There are of course two reactions to Carmelo Anthony from pundits and Knicks' fans: some people love it, others hate it.
All I keep hearing from the critics is how the Knicks "fleeced" their roster to acquire a player they could have acquired in the offseason by simply offering him a huge contract.
However, the Knicks were in no position to take the risk of missing out on Carmelo when the free agent class of 2011 hit the streets.
Anthony was going to get traded at this deadline. The Nuggets couldn't risk losing the superstar without any kind of compensation.
If the Knicks balked, he may have ended up in New Jersey, and who knows, maybe he is convinced to stay there by Prokherov, Jay Z, the bright lights of Brooklyn and the young nucleus of players New Jersey has.
Perhaps a disenchanted 'Melo thinks to himself, You know what? Maybe I should just stay in Colorado.
The Knicks could not risk this scenario. For once, the Knicks needed control over their offseason. This trade gives them that control.
I keep hearing that if the Knicks were really the only team Anthony wanted to sign with, why did the Knicks have to surrender so much talent?
I have three answers to that critique.
First, they really did not surrender that much talent. The way the media made it sound, the Knicks were this juggernaut of success that was gutting its talent.
Hey, I love the way the Knicks are playing, but seriously, this is a 28-26 team that is inconsistent and relies heavily on Amar'e Stoudemire to beat double teams in the fourth quarter to win games.
Secondly, the players the Knicks gave up were classic "tweeners." They are not tweeners in the sense they had no position, but tweeners in the sense they weren't quite role players and weren't quite stars.
Ray Felton is having his career season. He is putting up numbers like what Stephon Marbury put up in the prime of his career: 19 ppg and 9 apg—superstar numbers.
They are the result of a system that sees the point guard dominate the ball on pick and rolls and fast breaks.
Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler are players who show flashes of brilliance but are too inconsistent to be stars. They are the type of players with general managers fall in love with and overpay to acquire.
Sound familiar Knicks fans?
Clarence Weatherspoon, Howard Eisley, the aforementioned Marbury, Eddy Curry, if you want to go back as far as Glen Rice, etc. etc. etc.
This is still a salary cap league, and these kind of players hamstring your franchise and keep you from getting stars like Amar'e and Carmelo which leads me to my last point.
All I keep hearing is the Knicks got Carmelo. Everyone is sleeping on Billups.
Billups is older. He is 34 years old and is in his 14th season from Colorado, but the dude can still flat out play.
Chauncey Billups is a superstar of this league. He hits, is willing to take big shots, and most importantly, he already has a rapport with Carmelo Anthony.
So the way I see it, the Knicks got rid of a bunch of potential headaches in players they weren't going to be able/would not be willing to re-sign anyway.
The Knicks have their own "big three" right now: Carmelo, Amar'e, and Chauncey.