Carmelo Anthony creates NBA dramatics
Any huge NBA fan surely has heard that Denver Nuggets small forward Carmelo Anthony wants out of Denver before his contract expires after the 2010–11 season. It is also well known that Anthony, otherwise known by his nickname, “Melo,” has specifically said that he would only sign an all-important contract extension with the New York Knicks, ensuring that other teams would not be willing to pay Denver’s asking price to acquire Anthony for only half a season. Throughout the season there has been so much speculation as to where Carmelo would be traded that we do not even know where the most likely destination is for the young superstar.
So, what is going to happen to Carmelo Anthony? Most experts seem to think that he will inevitably be traded to the Knicks, as the Nuggets do not want “Melo” to hit free agency and potentially sign with any team he wants. If Carmelo does hit free agency, he will most certainly sign with the Knicks and Denver will get absolutely no value for letting him go. This is why it is imperative that Denver trade him before the Feb. 24 trade deadline, or they will risk Melo not signing with them and leaving them empty-handed. Denver has a very tough decision on its hands, as they do have a very solid team that could potentially make a few upsets in an extremely competitive Western Conference. Another option that has been announced in the past week is a potential trade that would bring “Melo” to the Los Angeles Lakers, one of the most successful franchises in history. Los Angeles would send their starting and promising center, Andrew Bynum, to the Nuggets in exchange for Carmelo in order to even out salaries. Not only would this make Los Angeles an even stronger contender than they already are, but it would also give Denver a new centerpiece to build their franchise around. Bynum, who is considered one of the best centers in the Western Conference, would be a huge upgrade for the Nuggets, who are relying on old veterans and journeymen to fill out their starting five.
However, the strongest rumors are coming out of New York. At first, it seemed almost impossible for the Knicks to make a deal with Denver, given their unwillingness to part with their young talent. Luckily for the Knicks, Minnesota is highly interested in a young New York player named Anthony Randolph, who has fallen out of favor with Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni and Knicks general manager Donnie Walsh. This would allow the Knicks to get another first round pick, making a potential Knicks offer a bit more enticing. If the Knicks can get a first round pick out of the Timberwolves, you can count on seeing Carmelo in a Knicks uniform this year.
But, would Carmelo improve the team by that much? It is well known to the rest of the NBA that the Knicks could possibly be the worst defending team that anyone has ever faced. If there is one thing that Carmelo doesn’t provide, it’s good defense. The Knicks also seem to struggle in defensive rebounding rate. Advanced statistics show that Anthony only gives a slight upgrade in both of those areas, and the only major upgrade he gives the Knicks is in points per game. The thing is, the Knicks already are in the top five in scoring offense, mitigating the effect a superstar like Anthony would bring. Although many suggest that this is the case, I believe that acquiring a player of Anthony’s character is a once in a lifetime chance for a franchise like New York, which is still trying to leave the past six to seven seasons behind. Anthony would create a massive amount of buzz in New York, and the Knicks play in one of the most famous arenas in all of sports, Madison Square Garden. If anything, at least Melo would bring all the fans out to the Garden, giving the Knicks the home-court advantage they once utilized so well.
As of right now we are still waiting on any word from the Nuggets about where to trade their superstar. We have heard that almost every team has gotten involved, whether it be to help another team out in a three way trade, and sometimes even four way trades. Yet, no one has been able to reach the asking price of the Nuggets, especially when Anthony is refusing to negotiate contract extensions with many of the teams. All we do know is that the melodrama has gotten old, and every NBA fan wants this all to end. Being from New York, I’m definitely hoping it's with the Knicks.