Carmelo Anthony has been on hot item in trade rumors all season long, and it's not going to change until he's on the court with another team's uniform. It's pretty clear at this point that his destination will either be the New Jersey Nets or the New York Knicks, though in recent days the Nets have pushed ahead.
The Knicks seem to have been on the outside looking in, without any major trade deals evolving. Why this is, I'm not sure. The Knicks are a rising team, and the addition of Anthony could make them one of the best teams in the East for many years.
Here are 10 reasons why the Knicks need to land Anthony.
The East needs a couple extra teams to step up their game if they want to compete with the West. Boston is getting old, and Rondo is only one man.
Atlanta is not going to step up to elite status, and no one else seems ready to step up. The Knicks can compete with Orlando and Miami if they bring in Anthony; without him that's a much tougher sell.
New York has a very good starting five right now. However, they all play well over 30 minutes on the court, and there's a chance that they could tire out late in the season. Making Landry Fields or Danilo Gallinari a sixth man could provide some much-needed depth down the stretch, especially since Toney Douglas isn't playing as well as he could be.
The only person with more NBA experience than Anthony is Amar'e Stoudamire. The Knicks team is very young, and while Amar'e has already been a great veteran presence, adding a second one could do wonders for the team.
What was the missing piece of the dominant Knicks teams in the mid-'90s?
They had a great guard in John Starks and a Hall of Fame big man in Patrick Ewing. Their small forward, however, was ineffective. Sometimes it was Anthony Bonner, sometimes it was others, none were effective.
What the Knicks don't want is to get near the finals but lack that presence that Anthony brings. He would have filled the hole then, and it applies now, even if Wilson Chandler and Landry Fields are much better than Bonner ever was.
Who would win in a one-on-one battle, Landry Fields or LeBron James, or Paul Pierce, or Brandon Bass? He could take Bass perhaps, but there's a matchup the Knicks would lose against in the playoffs more often than not.
Putting Anthony in there keeps other team's stars at bay, and will open things up even more for Amar'e and Raymond Felton.
The Knicks have the pieces to get in the playoffs now and get to the finals perhaps next season, should this year's free agency go well. If they land Anthony though, they could rocket to the top of the East now, so they wouldn't have to wait for people they're targeting whose contracts are expiring.
Carmelo has said time and time again that he would love to play in New York at Madison Square Garden. Given how well he's played for the Nuggets, imagine how good he'd be on the Knicks? He'd take that to another level.
If a Carmelo deal involves an overhaul of the Knicks roster, then I understand them not wanting to make a move. However, if enough players and a third or fourth team becomes involved, then the Knicks could acquire Anthony and may only have to deal two or three players. If it gets close to the trade deadline and 'Melo is still at Denver, then it become easier, and the roadblock on the way would come down.
When I say that fans want this trade, I mean fans throughout America. putting Carmelo in New York and watching the team go deep in the playoffs will help the NBA big time, and would make a great team to root for should there be a Miami-New York Eastern Conference Final matchup.
You can't tell me that doesn't look good.