Carmelo Anthony Trade Rumors: Why the New York Knicks Shouldn't Panic

Keith Schlosser@KnicksJournal Analyst IJanuary 11, 2011

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 07:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets watches on against the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on December 7, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Nets, Nuggets and Pistons have been negotiating feverishly over the past few days, trying to agree upon a trade that would center around Carmelo Anthony taking his talents to New Jersey (and later, Brooklyn) to play for the Nets.

While it’s been Anthony’s preference to play under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden with the Knicks all along, sources say he is warming up to the idea of playing right across the Hudson River.

This newfound interest from Anthony (apparently) comes partially from the now added bonus of playing with the Pistons’ Richard Hamilton in New Jersey. The Pistons were not previously involved in negotiations.

The proposed deal also would reunite Hamilton with his former backcourt mate of the 2004 championship winning Pistons, Chauncey Billups. However, Billups, who would reportedly head to New Jersey as well, has made it clear he will seek a buyout immediately if traded.

While Hamilton is an NBA champion, his scoring has seen a decrease this season more so than in previous years. He is growing older and has not played at the all-star level he perhaps once was capable of. He and Anthony would in no way make the Nets championship (let alone playoff) contenders by themselves. Ironically enough, however, the two have the same representation.

Though the deal is coming closer to being sealed, this is in no way the time for the Knicks to panic. Any proposed deal that is rumored to include up to fifteen players (as this one is) is bound to have its snafus along the way, even if the main parameters of such a deal are settled.  Obviously this deal is no different, as it is not done yet.

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The Knicks have been playing their best basketball in possibly 10 long years. Team chemistry is through the roof, with teammates communicating and playing well off each other and furthermore, just simply enjoying being a part of a winning environment.

There is no doubt that Carmelo Anthony would improve the Knicks in the long run. He’s a true superstar that like Amar’e Stoudemire, would ultimately thrive in the limelight of New York City. So far proving to be prepared to thrust strongly into the playoffs this season, the Knicks’ level of play could be elevated even further, to that of a championship contender with a Stoudemire/Anthony tandem.

Having said that, there is also no doubt that adding a player of Anthony’s caliber would also severely alter the dynamic of this team. Getting him acclimated into such a fast paced offense would surely take time. Taking that time may cost the Knicks’ a spot in the playoffs should the transition not go smoothly.

Furthermore, trading for Anthony (as opposed to signing him over the summer) would also mean trading players key to the Knicks’ success this season, such as Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari or even Landry Fields.

Though it’s clear there won’t be enough money to go around for all these players (plus Anthony) in the future, having too much talent later on (as opposed to having to scrounge around for talent to put next to Anthony after potentially gutting the team to trade for him) is a good dilemma to have to deal with.

These are all reasons why the Knicks need to stay steady and call the Nuggets’ bluff. The idea of Anthony getting traded to the Nets should not cause Donnie Walsh and the Knicks to start shaking.

Anthony (and celebrity personality-wife LaLa) clearly prefers New York City, and shares hopes of donning orange and blue for his hometown team. If Carmelo Anthony playing for the Knicks is meant to be, it’ll happen, whether it be right away, or more preferably, closer to the trading deadline or even next season.

While he can chose to reject an offer for a contract extension from New Jersey, he also could accept it at the urging at his agent. If he does, however, ultimately end up playing for the Nets, the Knicks still need not worry. There are always alternatives (and good ones, too).

Walsh proved this past summer that there will always be a plan “B.” Where there wasn’t LeBron James, there was Amar’e Stoudemire. When Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade didn’t come knocking, the door opened for Raymond Felton.

Perhaps Stoudemire and Felton were not the marquee names everyone had hoped or, but they’ve all the same been just as effective, maybe even more so at that.

Although Carmelo Anthony seemingly desires a union with Stoudemire and the Knicks, the team should not act on impulse to acquire him.  The Knicks have a good thing going right now. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.

As the Lakers proved against the Knicks’ rapid fire offense during their win over the Knicks Sunday night, sometimes slow and steady wins the race.

The Knicks certainly have a chance to win the Carmelo Anthony contest, too. If they don’t, however, there’s no harm done; there will always be other contests to enter later on. 

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