Carmelo Anthony Trade: Are the Knicks Now a Legitimate Threat In the East?

Ryan RosenburgCorrespondent IFebruary 21, 2011

LAS VEGAS - SEPTEMBER 1:  Amare Stoudemire #12 and Carmelo Anthony #15 of the USA laugh as they watch from the bench during the FIBA Americas Championship 2007 Semifinal game at the Thomas & Mack Center September 1, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

After prolonged speculation drawn out over the entirety of this season, Carmelo Anthony is finally leaving Denver.

It has been reported that a trade has been agreed between the Nuggets and the New York Knicks that will send Anthony along with Chauncey Billups and others to Madison Square Garden. 

In exchange, the Nuggets receive Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, a couple other guys, their own first-round pick in 2014, Golden State's second-round picks in 2012 and 2013, $3 million in cash and a partridge in a pear tree.

Oh, and Anthony Randolph will somehow end up in Minnesota.

It is likely that Billups will seek a contract buyout, but, for the time being, the tripod of Anthony, Billups, and Stoudemire is one that undoubtedly frightens the rest of the Eastern Conference.

With this monster acquisition, the Knicks have two players in the top six in scoring in the entire NBA and a former NBA Finals MVP in Chauncey Billups. 

Although the Knicks gave up many key parts that they had spent years collecting, they are clearly following a league-wide trend in combining more than one of the league's true "superstar" players, a club to which both Amar'e and 'Melo belong.

Will the move prove to be one which goes down in Knicks history as the transaction that turned the team into a dominant force for years to come, or a squandered attempt at a copycat style that ends in failure and aggravation?

It's clear that Carmelo wanted to go to New York all along, so he should have no reason to do anything but come in, work hard, and win basketball games. 

While it's hard to imagine this year's team pulling together quickly enough to make a deep run into the playoffs among more established teams, this is clearly a move with the future in mind and gives them a very strong platform to build around.

Will Carmelo come in and take over the scoring reigns, or will Amar'e remain the offensive leader?  These are the typical questions that come up in a situation such as this. A situation which we are becoming more and more familiar with.

All in all, the Knicks know they have made a trade that will render the team different forever, and they are prepared to deal with whatever consequences may come with that.