Carmelo Anthony Trade Rumors: T-Wolves Helping Knicks in Melo Quest

Sammy Makki@sammymetsfanAnalyst IFebruary 7, 2011

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 13:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets looks on during a break in the action against the Miami Heat at the Pepsi Center on January 13, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Heat 130-102. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Are we any closer to seeing the Carmelo Anthony six-month-long trade drama finally come to an end? It appears so. There isn't a trade that's about to happen immediately, but according to ESPN sources over the weekend, the Minnesota Timberwolves might be helping the New York Knicks chances of landing Carmelo no later than the trading deadline.

The reported potential trade has the Knicks only giving up Anthony Randolph, Eddy Curry's expiring contract and Wilson Chandler. The first two guys would go to Minnesota where the Wolves would send the Nuggets Corey Brewer and a first-round draft pick. The Nuggets would also get Chandler from the Knicks. Basically, the Knicks would be swapping Chandler in the starting lineup for Anthony.

If this deal goes through—although more players from the Knicks may have to be involved—it would be the biggest NBA trade steal of all time.

Why would it be a steal, you ask? Well, the Knicks would be able to pair Carmelo with Amar'e Stoudemire, while holding onto both Landry Fields and Danilo Gallinari. Now, how scary would that starting five be?

The team who this trade would benefit the least would be the Wolves. What would they be getting out of something like this? Nothing that would get Minnesota fans excited for the future.

The player that's been key in this entire possible Carmelo-to-Knicks trade has been Randolph. The Knicks acquired him in the offseason from the Warriors in the trade that sent David Lee to Golden State.

Although being regarded as a stud young player, the 21-year-old Randolph hasn't done or shown anything this season with the Knicks. He's played sparingly in 16 games, mostly in blowouts, and has averaged under two points per game. He's always looked nervous and his shooting has been extremely erratic.

He'd be the only player the Wolves would get in return, while losing out on Brewer and a first-round draft pick. They wouldn't be getting Eddy Curry, but only his expiring contract which is a hefty $11.2 million. That's some nice money that would come off the books, but the deal makes no sense.

The Wolves aren't getting Carmelo so what's the purpose of them getting involved? Are they trying to help the Knicks out? That would be nice, but all is not lost for New York if this deal doesn't go through, which most likely won't unless the Knicks add a Landry Fields to the mix.

As much as this deal makes no sense for Minnesota, it makes even less sense for Denver. They'd be getting a player who's been a sixth man on a team barely over the .500 mark in Chandler, and although he's a nice player, they'd have no immediate starter to replace Anthony in the lineup.

That's why the Nuggets should demand the Knicks to add Fields. The Knicks rookie, who's the NBA's leading rebounder among all guards, would fit in perfectly with Denver. He's no Carmelo, but he's a solid starter who's at least a piece to build around.

Perhaps the Nuggets are starting to crack under the pressure of not wanting to lose Carmelo for nothing, similar to how the Cavaliers lost LeBron James for nothing last summer. They know, along with all the other teams in the league, that Carmelo only wants to sign the three-year, $65 million extension with the Knicks.

If they don't trade him, he'll just sign with the Knicks in the summer as a free agent. There are other teams, though, that have said they'd rent him like the Bulls, Mavericks and Rockets. That's the only risk the Knicks would be taking if they don't make this trade happen by February 24.

The first move has to be trading Randolph, and the Trail Blazers and Pacers have shown interest in trading a first-round pick for him as well.

If the Knicks do add Anthony in the next two-plus weeks, it would improve their chances on at least winning a first-round playoff series and making some noise. If not, they risk perhaps not getting him and maybe even missing the playoffs this season with their recent struggles. Stoudemire and Carmelo next season would put the Knicks in the top four in the Eastern Conference.

If this plan by the Knicks goes awry, they'll have to wait for the following summer for Deron Williams and Chris Paul to become free agents.

It's a crucial time in the Knicks franchise from now through the trading deadline, and just maybe the Timberwolves and Nuggets' stupidity can help the Knicks finally land another star player to team up with Stoudemire.