Carmelo Anthony Rumors: New York, New Jersey, Denver...Europe?
As the various news outlets compete in a never-ending duel of bylines, the truth of the matter is that we've all grown weary over the whole sad affair.
Even if Carmelo Anthony ultimately ends up in New York, the Knicks are not going to win the NBA Championship. The pieces necessary to acquire him would virtually gut the team, leaving only Amar'e Stoudemire and Mr. Anthony. Sure, they'll make the playoffs, and maybe even win a series depending on their first round opponent. But does anyone realistically believe the Knicks could beat Boston, Miami or even Chicago in a seven-game series? I hope not.
It's a sad referendum on the state of basketball in New York that the fans are clamoring for his acquisition and the chance at maybe advancing past the first round! Is this the bar that the great fans of New York have set for themselves? In fact, couldn't you reasonably argue that the Knicks are going to make the playoffs without him and maybe even get to the second round? How much better are they really going to be? They're still going to have to face Boston, Miami, Chicago and Orlando (and that's just in the East).
My point is that there has been a deluge of media attention over an outcome that won't affect the future of the Knicks this season one way or another. The counter-argument of course is that by landing Carmelo, you could attract other stars or role players to New York. There's been talk of making a run at Chris Paul or Dwight Howard in 2012. Really?
Will the Knicks advance past the second round with Melo?
Once the new CBA has been finalized, it's possible they won't have the money to acquire another max player. With all of their trade chips gone (first round picks to clear room for LeBron, and the first round pick they'll get for Anthony Randolph) gone to acquire Melo, they can't even build for the future.
Let's be realistic. The Heat, after struggling early on, are on pace to win over 60 games. Don't think that Pat Riley didn't realize what didn't work this year, and won't look to make some small moves over the summer in order to tighten up areas like the point guard position.
The idea that Carmelo is somehow going to save New York, after losing out on LeBron, just doesn't hold water. This is the model the Wilpon's used in ruining the Mets. We can't get the big superstar, so let's just splash a ton of resources on the next best guy. That's a recipe for disaster.
Melo is a fantastic player, but he won't make the type of impact LeBron would have made. Not even close. Amar'e has been amazing, and even he hasn't made the type of impact that LeBron would have made. Together, could they bring something special to New York? Sure. The question is...when?
Knicks fans have waited nearly a decade for a return to respectability. Now they have it, and it seems like the franchise is grasping at anything that will make Madison Square Garden the center of the universe. What additional moves could the Knicks pull off, in addition to getting Melo, that would give them a realistic shot at competing with the Celtics, Magic, Heat, and Bulls? Only time will tell.
In the meantime, the potential for a lockout this summer is very real. David Stern said recently that he wouldn't prevent players, who are under contract with an NBA team, to play in Europe should a lockout become a reality. Kobe has already said he would like play in Italy where he grew up. He and Melo are very close. Could he convince Melo to play overseas as well? That remains to be seen.
The media has spent so much time focusing on Melo that no one is talking about what happens when he gets wherever he is going. The Nets would have to give up so much to acquire him that they'll still stink once they get him. I already discussed the Knicks scenario above. It's cause and effect. If there is no effect (i.e. improvement in the Knicks or Nets) then who cares about the cause (whether or not he gets traded)?
I have one random thought in closing. The Bulls have been playing fantastic all season as Derrick Rose is making a strong case for MVP. He's done this with Joakim Noah hurt and Carlos Boozer also nursing some injuries. Would the Bulls be willing to trade Joakim Noah to acquire Melo? They'd still have a beast in the post in Boozer, and could play small with Taj Gibson, who has proven to be a very good player. If nothing gets done by the trade deadline, I think it's something the Bulls should consider.
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