NBA Trade Deadline: Carmelo Anthony and Biggest Impact Players on New Teams
With the trade deadline now behind us, it's time to take a further look at the biggest deals that went down.
There was plenty of wheelin' and dealin' in the last couple of days before the deadline, with Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups going to the New York Knicks, Deron Williams heading to the New Jersey Nets and the Los Angeles Clippers swapping Baron Davis for Mo Williams.
And most of these new look squads either have played only one game together or have yet to step on the court as teammates.
So though there's still a lot to be determined down the road, it's never too early to examine what players will have the biggest impacts on their new teams.
Honorable Mention: Baron Davis, Cleveland Cavaliers
Let's be honest: I'm not sure anything other than hitting the rewind button and "The Decision" never happening could change what's going in Cleveland.
All the Cavaliers did by trading for Baron Davis was add an overpriced, over-the-hill and overweight point guard who will be even less motivated in Cleveland than he was in Los Angeles.
Sure, he might drop 20 points and/or 10 assists every once in a while, but it's not going to help the Cavaliers win many ball games.
Davis will definitely have an impact in Cleveland. It just won't be a good one.
10. Mo Williams, Los Angeles Clippers
When the Clippers acquired Mo Williams earlier in the day, it wasn't an Earth-shattering move but a smart one nonetheless.
Not only did Los Angeles rid itself of a bad contract and a hothead in Baron Davis, but the team also added a younger point guard who's averaging a career-high 7.1 assists per game.
Yeah, Williams is averaging his lowest point total since the 2005-06 season, but he's not going to the Clippers to be the team's primary scorer.
At best, he's a third option behind Eric Gordon and Blake Griffin.
And who knows? Maybe Williams will make those guys even better if he continues to thrive in the assists category.
9. Chauncey Billups, New York Knicks
It's hard to love what was an essentially a swap of Chauncey Billups for Raymond Felton if you're a Knicks fan, but it's not easy to hate either.
New York would have liked to hold on to the younger, cheaper Felton, but Billups brings another veteran presence to the Knicks.
And it's not like he's some slouch either.
Billups averaged 16.5 points and 5.3 assists with the Nuggets prior to the trade, and his number of assists should only increase while playing alongside Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire.
8. Danilo Gallinari
When the Knicks-Nuggets trade went down, the one question I asked myself was, "What's the Nuggets starting lineup going to looking like?"
Realistically, Denver could choose to start either Danilo Gallinari or Wilson Chandler at the small forward position, since Gallinari's game is more suited to playing at the three.
But, either way, I see Gallinari playing a key role to Denver's success, as he can split time at power forward and small forward and either step into the starting lineup or be one of the league's best sixth men.
7. Kirk Hinrich, Atlanta Hawks
This was a smart move for Atlanta, as the Hawks got exactly what they needed with Kirk Hinrich: someone who can guard opposing point guards.
Mike Bibby, or any Hawks point guard for that matter, has played about as close to zero defense as you can get during his time in Atlanta, and Hinrich has quietly developed into one of the league's best defenders at that position.
Also, Hinrich can even step in and play shooting guard when necessary, while he's better than Bibby in just about every category except for shooting.
Though Hinrich isn't a sexy name or a big-time player, he could prove to be incredibly valuable to the Hawks as they look to stay on pace with Chicago, Miami, Boston and Orlando in the East.
6. Carl Landry, New Orleans Hornets
In a move that won't get near the publicity of most of the others on this list, the New Orleans Hornets traded reserve shooting guard Marcus Thornton to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for forward Carl Landry.
Though Thornton had his bright spots in New Orleans, he often fell in and out of the rotation there, and it was clear he would be used as trade bait for frontcourt help.
And that's exactly what the Hornets are getting with Landry, who should provide the team with another big body and an excellent backup to David West at the power forward position.
Landry could start on several teams in the league, so his addition to a less than stellar New Orleans bench should do wonders for the Hornets' playoff positioning.
5. Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic, Boston Celtics
In the last deal before the deadline, the Boston Celtics shipped Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic.
The deal is huge for both teams, as it's essentially a swap of centers with similar production. Krstic is averaging 7.6 points and 4.4 rebounds this season while Perkins is averaging 7.3 points and 8.1 rebounds (though his numbers may be inflated because he's played just 12 games this season).
The real difference in this trade, however, is the swap of Robinson for Green.
Through Robinson's quite the entertainer, he averages just 7.1 points and 1.9 assists per game this season. Green, on the other hand, should provide a nice lift to the Celtics, as the fourth-year player is averaging 15.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game and could fill the void left by the Marquis Daniels injury.
Green will likely see time at both the small and power forward position and play a pivotal role as the Boston's sixth man.
4. Raymond Felton, Denver Nuggets
Raymond Felton's breakout season in New York was cut short when he was traded to Denver as part of the Melo deal, which came as a bit of a surprise to me.
It seemed like the Nuggets wanted to go full steam ahead with Ty Lawson at point guard, but now Felton should take over as the team's starter.
His career-best production should continue in Denver, as, like the Knicks, the Nuggets play an up-tempo style that results in a whole lot of scoring.
I'd expect Felton to play similarly to how he has been in New York this season, like a top-10 point guard.
3. Wilson Chandler, Denver Nuggets
Replacing Carmelo Anthony's production in Denver is simply impossible—it can't be done.
But if you're going to at least try to do it, then there are certainly worse choices than Wilson Chandler.
At 23-years-old, he has a ton of upside, and he proved to be like a mini-Melo in New York.
What I mean by that is that Chandler can score (16.4 points per game), and he can rebound (5.9 per game).
It would be crazy to say that he will replicate Melo's success in Denver, but I'd expect him to quickly take over as one of Denver's go-to guys.
2. Deron Williams, New Jersey Nets
Deron Williams has been criticized lately after reports surfaced that the All-Star point guard played a key role in Jerry Sloan's exit from Utah.
But no matter what you want to say about his character, there's no denying that Williams can flat out ball.
He's one of just six players since the NBA-ABA merger (1975-76) to average at least 17 points and nine assists in each of his first six seasons, and he's having a career year so far in 2010-11, averaging 21.3 points, 9.7 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game.
Despite the lightning fast rise of Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook, you could still make a case for Williams being the best all-around point guard in the NBA.
1. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
This one's a no-brainer.
Of the 30 NBA teams only two of them have two players who started in this year's All-Star Game, the Miami Heat (LeBron James and Dwyane Wade) and now the New York Knicks (Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire).
The Knicks have locked in two franchise players for the foreseeable future, including Anthony, who is one of the NBA's premiere scorers and still one of its top seven or eight players.
He won't bring much defense to New York, but what he has taken with him to the Big Apple is rebounding, scoring and, perhaps most importantly, excitement.