Carmelo Anthony Trade: New Jersey Nets Owner Prokhorov Did Some Genius Work Here

Ryan ComstockCorrespondent IFebruary 22, 2011

NEW YORK - MAY 19:  New Jersey Nets Owner Mikhail Prokhorov addresses the media during a press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel on May 19, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

In case you're reading this and don't know what just went down, I'll fill you in. Carmelo Anthony has officially been traded to the New York Knicks, ending the season-long speculation that has probably taken years off the lives of everyone involved.

The details of the trade are as follows: Along with Anthony, the Knicks will get Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman.

In exchange, Denver receives Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, the Knicks' 2014 first-round draft pick, the Warriors' 2012 second-round pick, the Warriors' 2013 second-round pick and $3 million in cash—a pretty good swap for an All-Star, a point guard who's near the end and three guys who hardly even played.

By now you're wondering, "The headline said something about the New Jersey Nets. How exactly do they fit into all of this? They didn't get the guy they wanted."

While it is true that the Nets lost out on getting Carmelo, they still did some things to help their cause in this trade.

Don't believe for a second that Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorv didn't have a hand in how much the Knicks had to give up.

It's been a foregone conclusion for much of the season that Anthony would go to New York, as he's made it very clear for the past several months that his main desire was to call Madison Square Garden home. The Nets never really had a shot at getting him, and when this became abundantly clear, Prokhorov called off the hunt.

That was until Denver apparently called the Nets front-office to reengage in talks. This time around, Prokhorov was said to be the lead negotiator, and I have to believe he and members of the Nuggets management team worked together to make the Knicks send away so many assets.

Prokhorov knew full well that Anthony was not going to play for his team, yet the Nets and Nuggets reached an agreement that involved New Jersey giving up Devin Harris, Derrick Favors and four first-round draft picks among other pieces.

This forced the Knicks to up their offer to include three starters and one guy (Chandler) who saw heavy minutes off the bench. This is while Denver and New Jersey have apparently been working on a deal that would send Felton and possibly Mozgov and Chandler to the Nets pending the completion of the Anthony trade.

And we're supposed to believe there wasn't some behind-the-scenes maneuvering going on?

This was an ingenious bit of business strategy by Prokhorov. He lost out on the prize he was after, but still managed to damage a division and soon-to-be intra-city rival.

The supposed deal the Nets and Nuggets had in place was so absurd that it could not have been true. Both parties knew there was no chance of it happening, so both were simply seeking to gain some leverage in a situation where everyone already knew the eventual outcome.

Of course, the Knicks are still in pretty good shape. They're not quite as well off as they would have been had the Nets and Nuggets not re-opened "negotiations" however, and Prokhorov did everything he could to make New York pay a hefty price while also ensuring his squad would have a chance to be a winner in the near future.

New Jersey may not be making any noise this season, but with Prokhorov running the show, Nets fans can rest assured the team has a good idea of how to get to where it wants to be.

It's a lot better than having to wonder if Isiah Thomas is actually the one calling the shots.