Carmelo Anthony trade: Team Grades

Posted on Dec 19 2011 - 4:58am by Erik_Gundersen

Carmelo is happily on his way to his desired destination, New York

Written on February 23, 2011

“Start spreadin’ the news…” Carmelo Anthony is on his way to the Big Apple but his journey there left a trail of carnage for three different organizations. Altogether the trade involved 12 players and three draft picks. One of the picks is a first-rounder in 2014 and two second-rounders that New York acquired in the David Lee sign-and-trade.

New York:

The word had been out since September that Carmelo Anthony wanted to be in New York orange and blue. Many criticized him for his tactics but in the end, he gets to make his dream a reality and call Madison Square Garden his home for the foreseeable future. The news has even sparked some new music from rapper and New York Knicks fan, Maino, titled “Yeah Carmelo.”

I can’t make this stuff up.

Now the Knicks have two prolific scorers in Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony.  With both of these players the Knicks have two, clutch and explosive players. Either one is a possibility to go for 40+ on any given night and they both posses the ability to score while facing their man and have their back to the basket. However, this trade did not come cheaply. The Knicks gave up lots of great pieces, have to eat up cap-space and got significantly older at the point guard spot.

In the deal the Knicks got a leader, proven winner, and clutch shooter in Chauncey Billups. Despite Billups’ pedigree, it doesn’t change the fact that they gave up Raymond Felton, a point guard who is eight years younger and has been putting up better numbers this season. I know that many would like to point to the tempo, but that reasoning doesn’t work here because Denver is the highest scoring team in the league. Felton is better than Billups is right now but that doesn’t mean that his veteran presence and clutch shooting are not valuable.

Aside from regressing at the point guard position, the Knicks gave up Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari. “Gallo” and Chandler have both been having great years and both are extremely fun to play with on NBA 2K11, but neither would have meshed well with Carmelo. Denver also got Timofey Mozgov in the deal. Other Nuggets headed to the Big Apple are Sheldon Williams (or as I like to call him, Mr. Parker), Anthony Carter, and Renaldo Balkman.

The biggest win for the Knicks in the deal with Denver aside from getting Anthony was being able to hold on to rookie Landry Fields. Fields has the most upside of anyone on the Knicks and his ability to shoot the three, play off the ball, and rebound at the shooting guard position will complement Anthony and Stoudemire extremely well.

The expiring contract of Eddy Curry and Anthony “Mr. Potential” Randolph were traded to Minnesota for Corey Brewer. Although many are looking at the loss of Randolph as a big one, I do not believe it is. While he is loaded with potential, he has never managed to stay healthy.

The Knicks gave up a ton of young talent and got older but Carmelo Anthony is the type of player that is worth everything they gave up.  It’s too early to talk championship in NYC but I hope that we see some funMiami-New York clashes like we did back in the day.

 

Grade: B-

 

Denver:

Denver played this situation just as well as anyone could have imagined. They did not give in until the very end. They turned what was a tumultuous situation into a positive one. With Anthony dead-set on not returning to Denver, they had to make a move. After being backed in a corner, they orchestrated the best possible scenario for letting their franchise player go.

They effectively used the Nets deal as leverage to get the best deal they could from New York. It is near impossible to replace a great player like Anthony but they did an amazing job in taking the right steps towards replacing him.

Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari are both very good small forwards. Although they lost Anthony, Chandler and Gallinari make them very talented and deep at that position. Gallinari’s ability to spread the floor will complement the Nuggets’ style and Chandler’s scoring ability and ability to attack the rim are both solid additions for the squad.

Along with getting two, young small-forwards to try and fill the void left by Anthony, the Nuggets also improved at the point guard position. Raymond Felton has proven this season that he’s a fully capable point guard and while Ty Lawson is expected to start, the Denver backcourt has been unquestionably upgraded.

This is quite a talented tandem. The challenge for coach George Karl will be how to adequately split playing time among the two. Lawson knows the system better but Felton has more pedigree.  For Karl, I don’t think he will have a problem with two fellow Tar Heels running the show for his squad.

Also in the deal the Nuggets acquired Timofey Mozgov and a draft-pick in 2014.

The Nuggets were backed in a corner by their superstar, took the hits like Ali in Zaire in ’74, and came out swinging with a great deal. Given the circumstances, the Nuggets are winners here and still have a great shot at making the playoffs.  They got younger and deeper.  The loss of Anthony is a huge one and franchise players like him are irreplaceable but the Nuggets are in great shape. Now that all has been said and done, there is a future in the “Mile High” city, post-Melo.

Grade: A-

 

Minnesota:

Let’s be frank: There is really not a lot to say about this trade for Minnesota. In the deal, the T-Wolves moved one of their many guards for the expiring contract of Eddy Curry, Anthony Randolph, and $3 million. Randolph’s name gets mentioned for his extreme potential, near seven-foot frame and excellent athletic ability. However, none of us have been able to see this potential on display. It seems that David Kahn is banking on that potential in hopes that the franchise will develop solid depth in their front line with Michael Beasley, All-Star Kevin Love and Darko Milicic (okay, not really but let’s put ourselves in Kahn’s shoes. He did give Darko five years and $20 million).

I am not sold on the potential of Randolph as much as most are but the expiring contract will help the T-Wolves clear some money off the books for the offseason. In a situation where they weren’t really looked at to be big players, they got an expiring contract and the hope that Randolph can become something anywhere near his potential in exchange for a bench player who has not come close to his potential as a top-10 pick in Brewer. Not a great trade, but a passing grade nonetheless.

Grade: C+

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