Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire exchange words at the All Star Game, not knowing that they would become teammates a few days later.
It's official: Carmelo Anthony's wish has been granted. He is now a member of the New York Knicks.
Before the deal was finalized, the sports world was buzzing with how this trade would transform the Knicks into instant title contenders, but I'm here to tell you why the Knicks really aren't too much better off with Carmelo.
The Knicks traded away underrated point guard Raymond Felton along with three other key players in Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari and Timofey Mozgov. Though initially one might think that gaining a superstar like Carmelo Anthony outweighs this loss, when you delve deeper there are a few reasons why it may not work out.
First, team chemistry will be completely ruined. Though Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo are said to be friends already, they don't have a huge amount of experience playing together. The coaches will have to adjust the playbook to fit Carmelo's incredible skill set while trying to keep Amare equally involved.
This trade scrapped most of the team's core players, whose importance will become even more obvious in upcoming games.
Danilo Gallinari, though not a producer of fantastic stats, was a key cog for the Knicks as he provided them with a consistent threat from outside. He was averaging nearly 16 points and 1.7 three-pointers per game this season.
Are the Knicks one of the four best teams in the East?
As the Knicks' (former) sixth man and occasional starter, Wilson Chandler is in the midst of the best season of his career. In his starts he has averaged just over 18 points and nearly six rebounds per game.
Though not a huge loss, Timofey Mozgov was starting at center for the Knicks at the time of the trade and was a solid rotational player.
Sadly, he's better known for getting thrown down on by Slam Dunk Contest Champion Blake Griffin than for his play.
Chauncey Billups is also largely a downgrade from Raymond Felton, as the Knicks go from a young rising star to an elder statesman of the game. Statistically, this year has been one of Billups' weaker seasons, while Felton arguably has an All-Star worthy performance thus far despite being snubbed.
The other major question is how the Knicks fill out their new lineup. They lost their starting point guard, small forward, center and best bench player. All of these spots are easy to fill on the starting lineup, as Billups slides in at point guard, Carmelo at small forward, and backup Ronny Turiaf at starting center.
The issue will then become bench scoring, as the Knicks will be hard-pressed to find someone to fill Wilson Chandler's large shoes. With the increased minutes they'll be getting, key role players Toney Douglas and Shawne Williams should see increased scoring outputs, though they won't be able to make up for Chandler's loss.
Of course, the obvious gain for the Knicks is a second superstar in Carmelo Anthony, but did they lose too many key parts in the trade?
We shall see, as the second half of the NBA season unfolds with the new-look New York Knicks trying to gain control of a strong Eastern Conference.
Personally, I think we should be prepared to see a Knicks team that will get off to a slow start and steadily improve but never really challenge the Bulls, Celtics, Heat and Magic for the top four spots in the East.