With the trade deadline looming (February 24) there is yet another Carmelo Anthony deal circling. This potential trade involves three teams and would send Melo to the Knicks. Here is the juicy rumor…
New York gets: Carmelo Anthony
Denver gets: Wilson Chandler, Corey Brewer, Minn. 1st round pick
Minnesota gets: Anthony Randolph, Eddy Curry
If, and there is a big IF, this deal goes through, you got to think the Knicks make out immensely. They would have a new core of Felton-Fields-Carmelo-Gallinari-Amar’e with Toney Douglas-Shawne Williams-Ronny Turiaf coming off the bench. Also if Anthony joins the Knicks you got to like their chances or luring a veteran back up guard or big man to join them for a potential playoff run.
Does this move make the Knicks better? Of course. Does it make them better than the Celtics, Heat, Bulls, Hawks, or Magic? You would have to give them time to gel together. Best case scenario they still don’t beat the Celtics or the Heat in a 7-game series, and probably not the Bulls, but on paper I would like them more than both Atlanta and Orlando.
Basketball is already back in New York, a 6th place finish in the East would be a vast improvement over their consecutive losing seasons. They have an All-Star starter and an exciting brand of basketball. A Carmelo Anthony deal would put them over the top. A legitimate Point-Wing-Big Man triple-threat, and (assuming he signs a long term deal) reason to believe New York can compete for a title, yes title, for years to come. The Knicks would have to improve their bench, however NYC would again be a destination for players.
As for the other teams involved in this “deal.” The Nuggets, trying to get something for Melo before he ultimately signs somewhere (New York) in the off season, look like they will receive two former 1st rounders in Wilson Chandler and Corey Brewer as well as what should be a very high pick in Minnesota’s 1st round pick. Obviously Denver is not getting a lot in return for one of the best players in the league, but it’s better than nothing right? What else can they do? Denver’s best chance is to hope that Melo decides that he doesn’t want to leave all that extension money on the table and elects to stay in Colorado.
As for Minnesota, giving up Brewer and a 1st rounder for Randolph and Curry’s contract? Why do they need cap space, they can’t even get players they drafted to play for them. I don’t get it… but of course it is just a rumor.
All-Star Reserves: The benches for filled out for the upcoming All-Star game last Thursday. A record-tying four Celtics were named as back-ups and only players from the Top 6 seeds made it onto the Eastern Conference roster including seven from Boston and Miami.
Ray Allen, Celtics
Kevin Garnett, Celtics
Paul Pierce, Celtics
Rajon Rondo, Celtics
Chris Bosh, Heat
Joe Johnson, Hawks
Al Horford, Hawks
That group will join the previously announced starters (Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Amar’e Stoudemire, Dwight Howard) in a couple weeks to compete against this squad from the West.
Starters: Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Yao Ming (INJ)
Tim Duncan, Spurs
Manu Ginobili, Spurs
Blake Griffin, Clippers
Pau Gasol, Lakers
Deron Williams, Jazz
Russell Westbrook, Thunder
Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks
Commissioner David Stern also did the right thing by naming Timberwolves F Kevin Love, and the league’s leading rebounder, as Yao Ming’s replacement.
In all I only had Danny Granger over Joe Johnson in my picks from last week’s “Around the NBA” column, but I can’t really argue that choice.
Record in Futility: The Cavaliers have done it, 24 straight losses, setting a new NBA record for most consecutive defeats in a single season. How long will it go on? Next five game: @ Dallas, vs. Pistons, vs. Clippers, vs. Wizards, vs. Lakers. You got to think maybe Sunday at home against Washington they could break out of this thing. The Wiz are a miserable 0-25 on the road this year. Fingers crossed Cleveland.
Top Performances of the Week: Have not done this year on “Around the NBA,” but last week there were many great individual night’s by players, so let’s take a look.
Blake Griffin: 32 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists in WIN vs. MIL.
LaMarcus Aldridge: 40 points, 11 rebounds in WIN vs. SA
Kevin Durant: 43 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists in WIN vs. NO
Derrick Rose: 32 points, 11 assists in WIN vs. LAC
Blake Griffin: 32 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists in LOSS vs. CHI
LeBron James: 51 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists in WIN vs. ORL
Elton Brand: 33 points, 16 rebounds in WIN vs. NY
Dwyane Wade: 22 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists in WIN vs. CHA
Russell Westbrook: 33 points, 10 assists in WIN vs. UTA
Pau Gasol: 34 points, 10 rebounds in WIN vs. NO
Amar’e Stoudemire: 41 points, 7 rebounds in WIN vs. PHI
Dwyane Wade: 28 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists in WIN vs. LAC
Last and certainly least it should be mentioned in the Top Performers section that Brian Robb, Brendan Jackson, and I have teamed up on a men’s league basketball team in the area and we played our first game last week. We walked away with a 6-point win in overtime. Sure we were up by 15 at the half, but we wanted to play some tight games so we’d be ready come playoff time. Or at least that’s what we are telling ourselves.