Life After Carmelo Anthony: 10 Moves For New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets
The deal for Carmelo Anthony is finally completed and the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets can now put it behind them and start looking toward the future.
For the Knicks the future could be the present. Nobody is sure how long it will take Amare Stoudemire and his new counterpart to mesh in the Big Apple.
Even the Nuggets may still have high hopes about making a playoff run with the new pieces they have in place. However both sides know that they are still several significant moves away from becoming a title contender.
Here are the next ten moves for the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets if either wants to become a legitimate championship threat.
10. Denver Nuggets: Mesh As a Unit
Many people might think the Nuggets were calling it quits on their season when they dealt Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups.
However, Denver obtained many usable pieces and already has a point guard in place with Ty Lawson. If Gallinari, Felton, Mozgov, and Chandler prove to be a fit in Denver then they could make some noise of their own.
The Nuggets currently hold the seventh seed in the Western Conference, but there is little margin for error. They hold just a two game lead over the eight and nine seeds.
9. New York Knicks: Mesh As a Unit
Many basketball minds believe it will be far too tough for the Knicks to form the necessary chemistry with just 28 games remaining on the regular season schedule.
However, they currently look poised to make a playoff appearance so the Knicks will do everything in their power to come together as a team.
Their bench is depleted and they lack the necessary size to compete with some of the Eastern Conference powers, such as Boston and Orlando.
Nonetheless this is an opportunity for Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony to show the rest of the NBA the bright future of the New York Knicks.
8. New York Knicks: Obtain a Center
Donnie Walsh is already on record stating that the Knicks are not done making moves. He placed a considerable amount of attention on finding a true center for this team so that Stoudemire can play the four.
Following the Anthony trade the Knicks are severely depleted in the front court. As a result life long bench player Ronny Turiaf looks set to become the new starting center in New York.
If the Knicks want any hope at making a deep playoff run this season then they need to have more of a force down low. Since they do not have many pieces to move New York may be more likely to gain a piece following a buy out.
One possibly acquisition could be Marcus Camby. He is said to be considering retirement if he is dealt to a non-contender, which could mean the team would buy out his contract.
This is based solely off speculation, but Yao Ming's name may also be rumored to wind up in the Big Apple.
7. New York Knicks: Rebuild The Bench
The Knicks have completely decimated their bench following the blockbuster deal for Anthony. Obviously the trade was well worth it, but the Knicks need to add some depth to compete in the playoffs.
When starters need a break the Knicks need a unit they can go to that can keep them in ball games and stay away from any major deficits.
This may need to be done through free agency following the season. By that time players will definitely be willing to come to New York to be a part of the next great power in the NBA.
Some names the Knicks may target could include Troy Murphy, Shane Battier and James Posey.
6. Denver Nuggets: Trade Raymond Felton
The Nuggets were allegedly in discussion with the New Jersey Nets to trade away some of the pieces they were obtaining in the Anthony trade.
One of those pieces was the former North Carolina point guard. Felton was having an excellent season in D'Antoni's system averaging nine assists per game.
However, part of the reason the Nuggets were willing to include Billups in the deal to begin with is due to the promising play of second year point guard Ty Lawson.
Lawson brings speed and energy to the floor each and ever night and has shown the Nuggets they need to give him a shot as their long term point guard.
5. Denver Nuggets: Re-Sign Nene Hilario
There was some speculation that Denver was looking to trade Nene, who is in the final year of his contract. However recent developments show that he is far more likely to sign him to an extension.
Nene is a reliable big man who shoots an excellent percentage from the field and from the charity stripe. More importantly the Nuggets need somebody to build around.
Admittedly Nene might not be the number one option on any legitimate Western Conference power. However, once other players start to fall into place in Denver then they will be lucky to have a dependable big man.
Re-signing Nene Hilario should be one of the top priorities for the current Nuggets front office.
4. New York Knicks: Committment to Defense
Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony are undoubtedly one of the best scoring duos in the NBA. However, of those duos they might be one of the worst defensively.
On top of that Mike D'Antoni's system focuses on scoring the basketball and playing with pace. This does not seem to be a perfect fit for a team whose goal is to win an NBA Championship.
In order to be a playoff contender the Knicks will have to be able to defend. Consider how many teams without a commitment to defense have really won a title.
This is not to say that the Knicks need to transform to a defensive oriented team overnight. However, they must at least be willing to defend and come up with stops in big situations.
The Knicks will need a perimeter defender as well as a down low presence before they have a chance to stop any NBA powerhouses.
3. Denver Nuggets: Find Next Superstar
Obviously this is a lot easier said then done. However in the NBA today no team wins a championship without a true superstar.
Since Carmelo Anthony failed to be the guy to lead the Nuggets to a title they will need to go in another direction. Whether this is in a trade, free agency, or the draft remains to be seen.
However the Nuggets need to create a buzz and they need a new face to the franchise.
If things do not go well for the remainder of the season in Denver then they will have plenty of pieces available to make moves this off-season.
2. New York Knicks: Sign Deron Williams
Williams has clearly shown that he is not completely sold on staying in Utah.
He also is the best consolation prize that any team could possibly ask for. He is a cornerstone of any franchise and would be the perfect facilitator for the current scoring duo in New York.
His deal is not up until after next season so this will be a waiting game. However, the Knicks will have the chance to sign two point guards who could completely alter their future.
One could make the argument that Williams is actually the best point guard in the entire NBA.
Personally, he ranks slightly behind the player number one on the list. Plus there are less ties that show Williams in New York as an imminent move.
1. New York Knicks: Sign Chris Paul
Chris Paul will not be a free agent until after the 2012 season, but he still is the best move awaiting New York in the future.
CP3 has led the league twice in assists and twice in steals during his five year career. He also appears to want out of New Orleans.
In fact last summer Paul allegedly made a toast at Carmelo Anthony's wedding stating that he would join Stoudemire and Anthony in New York to create the next big three in the NBA.
Now the only missing piece is Paul. Since the Knicks have very little attractive pieces to trade they may have to wait and sign Paul in free agency.
That being said if the Knicks do bring Chris Paul on-board then the buzz in the Big Apple were certainly be justified.
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