We've heard tons of chatter concerning Carmelo Anthony's possible exodus from Colorado's Rocky Mountains.
It seems as though he's ready to head back to the east coast and there are two teams involved an intense race to bring him on board.
The New Jersey Nets and New York Knicks are probably the only two teams left in the league who have a shot at acquiring Denver's superstar.
Recently, rumors have surfaced around another Western Conference all-star. Deron Williams has been one of the best point guards in the league over the last few years and he may want off the Rockies as well.
If New York ends up winning the Melo sweepstakes, I think there is a way they can pick up D-Will as well. Those two along with Amare Stoudemire would give the Knicks the league's best offensive trio.
It may be a stretch, but here's how I think they can do it...
New York Gets: Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups
Denver Gets: Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Eddy Curry, Andy Rautins and a future draft pick
The Knicks latest offer has them giving Denver an option between Landry Fields and Danilo Gallinari. If the Nuggets choose this offer over New Jersey's, I see them opting for Gallo.
He has a lot of upside and fills a more immediate need for Denver than Fields does.
Andy Rautins is thrown into the deal to make the salaries match.
The New Jersey Nets aren't out of the running yet, but many sources have New York leading the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes.
This is where Carmelo wants to play and he has some leverage in this process. We all know that the Nets will not pull the trigger on a deal for Anthony if he does not sign an extension with the team.
Everyone knows he'll sign one with the Knicks—that puts New York in a great position.
If they do acquire Melo in this deal, they'll be in pretty good shape. However, I think they can get even better before the trade deadline passes.
The Utah Jazz are in a state of turmoil (not something we've heard too often in the last 23 years). Jerry Sloan's old-school style and philosophy have been tossed out and things have gone from bad to worse.
The team is 0-3 under interim head coach Tyrone Corbin and rumors are swirling all around star point guard Deron Williams.
A lot of people are blaming Williams (at least in part) for Sloan's departure. He's distanced himself from many Utah fans and you have to wonder how much longer he'll want to play for this team.
Even before the turmoil of this season, there were quiet grumblings about Williams possibly wanting to move on to a bigger market soon. Recent events have served to increase the volume of such talk.
Plenty of teams will be calling about the availability of this all-star guard and if the Knicks acquire Melo and Chauncey Billups, they should be one of those teams on the phone.
New York Gets: Deron Williams and Luke Babbitt
Utah Gets: Chauncey Billups, Landry Fields and a first-round pick from Portland
Portland Gets: Anthony Randolph
If Utah is ready to deal Williams, this would be a great offer for them. Chauncey Billups would be a downgrade from D-Will, but not a huge one.
He's a better leader, a better outside shooter and has significantly more experience.
Acquiring Landry Fields would be big for Utah as well (they need a shooting guard). Raja Bell has not made up for the loss of Wesley Matthews and C.J. Miles' game is erratic.
Fields has had a fantastic rookie year to this point. He's already one of the best rebounding guards in the NBA and he's shown the ability to score as well.
As for Portland, they've been rumored to have interest in Anthony Randolph for a while now. Because they're in the midst of another injury-plagued season, they are in desperate need of some size.
Randolph has enough length and athleticism to play power forward or center. He and LaMarcus Aldridge could combine to form a dangerous (and young) frontcourt duo.
These two trades would pretty much gut New York's current roster. Would they be worth it? Well, in a couple of words, of course!
Having Deron Williams, Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire in the same starting lineup would be ridiculous (at least offensively).
Williams has been one of the best distributors in the league over the last few years and he's never played with a scorer as good as Anthony or Stoudemire.
In D'Antoni's system and alongside those two forwards, Williams could average 12 or 13 dimes per game or the rest of this season.
Stoudemire and Anthony would both get more openings than they currently enjoy. No opposing defense could focus on one of them over the other.
They could both average nearly 30 points a game.
But a team needs more than three players, right?
New York would probably have to sign a couple veteran minimum salary players to have a full roster, but I think there would be a couple guys already on the roster who could start with the Big Apple Trio.
Kelenna Azubuike is out right now, but reports have him coming back soon. He's averaged over 10 points per game in his four NBA seasons (and over 14 a game in his last two years).
While they wait for him to get back from injury, Roger Mason can start in the meantime. Just a couple years ago, he averaged 12 points a game in 71 starts for the Spurs.
Ronny Turiaf has already started a bit for New York this year and he could be plugged back into that starting center position.
Maybe not immediately, but yes. A team with Deron Williams, Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire would be better than the current Miami Heat.
The individual games of what could be New York's big three would compliment each other very well. The styles of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade often clash (although less frequently since LeBron has asserted himself as the true alpha dog of the team).
If you look at it in terms of matchups, you have to give the edge to New York.
|Deron Williams||Mario Chalmers||NY|
|Kelenna Azubuike||Dwyane Wade||MIA|
|Carmelo Anthony||LeBron James||MIA|
|Amare Stoudemire||Chris Bosh||NY|
That table doesn't account for the team's benches because like I said before, New York would likely pick up a couple veteran free agents. Once they did that, an accurate comparison of the benches would be possible.
Right off the bat, Miami would probably be a bit better because they've had a lot more time together. But, as early as the 2011 Playoffs, the Knicks could become Eastern Conference favorites.
So, if you're a Knicks fan: here's hoping James Doland and Donnie Walsh stumble upon this article by some miracle!