After months and months of speculation, the Carmelo Anthony saga is finally over and the New York-native is heading to the Big Apple. In a blockbuster, 12-player, three-team trade, Carmelo finally got his wish granted and will team up with Amar'e Stoudemire in New York.
The Knicks had to relinquish a hefty amount of their core in order to get the hometown superstar, but mission accomplished and Anthony will be wearing a Knicks uniform tomorrow against the Bucks.
New York parted with Danillo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov and Anthony Randolph, as well as a first round draft pick and $3 million in cash. Oh, and how could I forget Eddy Curry. Yes, the Knicks were finally able to get rid of Curry's useless contract after nearly three years of inactivity.
Although spirits are extremely high in New York right now with fans ecstatic about landing Carmelo, the fact still remains that the Knicks had to gut a large portion of their roster in order to acquire Anthony. Outside of the starting lineup, there aren't many players who can contribute on this team.
New York gave up 55.5 points of scoring in the deal, which is just under 50 percent of their offense. While they got a player than can be the best person on the floor most nights, they still gambled in relinquishing the majority of their depth and assets to acquire functional players in the future.
So, that means the Knicks will still need to make additional moves in order to fill out their roster. Star point guards Chris Paul and Deron Williams will be free agents soon and are at the top of the Knicks wish list as they begin to create their own version of a "Big Three."
Here is a rank of the next possible moves the Knicks can make both this season and in the future to eventually build a championship-contending team.
Troy Murphy's name has come up in a number of deals, especially during the Carmelo sweepstakes. If the Nets don't make a move before the trade deadline, they may end up buying out Murphy's contract.
Since the Knicks traded Timofey Mozgov, they have a lack of depth on their frontline. Murphy can still be a solid contributor and can come off the bench to replace Ronny Turiaf. The 6'1" veteran can play both power forward and center and could come in handy for the Knicks.
The Knicks bench is very thin, at least for this season, and they will need additional big men. The Bobcats are struggling this year and could be open to getting rid of Mohammed's contract. While the Knicks don't have many trade chips left, they could go after Nazr in the offseason.
He would at least provide a solid veteran presence off the bench.
The Nuggets are clearly rebuilding for the future after getting rid of their two best players.
With all the attention that has been focused on Carmelo this season, Nene Hilario has felt very slighted. He wants a contract extension and doesn't feel respected by the Nuggets.
Now with the Nuggets in a rebuilding stage, he could demand a trade. The Knicks would have to get creative in a deal with Denver, but maybe a package of Turiaf or Fields with future considerations.
If not, Nene is a free agent at the end of the season and the Knicks should make a play for him. He is an excellent big man that would give New York an excellent frontcourt and would be a perfect center in the Knicks system
Earl Barron is currently unemployed and the Knicks have already used Barron once before. He performed well during his last time with the Knicks, averaging a double-double (11.7 points and 11 rebounds per game).
He would be a solid option as a backup temporary center for the remainder of the season and if he succeeds, the Knicks could utilize him as a role player next season when they are more competitive.
Shane Battier's expiring contract makes a perfect trade chip. The Rockets have been mentioned in several deals and are heading towards a rebuilding phase.
Houston probably has better suitors than New York, but the Knicks might be able to offer something attractive. If not, Battier will be a free agent at the end of the season.
The Knicks, who are one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA, could really use a defensive-minded veteran like Battier. He brings a lot of experience, leadership and fundamentals and would be a great role player for a contending team.
CP3 is has a player option, in which he can opt out of his contract after the 2012 season. However, the trade rumors have surrounded Paul since last season when Darren Collison made a major impact in Paul's injury absence.
Rumors intensified at Carmelo's wedding last year when CP3 made comments of New York creating their own Big Three with himself, Stoudemire and Anthony.
The Hornets may face a similar situation as the Knicks in that they may be forced to trade Paul instead of risking losing him for nothing.
With Billups near the end of his career, the Knicks will need a long term solution at point guard and CP3 is at the top of their wish list.
Although all the drama this season has surrounded Anthony, Deron Williams has quietly moved into the picture as the next big star to leave his team.
D-Will essentially caused legendary coach Jerry Sloan to step down after the two had trouble getting along this season and the Jazz appear to be reeling. In a highly competitive Western Conference, the Jazz will not have what it takes to be title contenders in the near future. They are in trouble of missing the postseason entirely this year.
Williams appears to be growing tired in Utah and has already started grumbling about the direction of the franchise. It appears he will be on his way out of Utah when his contract his up.
If the Knicks don't acquire their first option in Paul, Deron Williams is not too shabby of a second option. Williams is a top three point guard in the league and would form a very dangerous trio alongside Melo and Stoudemire.
As of right now, the Knicks truly are a three-man team. While plenty of people criticized Miami for being a team with only three players and having no depth, they still surrounded their team nicely with role players such as Mike Miller, Udonis Haslem and Eddie House.
As it stands now, the Knicks best bench option is, um, Toney Douglas? Shawne Williams?
You get the point. There is no hiding that the Knicks are far from a championship contender. They still have a lot of work to do and need to fill out their bench with solid role players. Because once Stoudemire, Anthony and Billups leave the floor, the Knicks don't have many weapons to use.