via a sign and trade. Although the Nuggets aren't exactly demanding Curry, his expiring contract would likely become part of the package.
It seems as if every day, Wilson Chandler's trade stock is growing higher and higher.
If the Nuggets lose Anthony, they'll need to replace him with someone who could put up points in bunches. Although not quite the superstar Melo is, Chandler has proven time and time again that he's no stranger to racking up 20+ point performances.
The fourth-year man is having a career year, averaging 17.9 points per game this season. It's important to note however, that Chandler started the season off the bench. After willing his way into the starting lineup, the slashing guard/forward has simply been lights out. His 31-point performance in the Knicks upset of the Spurs on Tuesday night demonstrated how dangerous of a player Chandler has become.
If a trade does indeed happen, Chandler would more than likely be involved. He's no Carmelo, but he could certainly outscore him from time to time.
The Knicks' dilemma regarding Landry Fields reminds me of Cam Newton's NFL draft prospects.
As of now, both are playing the best ball of their lives. As a result, their trade (or NFL draft) stock is continuing to climb higher and higher.
If the Knicks hold onto Fields, the November AND December Eastern Conference rookie of the month, they risk him leveling off his torrid pace, thus exposing his flaws to potential suitors, which would cause his stock to drop from its current standing. If Newton stays another year at Auburn, scouts will be able to break down everything that won't make the Auburn standout a success in the NFL, again likely causing his stock to plummet.
Fields has simply been playing out of his mind. His high basketball IQ and good decision-making skills have provided a stable force in D'Antoni's high-octane offense, and his 10.1 point, 7.4 rebound per game averages are simply sensational for a rookie who is proving to be much more than a role player. Field's basketball instincts are second to none, something that has enabled him, as a shooting guard, to consistently put up double-doubles in the rebounding department.
Dealing Fields is a high-risk, high-reward move. If he's unable to continue his unexpectedly awesome play, the Knicks front offices will look like geniuses. If however, Fields continues to blossom at the rate at which he is currently, they'll look about as smart as the Oakland Raiders did during the first-round draft for the past 10 years or so.
If a trade is going to go down between Denver and New York, expect Fields to be a big bargaining chip. At the same time, however, this chip might be too valuable to even put on the table.
Gallo is out a few weeks with a sprained knee, but the young sharpshooter has a ton of potential, and thus would likely draw the interest of Denver.
Again, if the Nuggets lose Melo, they'll likely want a scorer in return. Gallinari is currently averaging over 15 points per game, a number that should only improve as the years go on.
Furthermore, Gallo's 6'10" provides some solid length, which could bode well for defensive/versatility purposes. Of course, the Knicks system doesn't exactly call for lockdown D, but if developed, Gallinari's could maybe turn out to be a threat on both ends of the court.
With Chandler's recent offensive explosion, Gallinari may be less likely to be dealt, but the young, relatively undeveloped Italian has a huge upside, something that the Nuggets may take into consideration if they're looking to rebuild.
Douglas is a young guard who can play both the point and shooting positions. With Chauncey Billups and Ty Lawson on the roster, Denver likely won't need Douglas to serve at the point, although if the Melo trade results in any sort of rebuilding process, Denver also make seek to get rid of the aging Billups, which could open up either a starting or backup slot for Douglas.
Regardless, Douglas could find his niche anywhere in the backcourt. A solid scorer and overall versatile player, he has been one of the bright spots on an otherwise weak bench. Douglas would likely be a secondary piece in any trade and would probably be packaged with any combination of Fields/Chandler/Gallo and Curry's contract.