Carmelo Trade Off?

It isn’t over until it’s over.  Carmelo may not be heading to the Nets after all.  After almost no progress yesterday, a four-team trade that would send Carmelo to the Nets may not happen.  Now here is the interesting part.  Carmelo may now be lobbying for a trade to the Knicks.  Yes, the Knicks.  What a turn of events in the past 24 hours.

Real GM confirms these rumors, saying that Melo to the Knicks is definitely a possibility.  On the other hand, Steve Kyler posted the following on Twitter, “Sources speculated that Melo simply wants to be a Free Agent in 2011 and won’t sign an extension with anyone… No Extension No Trade.”  I highly doubt this to be true, but it is certainly a possibility.  I doubt Carmelo will have an hour long show where he decides where to take his talents to, but I do understand why he would want to keep his options open.

If this trade does indeed fall through, this is a huge blow to the Nets franchise.  This may have been their only chance to obtain a franchise player.  The Nets now have to hope that Derrick Favors becomes the next great power forward in this league.  Even if he does, the Nets will never have the firepower to compete in the Eastern Conference.  How are the Nets supposed to get past the Bulls, the Heat, and the Knicks if they sign Carmelo?  I also truly believe that Chris Paul will follow Carmelo and go to either New York or New Jersey. 

On the other hand, this is a huge opportunity for the Knicks.  If they have a chance to get Carmelo, you have to be willing to trade everyone on your team except Amar’e Stoudemire to get him.  A core of Carmelo and Amar’e can compete with the Heat and Lakers if you get a premier point guard.  Even if you miss out on Chris Paul, Tony Parker isn’t a bad fall back option.  If Anthony Randolph can develop into a star like people think he can, he is another piece to the puzzle.  There is also the possibility that Timofey Mozgov becomes an elite center in this league.  Wouldn’t that be something?

In the end, this is a great day for Knicks fans and a terrible day for Nets fans.  This is a potential turning point in each franchise’s history.  Carmelo could make or break the next five years for either franchise.

Don't count out the Knicks.

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Knicks Likely to Acquire Carmelo as a Free Agent?

According to RealGM, the Knicks are still more likely to acquire Carmelo Anthony as a free agent this summer.  At this point, the Knicks should hope Melo hits the free agency market rather than being traded to a contender such as Chicago.  If Melo hits the open market, I truly believe he will be a Knick.

Acquiring Carmelo wouldn’t exactly make the Knicks championship contenders.  They’d still have to find an elite point guard in Chris Paul or Tony Parker.  The development of young potential starts such as Anthony Randolph, Danilo Gallinari, and Timofey Mozgov.

Remember to follow us on Twitter for more updates on the Carmelo Anthony situation.

Arguing With Idiots Volume VI: Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony has recently been the subject of a number of rumors surrounding where he will play this year and next year. While the Knicks have been labeled as the clear favorite, many skeptics can’t help but to bash the Knicks and list reasons why Carmelo shouldn’t or wouldn’t come to New York. It’s time to disprove any theories surrounding Carmelo joining the Knicks.

The Knicks don’t have the trade pieces to acquire Carmelo.

They don’t have the best pieces, but they still have pieces. Gallinari and Chandler are two great young talents. Eddy Curry has value too because he is an expiring contract. While I don’t want the Knicks trading Randolph, he is another extremely valuable piece.

The bottom line is that Carmelo has all the leverage. If he says he won’t re-sign with anyone but the Knicks, no one will give up anything major for a one-year rental. That would leave the Knicks with the only offer on the table.

Carmelo has no leverage in this situation. He doesn’t have a no trade clause.

He doesn’t have to have one. If he says he will not re-sign for a particular team, they will not give up major pieces for him. It is up for Denver to make the trade, but there will not be any offers on the table if other teams know that Carmelo is intent on signing with the Knicks next off-season.

Why not go to Orlando, Chicago, or even Houston. All three of those teams give you a better chance to win than the Knicks.

I’m not going to argue that Orlando and Chicago would give him a better chance to win, but there is no way the Rockets would be better than the Knicks next year, especially since this is probably Yao Ming’s last season.

The real question is whether or not the Knicks (with Melo) would be better than the current Bulls and Magic.

Knicks
Felton
Chandler
Melo
Amar’e
Turiaf/Mozgov

Bulls
Rose
Brewer
Deng
Boozer
Noah

Magic
Williams
Carter
Barnes
Lewis
Howard

The Knicks are just as good, if not better than the Bulls in that scenario. While they aren’t currently as good as the Magic, adding a star point guard like Tony Parker or Chris Paul could change that. I truly believe that Chris Paul will go wherever Carmelo goes. If not, Tony Parker is a more than fine option next season.

The Knicks are rumored to have to give up Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Eddy Curry, and a future first round pick. Isn’t that a bit too much to give up for one player?

No way. Carmelo is a franchise player that could attract other big names to the Big Apple. The trade isn’t even that bad.

You are losing Gallinari, who is the biggest piece in the deal. He will obviously be replaced by Melo himself, so you are gaining a whole lot at SF. At SG, Azubuike could easily replace Chandler as the starter.

Obviously, Eddy Curry isn’t a loss at all. At this point, he’s not even really part of the team. The draft pick isn’t worth crying over either, because the Knicks’ next first-round pick is in 2014. At that time, they should be good and the pick will almost definitely be a non-lottery pick.

Carmelo would not be much of an upgrade over Gallinari.

Really? Let’s look at some of each player’s advanced statistics from last year.

P40
Anthony: 29.5
Gallinari: 17.8

R40
Anthony: 6.9
Gallinari: 5.8

A40
Anthony: 3.4
Gallinari: 2.0

WARP
Anthony: 9.5
Gallinari: 3.2

So Carmelo destroys Danilo in points scored, rebounds, and assists. He also will win you over six more games than Gallinari would. That is more than a significant upgrade.

It is unknown whether or not Carmelo would fit into Mike D’Antoni’s offense.

Mike D’Antoni’s high paced offense will definitely suit Carmelo very well. The offense is built around superstarts like Amar’e and Melo. A scoring machine like Carmelo is exactly what the Knicks need.

With all of this said, there is no reason for Carmelo not to bring his talents to Broadway.

Sources: Carmelo Could Force Trade To Knicks

The Carmelo Anthony saga keeps on getting better and better.  Real GM is now reporting that Carmelo Anthony could force a trade to New York.  Knicks fans have the right to be cautiously optimistic right now. 

Acquiring Melo would immidiately make the Knicks a 50-55 win tean and a top-five seed in the East.  With him in place, the Knicks would have two of their three pieces to form a new big three.  Adding Tony Parker or Chris Paul in future seasons could complete that trio.  

With Amar’e and Melo possibly in place, the Knicks could be in for an unbelieveable 2010-2011 campaign.

Amar’e Stoudemire Signs With Knicks

Amar’e Stoudemire has officially agreed in principle to join the New York Knicks. His deal is for five years and 100 million. In his first year he will be earning 17.2 million dollars. The Knicks were the first team to land one of the “big” free agents of the year. Amar’e Stoudemire is an amazingly gifted offensive force. Amar’e averaged just above 23 points a game last year as well as nine rebounds a game. Amar’e even though is considered as one of the top power forwards in the league, his defensive game is still in question. Just like former Knick David Lee, Amar’e essentially lets guys get right by him and to the basket. I do believe though his great offensive game will make up for some of his sloppy defense.

For the time being I am very excited to have Amar’e on the Knicks. He is the best player on the Knicks since Patrick Ewing, and hopefully he can do as well as Ewing did. Amar’e is the Knicks first step into becoming a relevant franchise again. Amar’e could be able to land the Knicks LeBron James. LeBron James reportedly is going to be having a third meeting with the Knicks on Wednesday. To be honest I really do not think LeBron James would have payed to much attention to the Knicks if it weren’t for the Amar’e Stoudemire signing. Even if the Knicks do not get LeBron, there are many other options that the Knicks could do. If the Knicks are to get good players, they have to sign and trade David Lee to I believe three destinations. First, the Knicks could send lee to the Golden State Warriors for Monta Ellis. Monta Ellis is a very good offensive player that avergaes around 25 points a season. Ellis would thrive in the D’Antoni system. The next place is the New Orleans Hornets where the Knicks could receive Darren Collison, and Emeka Okafor. Collison is a great up and coming point guard, that filled in for Chris Paul beautifully. Emeka Okafor is good player who can play as either a power forward or center. Lee’s final destination in a sign and trade could be to the San Antonio Spurs. The Knicks could receive point guard Tony Parker. Tony Parker as everyone knows is a great all around point guard, who knows how to win, (four championships) play defense, and set up great plays for his teammates. I honestly do not mind any of those options…LeBron would be nicer though. These possible moves and great speculation of LeBron just shows that Donnie Walsh, Mike D’Antoni, and the rest of the Knicks front office are no slouches, and they working around the clock to get the Knicks back to the NBA Finals.

Ranking the 2010 Free Agents According to WARP

Basketball Prospectus recently came out with a “WARP” stat, much like Baseball Prospectus. WARP is short for Wins Above Replacement Player. This stat is used to determine a player’s value over a “replacement player.” A replacement player is defined as a player who could potentially replace a starter. In baseball it could be a bench or AAA player, in basketball it would likely be a bench or D-League player. While WARP is a very reliable stat, it’s only flaw is that we don’t have a true definition of a replacement player. The following data is based on last season.

2010 Free Agents
Lebron James: 25.3
Dwayne Wade: 20.0
Chris Bosh: 14.0
David Lee: 13.2
Dirk Nowitzki: 11.7
Carlos Boozer: 11.7
Amar’e Stoudemire: 10.8
Joe Johnson: 7.4
Paul Pierce: 6.9
Raymond Felton: 6.1
Jermaine O’Neal: 5.7
Luis Scola (RFA): 5.1
Rudy Gay (RFA): 3.6
Shaquille O’Neal: 3.6
Ray Allen: 3.1
Richard Jefferson: 0.9
Tracy McGrady: 0.3
Allen Iverson: 0.0

An interesting set of data there. If this measure of value is somewhat accurate, the theory of Dwayne Wade being more valuable than Lebron James has been debunked. This also shows that Chris Bosh is a much better player than Amar’e Stoudemire, something I have been saying all along. I am very surprised at how much value David Lee, Carlos Boozer, and Jermaine O’Neal have according to WARP. This analysis also shows how low Joe Johnson’s value truly is. It is possible the system has some flaws, but I think this is a somewhat decent way to judge players. We also see through WARP that a single basketball player has more value than a single baseball player. This makes a ton of sense, considering there are only five basketball players on the court at once. Now lets take a look at the Knicks and Nets under contract for next year.

2010-2011 Knicks under contract
Danillo Gallinari: 3.2
Toney Douglas: 1.2
Bill Walker: 0.3
Wilson Chandler: 0.0
Eddy Curry: -0.4

Possible trade targets
Chris Paul: 10.7 (26.1 in ’08-’09)
Carmelo Anthony: 9.5
Tony Parker: 2.3 (11.8 in ’08-’09)

So yea, not exactly a championship contending team if the Knicks don’t bring in at least two All-Star caliber players. Danillo is a solid peice, but you would definitely want to bring in a point guard and center. I think Douglas would be a perfect fit at shooting guard. He is much more of a scorer than a passer. His three-point shooting could really help the Knicks stretch the court (along with Gallinari) if they don’t land a sharpshooter like Joe Johnson. Paul is their best option in a trade for a point guard, but they could also look at Tony Parker. Carmelo Anthony would be a great consolation prize to Lebron, but I don’t know what the Knicks would have to give up to get him.

2010-2011 Nets under contract
Brook Lopez: 11.3
Devin Harris: 4.6
Kris Humphries (Player Option): 2.4
Josh Boone (RFA): 2.0
Courtney Lee: -0.1
Terrence Williams: -0.5
Quinton Ross: -2.1

Nets recently traded
Yi Jianlian: -0.3
Chris Douglas-Roberts: -1.5

I really like this core. First off, you have Brook Lopez who is going to become a superstar. Devin Harris is good enough at point guard, and I really like what Kris Humphries did at the end of last season. I wouldn’t be heartbroken if Humphries’ salary can’t be dealt. Boone may be a little overrated by this system, but he could be a nice fit somewhere outside of New Jersey. T-Will and Lee had below average seasons last year, but here is why I am not concerned: These players are very young and are going to continue to grow. Williams was excellent torwards the end of last season. He is a potential opening night starter.

Almost every player listed here will probably get better next season. With the young talent that the Nets have, it is easy to say that they will have a brighter future than the Knicks. WARP also shows that the two trades the Nets made recently were indeed good ones. I am extremely happy that Yi is gone, and CDR isn’t as a big of a loss as some make him out to be. According to WARP, he would have been our worst player under contract for next season. Sure Quinton Ross is terrible, but he should see very little playing time next season.

I wanted to take this opportunity to commend all my fellow Knicks and Nets fans who have supported their teams through this demolition phase. Hopefully both fanbases will be rewarded with quality players that can turn their teams into championship contenders. It is important to be open minded throughout this process. It isn’t Lebron or bust. There are other quality options in the free agency and trade markets other than the “big three” of Lebron, Wade, and Bosh. Those are the only players who deserve max contracts, but there are other non-max alternatives.

It is important for both teams (especially the Knicks) to not give out max contracts just for the sake of doing so. Joe Johnson, Carlos Boozer, and Amar’e Stoudemire aren’t max players. You don’t want to be the team to give them a long term, high priced deal. If I were the Knicks, I would keep David Lee at a lower price before giving Boozer and Amar’e max contracts. That’s the beautiful thing about this free agency period. There are so many options both in the free agent class and the trade market.

We’re just a few hours away from free agency. It should be a bumpy ride. A golden age of New York basketball is about to be dwelt among us. Good luck to Donnie Walsh, Jim Dolan, Rod Thorn, Jay-Z, and Mikhail Prokhorov with their recruiting.