The New York Knicks want Carmelo Anthony, but not for the price the Denver Nuggets are asking.
Tuesday there was a reported deal between the Knicks and Nuggets that the New York front office turned down.
We have heard all of the scenarios regarding Carmelo Anthony's departure from Denver, but now there is growing sentiment that the Nuggets may actually keep their franchise star with or without the contract extension instead of making a mediocre deal.
The Nuggets reportedly wanted Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, another starter (Fields, Chandler or Mozgov) Eddy Curry's contract (which is unfortunately accompanied with is body) and at least one first-round pick for Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups.
The Knicks' Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni said turned that down citing too much in return for the All-Star forward.
Here are five reasons the Knicks made the right move.
It is no secret that the Carmelo Anthony wants to play for the Knicks and he can simply wait until for the summer, as a free agent, to come to New York all by himself.
The "steep" trade demands of the Nuggets could have been a bargaining ploy to open the Knicks up to trading Gallinari and/or Wilson and Fields, because we obviously know the Nuggets want a lot and they wanted to see how desperate the slumping Knicks are.
Denver's over-the-top offer now sets a bar where the Knicks won't go and what the Nuggets want.
The offer can only come down closer to what the Knicks want at this stage. Even though there are reports that the Nuggets may actually consider keeping Melo even without an extension, the threat of truly losing him for nothing should work in the Knicks' favor.
The two sides are supposed to meet face-to-face over All-Star Weekend and this is a good thing for the New York office.
It has been a long, long wait for Knick fans to see a relevant basketball team on the court in New York again. If the man pictured here was still in power, there is a good chance Carmelo would be donning a Knick jersey tomorrow.
Donnie Walsh has dome some remarkable things to get the Knicks actual flexibility to sign players like Raymond Felton and Amar'e Stoudemire and to even be in the conversation for Carmelo Anthony.
The man pictured here destroyed the franchise, and this was a solid stance taken by Knicks brass to show that it is not like those dark days anymore.
New York has been patient and while many of us are desperate to see a playoff caliber/contending team back in the Garden, we will not allow the ghost of the man pictured here come back into our lives and cause a single nightmare beyond the 1,579 he already has.
Walsh and D'Antoni were right to say no at this stage.
This was one of the more intriguing additions to the trade as of late.
Chauncey Billups is a great veteran point guard. He has a year left on his contract, averages 16 points and five assists per game and has played in 139 career postseason contests.
Felton started the year like an All-Star but has since hit "the wall." He averages 17 points and nine assists per game and has played in four career postseason contests.
While Billups still has a few valuable years left on his legs, Felton is only 26 and still progressing in the grand scheme of things.
Billups shoots the three-ball more consistently and would bring a wealth of playoff experience to the table. But do we really consider the Knicks a contender in the East right away with Amar'e, Melo and Billups?
Certainly they will be good; they may win a playoff series, but they would still be hard-pressed to beat the Miami Heat or Orlando Magic, let alone even challenge the Boston Celtics this season.
Then we move forward into a new year with a new CBA. Things could change all over again and we still do not know what to expect from Chris Paul or Deron Williams down the line.
At least with Felton the Knicks have the potential long term answer if they choose to re-sign him.
If the Knicks send Gallinari, Felton, Fields/Wilson/Mozgov and Curry's body away as well as Anthony Randolph for a first-round draft pick, the Knicks will have little to nothing left behind their starters.
The object of bringing in Carmelo is to elevate the Knicks roster to the next level, not completely blow it up and make it a three-man show.
New York started slow, then excelled and has now evened out around a .500 team and unfortunately that is exactly what they are at the moment.
The have good spurts and they have bad spurts. When they shoot well they will win, and when they don't they will lose; their lack of defense will simply never win them a basketball game.
The roster has pieces that are much more valuable to the Knicks' system, such as Shawne Williams and Billy Walker, but they cannot be counted on to fill quality minutes at the expense of so many players.
This truly the first "reported" offer that hit the wires from Denver's end.
The Nuggets knew the Knicks were not going to take this offer, but it was important for them to "try" to assert some level of dominance in the situation.
New York would only have accepted this if the man in slide two (see "We Are Not the Same Old Knicks," if you do not remember) was still running the show.
Denver is likely to come down from this lofty perch because they know Melo will likely walk away in the offseason, whether to New York or somewhere else.
The game of "chicken" is truly at hand in this regard. While the Nuggets do reserve the right to trade Carmelo anywhere (even as a rental player to a team like Dallas), they stand to gain very little from dealing with anyone other than the Knicks or Nets (they will be back at some point) this year.
New York and Denver could play the ultimate game of chicken and wait until free agency, but both know it may be better served to get the deal done at or before the deadline.
Offers will become realistic when the two meet face to face during All-Star weekend.