How did this happen? A week or ten days ago the Knicks were getting Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets for Wilson Chandler and what amounted to a steaming pile of you know what, and here we are on the very cusp of the trade deadline and the ante suddenly includes Danilo Gallinari and Ray Felton which means New York is not only about to strip itself of critical young talent but also make the task of fielding a plausible seven or eight man rotation something of an impossible chore.
In theory Amare Stoudemire would play almost all of his minutes at PF, Timofey Mozgov and Ronny Turiaf would continue to do their best to man the middle, 'Melo would of course slot nicely at the four with Landry Fields and incoming Chauncy Billups occupying the backcourt.
That doesn't sound too bad, but in reality we don't know if Turiaf can physically hold up playing real minutes, if the kid Mozgov is anywhere near ready to produce given significant minutes, if the hustle challenged Billups is once again capable of reinventing himself and playing a productive point for the New Yorkers or if rookie Landry Fields—who's been a season long revelation—will be able to leap the sometimes grudging first year wall by the time the dog days of March and April set in.
At the moment the sole reinforcements would appear to be Toney Douglas, Shawne Williams, Bill Walker, and we assume shooting guard Roger Mason is still on the team though there's no guarantee that hasn't been a cardboard cut-out attached to the end of the bench from opening night until now.
It all spells soft — Charmin soft, Carvel soft, the hide of your babies bottom soft — with Chandler, Felton and Gallo, three guys who were willing to mix it up and get a little dirty, replaced by incomings who will more than likely lift the Knicks offensively but at the same time mightily reinforce the notion that the team is defensively challenged to the umpteenth degree.
All of which leads us to wonder about the following:
Are the Knicks getting played like a harp by Russian Oligarch turned NBA in fighter Mikhail Prokhorov?
Have the Nets jumped back into the Denver fray — even though they know 'Melo only has eyes for the New York side of the Hudson — for the express purpose of setting James 'Straight Jacket' Dolan into a rash trade tizzy where he strips the team of attributes that Prez' Donnie Walsh has been so avidly intent on keeping?
And what's with Carmelo Anthony anyway? Does he just want to come to New York and explore the fullest boundaries of his marketing potential or does he actually want to compete for an NBA title.
If his intent is the latter then why hasn't he just told the Nuggets black and white, trade me to the Knicks or I'll just sign there as a free when the season ends. None of this 'Melodrama involving the Nets or Lakers, the Houston Rockets or whatever other rumored destination Denver management is capable of dredging up in an effort to drive the Knicks bidding price through the Madison Square Garden roof.
Yes, New York wants to get 'Melo, the fans want him, D'Antoni must want him, Donnie Walsh in his quiet way would love to see the Brooklyn born sharpshooter bring his wares to the Knickerbocker side — but how do any of the aforementioned, including Anthony, benefit if the team ends up being an NBA version of Spahn and Sain and pray for rain.
At this point the Knicks are struggling along, two games over .500 without any reason to think they can excel in the coming post season, and that's presuming they keep the ship afloat and even make 16 team dance.
By that rationale one can say, okay, rip everything up, bring Carmelo on board and the team can go back to the drawing board if need be — bring in more parts — if the occasion requires it.
The thing is they already have the parts right now. Gallinari and Felton are two of them and if they were able to stick while 'Melo transitions in you would already have the makings of a true playoff team in place.
That was a significant byproduct of the deal that had all of New York buzzing a couple of weeks ago, not this insanity which in essence pays off Peter to satisfy Paul or however that old saying goes.
So the Knicks need to get smart here — which means James Dolan needs to be locked away in the storage area of a cruise liner for the next couple of days. A report has quite literally just buzzed over the newswire that Carmelo Anthony still isn't interested in sitting down with Prokhorov and the Nets which means the New Yorkers may quickly be able to re-establish some leverage in the ongoing talks.
Let's hope that's the case, because the deal that's being talked about now is strictly the stuff of mad professors, which was all supposed to have gone away for good when former Knick Executive, Isiah Thomas, left the building.
Somehow though this proposed deal reeks of his still being there.
In Madison Square Garden, the one time basketball mecca that another born and bred Brooklynite, Donnie Walsh, is trying so hard to resurrect.
It should all be aligned, one Brooklyn boy to another for the greater good of the entire Knick Universe. The moment is now. The question is will sanity reign, or will the New York Knicks fall back on an old habit of shooting themselves square in the head.
That's it for tonight,