When billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov slammed the door on a blockbuster deal that would have sent Carmelo Anthony to the New Jersey Nets, the New York Knicks emerged as the favorites to land the Denver Nuggets superstar small forward.
And Knicks president of basketball operations Donnie Walsh didn’t waste any time in pressing their advantage, as Anthony has publicly expressed that New York is his preferred playing destination.
According to ESPN 1050 Radio, the Knicks offered Landry Fields, Wilson Chandler and a first-round draft pick to the Nuggets for Anthony, who’s averaging 23.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per game this season.
The first-round draft pick the Knicks included in the proposed trade has yet to be acquired, but a rumored deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves for power forward Anthony Randolph is likely to yield the pick New York placed on the bargaining table.
Nevertheless, the Knicks will have to go back to the drawing board, because Denver’s front office rejected the latest offer for their highly sought-after three-time All-Star.
This begs the question of exactly what combination of players and draft picks it will take for New York to consummate a trade with Denver.
Fields, a second-round pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, is averaging 10.1 points per game, shooting 38.5 percent from three-point range and leads all guards in rebounding (7.4), opening many eyes around the NBA to his high basketball IQ and willingness to put the team ahead of individual accomplishments.
In his fourth year in the NBA, Chandler is on the cusp of stardom, averaging career highs in points (17.4), rebounds (6.3), blocks (1.40) and three-point shooting percentage (35.3 percent).
As a result, Chandler’s tremendous promise will be a valuable selling point for Donnie Walsh in future negotiations with the Nuggets.
So although the Knicks failed to entice the Nuggets in this round of negotiations, it appears only a matter of time before the Car-Melodrama finally ends and Anthony is playing in front of a capacity crowd at Madison Square Garden alongside Amar'e Stoudemire.