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Grading The Carmelo Anthony Trade

Jovan Buha |
February 22, 2011 | 12:25 a.m. PST

Staff Writer

Carmelo Anthony is headed to the Big Apple.
Carmelo Anthony is headed to the Big Apple.
After countless months of speculation, Carmelo Anthony is finally headed to New York.

The Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks and Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed on a trade sending Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Sheldon Williams, Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman from the Nuggets to the Knicks; Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov, a 2014 1st round draft pick (New York’s), and 2012 and 2013 2nd round draft picks (by way of Golden State) from the Knicks to the Nuggets; and Corey Brewer from Minnesota to New York in exchange for Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry’s $11.3 million expiring contract.

Sources say Anthony will be signing a three-year, $65 million extension with the Knicks, preventing him from losing the $30-$40 million he could have without one, when a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is (hopefully) reached this summer.

Rumors had heated up in the past month or so, with Anthony being linked to the Knicks, Nets, Lakers, Rockets and Mavericks. The Knicks and Nets always led the pack, though and seemed to be the only true suitors.

Ultimately, the Knicks won out, and Anthony is ‘taking his talents to the Big Apple.’

The deal came days after Anthony reportedly met with both Knicks owner James Dolan and Nets owners Mikhail Prokhorov and Jay-Z in Los Angeles during NBA All-Star Weekend.

The Nets publicly pulled out of this ‘arms race’ over a month ago, due to Prokhorov's reluctance to strip the Nets' roster, yet they reappeared in trade talks about a week ago. Although the Knicks were always the favorite, the Nets and Nuggets reportedly agreed to a tentative deal a few days ago, with Anthony's hesitance to sign a three-year, $65 million extension with the Nets the only barrier.

Looking at the deal, the Nuggets surprisingly come out as the victors.

Let’s grade the proceedings for each team involved.

Denver

The Nuggets knew they were going to lose Anthony; it was just a matter of what they received in return that would determine their future success. They were able to turn aging 34-year-old point guard Chauncey Billups into speedy 26-year-old point guard Raymond Felton. And while Anthony is gone, Gallinari and Chandler are likely to do an adequate job of replacing his production for Denver (unless, of course, one is traded to the Nets for another player). The Nuggets also added the NBA’s new Shawn Bradley, Timofey Mozgov, as well as a few draft picks and cash. There will be no 26-game losing streak here. The Nuggets have a bright future.

Grade: A-

New York

Contrarily, the Knicks do not come out on top of this deal as many originally thought. The Knicks’ goal in trading for Anthony was to keep two of their three key wing players (Gallinari, Chandler and Landry Fields). Unfortunately, they traded Gallinari and Chandler and will now rely on unproven Corey Brewer as their anointed sixth man.

While Billups is arguably better than Felton right now, in the long run Felton has a much brighter future, especially in Mike D’Antoni’s run-and-gun offense. Williams, Carter and Balkman did not play much in Denver and are not expected to in New York either. The Knicks are not championship contenders yet. At best they moved up to become the fifth-best team in the East. This is by no means a bad trade for New York. They received their coveted second star, just at a much steeper price than they wanted to.

Grade: B

Minnesota

While the Timberwolves did not play a major part in the trade, adding Randolph may help them in the future. Brewer hasn’t proven to be a major contributor yet and Randolph has a lot more potential. Overall, even though they added Curry and his 350+ pounds, the Wolves came out with a potential star in the making in Randolph (who has the potential to become a better Lamar Odom).

Grade: B+

All in all, everyone got what they wanted. The Knicks now have two superstars, a former Finals MVP as their point guard and a brighter future going forward. The Nuggets did not lose Anthony for nothing, getting three young complimentary players that help them for the future. And the Timberwolves added a piece that may prove crucial toward their never-ending quest to make the playoffs.

The Melo Drama is officially over. The NBA season can finally move forward.

____________

To reach Jovan Buha, click here. Follow him on Twitter @JovanBuha.

Find more of Jovan's work at The Buha Chronicles.



 

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