Carmelo Anthony Trade: Re-Evaluating the New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets Trade

Shane DePutronCorrespondent IMarch 24, 2011

Carmelo Anthony Trade: Re-Evaluating the New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets Trade

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    On February 22, 2011, the New York Knicks acquired All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets, along with veteran point guards Chauncey Billups and Anthony Carter and forwards Shelden Williams and Renaldo Balkman.

    In return, the Nuggets received point guard Raymond Felton, forwards Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari, rookie center Timofey Mozgov, two second-round draft picks (2012 and 2013) and a 2014 first-round pick.

    Rounding out the deal was the Minnesota Timberwolves, who sent Kosta Koufos to Denver, Corey Brewer to New York and received Eddy Curry and Anthony Randolph from the Knicks.

    Now, initially, this trade was viewed as a huge victory for the Knicks, since they were able to bring in another perennial All-Star, Anthony, to couple with Amar'e Stoudemire, as well as Billups, an established veteran at the point.

    Nevertheless, it was still recognized that they had to give up a lot in the deal.

    And while the Nuggets obviously received a lot of young talent, people generally believed that the team would enter somewhat of a rebuilding period, seeing as though they dealt away their two star players.

    However, things haven't exactly worked out as expected thus far.

    Therefore, the next two slides will examine the Knicks-Nuggets trade, focusing on what we now know in order to evaluate how beneficial the trade was to the two franchises.

New York Knicks

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    With the New York Knicks' 111-98 loss to the Orlando Magic, the team has now dropped four straight and seven of their last eight games.

    Moreover, they are now under .500 for the first time since November 27.

    And perhaps what's most troubling of all is that New York has only gone 7-10 since acquiring Carmelo Anthony.

    So, given that they traded away so many young players and have yet to experience any level of success, is it time for the Knicks to panic?

    Well, not exactly.

    First of all, Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari both have contracts expiring within the next two years, and therefore, it's unlikely that the team would have been able to re-sign both of them anyway.

    Furthermore, in swapping Raymond Felton for Chauncey Billups, New York will still have an opening at lead guard in 2012, when they will likely attempt to bring in an All-Star point such as Chris Paul or Deron Williams.

    And while the Knicks' struggles certainly look bad at first glance, one must recognize that they are still a team getting acclimated to playing together.

    And further prolonging this is the fact that, since joining New York, Billups has sat out six games due to injury, forcing the team to play without their starting point guard—arguably the most important position in the Knicks offense.

    Therefore, the jury is still out on whether or not this trade was a success for New York.

    If they can turn things around by the playoffs and make a postseason run, then that's great and the trade certainly will have worked out for them.

    And if it takes them until next season to get it together, then that's fine, too.

    Or if they are able to use their 2012 cap space and the allure of two superstars to bring in an elite-level point guard to run the team, then the trade probably would have worked out as well.

    However, if the team doesn't have enough to become a contender in the near future and they remain a lower-tier Eastern Conference playoff team, then the Carmelo Anthony trade will have been a complete failure, and the New York Knicks will likely have another decade of futility to look forward to.

Denver Nuggets

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    As opposed to the New York Knicks, the Denver Nuggets have excelled since the Carmelo Anthony trade, winning 11 out 15 games, including their recent victory over the league-leading San Antonio Spurs.

    And even though people thought they would have a hard time after the trade, the new-look Nuggets have really come together for a few reasons.

    First of all, the team is finally out from under the shadow of the Melo trade rumors; therefore, they can focus solely on basketball.

    In addition to this, the departure of Anthony has more than likely raised the spirits of many Nuggets players, since they no longer have to play alongside an individual who obviously doesn't want to be there.

    And now that Anthony and his penchant for isolation offense—which accounted for 37.3 percent of his possessions—is no longer present, the team also has much better offensive ball movement and an increased level of participation by all players.

    Furthermore, these players also have an increased motivation to perform well, since their roster is now extremely deep and all the players must fight to earn playing time.

    And with such a talented young roster and a bunch of upcoming draft picks, the future is certainly looking bright for the Nuggets.

    So when that is combined the fact that Anthony likely would have left the team anyway, the Denver Nuggets obviously made out extremely well in the trade.