Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Start Spreading the News...

I'm leaving today
It's time to be a part of it
New York, New York.

So sings Carmelo Anthony after a trade agreement was reached between the Denver Nuggets and the New York Knicks (and the Minnesota Timberwolves) yesterday sending the former Syracuse star back to New York to play alongside Amare Stoudemire and the Knicks. Well, what's left of the Knicks. To land Anthony the Knicks essentially completely overhauled their roster. Gone are Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry along with 3 draft picks and $6M. In return, in addition to the star they coveted, New York gets point guard Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter, Renaldo Balkman and Corey Brewer. Good move or no?

The Knicks now have their own 'Big Three' in Stoudemire, Billups and Anthony, but does it really make them better? New York gave up 3 of their top 4 scorers in the deal in Chandler, Felton and Gallinari as well as the 7'1" Mozgov who had worked his way into a starting role, and the 21 year old Randolph who, while not living up to expectations, has a very high ceiling. In return they get Melo and Billups, who in the short term are both upgrades and Corey Brewer who's a nice supporting cast member. But then you have Shelden Williams who last scored a point on the 28th of January, 35 year old Anthony Carter who has played in just 14 games this season and is averaging just 1.9 points a game, and Renaldo Balkman who hasn't played in a game since January 15th.

 Photo Courtesy: thebiglead.com

So is this a finals contender? I have to say no. I like Anthony, Billups, Landry Fields and Stoudemire in the same starting lineup. Throw in a Ronny Turiaf and it's serviceable starting five. But then where do you go? You've got a bunch of young wing-type players in Toney Douglas, Bill Walker and Shawne Williams to go along with the newly acquired Brewer and soon-to-return from injury Kelenna Azubuike. But as far as big men goes, they're extremely limited. It's Turiaf, Stoudemire, Shelden Williams, and that's it. Who guards Dwight Howard? Who guards the Celtics big men? Joakim Noah? Al Horford? These guys will make the playoffs, but I don't think they have the size to make a serious run. It will be interesting to see if they try and make a move to get another big man before the trade deadline comes up this week. Either way, Mike D'Antoni is a good coach, and he was able to take Phoenix to the Western Conference finals with Steven Hunter and Jake Voskuhl as the only true centers, so anything is possible.

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