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The Denver Nuggets had to trade Carmelo Anthony. If they did not, Carmelo would have signed with another team at the end of the season and the Nuggets would have nothing to show for it.
Instead, the Nuggets traded Anthony to the Knicks and got some really good players. Although the Nuggets would have liked Anthony to stay, they can at least move on from all of the drama and rebuild the team that they have.
Although Anthony made the Nuggets a contender, he did not win a NBA title for them and he has not won a NBA title for the Knicks yet, either.
With that said, it is way too early to say that the Knicks fleeced the Nuggets.
At this point, the Nuggets can say they fleeced the Knicks because they got three quality players out of them. If the Nuggets would have not made this deal, they might have gotten less from New Jersey or nothing at all if Carmelo stayed until the end of the season.