Carmelo Anthony has been dealt to the New York Knicks just days after the Nets and Nuggets agreed in principle to a deal that would send Carmelo to New Jersey. After the New Jersey agreement, Carmelo asked the Nuggets to continue to negotiate with the Knicks for a trade. He did not want to sign a long-term deal with New Jersey, but a multi-year deal was necessary for the Nets to complete the trade for Anthony. Carmelo had all the leverage in this scenario, because he is in the final year of his contract. The Nuggets proverbially had their hands tied by Carmelo, as the possibility of losing Anthony to free agency without any return in terms of players and draft picks became very probable.
Anthony decided that New Jersey wasn’t the place for him, and who can blame him. There is no other star on the team, the location is not nearly as desirable as New York and Madison Square Garden, and the team would have been hampered by the fact that it traded away all the picks and prospects that would develop into Carmelo’s sidekicks. The Nets were prepared to give up Devin Harris, 2010 3rd overall Draft Pick Derrick Favors, and 4 future 1st round draft picks. Also, under the 3 year contract that Carmelo would receive, at least 2 of those years would still be spent in New Jersey. And that is only if everything went according to schedule. There is no guarantee that Melo would play in Brooklyn at all during his 3 year, $65 million deal with the Nets.
Instead, he went to the Knicks, and will be able to play with Amar’e Stoudemire in the “World’s Most Famous Arena,” Madison Square Garden. He has the opportunity to play on a championship caliber team in a city where basketball is making a big comeback. New York was starved for a winner in Madison Square Garden, and with the revitalization of both St. John’s and the New York Knicks, the fans are coming back in hoards. The Knicks also gave up less to get Carmelo. The team only gave up Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, and a 2014 first round draft pick. The Knicks received Carmelo Anthony, his sidekick Chauncey Billups, Sheldon Williams, Anthony Carter, and Renaldo Balkman. Therefore, the Knicks gave up less from an already much more talented roster than New Jersey to get Carmelo, which gives Anthony a better situation in a better city in a better arena. This makes Carmelo’s decision very easy, and makes the Knicks a very formidable team in the Eastern Conference.