You just gutted the young core of your team, gave away a massive expiring contract, a first round draft pick and two seconds. Danilo Gallinari is still playing on his rookie contract and beginning to put it all together. I think it’s fair to say that his ceiling is somewhere between Andrea-Bargnani-with-heart and poor-man’s-Dirk-Nowitzki. And now, he’s gone. Raymond Felton was a cost-effective point guard of the future. Wilson Chandler may have been your second best all-around player and one of the few Knicks to play any defense. Anthony Randolph is a 21-year-old head-case with 30ppg scoring ability. Twenty one years old, but sure, just give up on him. All this to get Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups.
Realistically, the Knicks could have picked Melo up as a free-agent in the off-season. They had the core and the cap-space, and Melo had the right to veto any trade he didn’t like. Furthermore, even if the Nuggets traded him to another team, Melo’s contract would still be up at the end of this season. Only Denver and Carmelo benefited from this trade. Denver knew Anthony was leaving as a free-agent, so getting anything in exchange is a boon. Melo can get more money by re-signing with his current team than he could get as a free-agent, and he will surely re-up with the Knicks now. Instead, the Knicks mortgaged the farm to get the ultimate prize: a slightly doughy scoring machine, who may just be the evolutionary Alex English…a guy who fills up one column of the box score as well as anyone else in the league but that’s about it. And then there’s Billups, a 34-year-old point guard who in the last two seasons has failed to average more than 5.5 assists or 3 rebounds on an offensive minded team that gets a LOT of possessions.
Maybe they know something I don’t. Perhaps Billups plans on retiring, and they are going to use the added cap space for CP3 or something. I just don’t see how these Knicks are going to compete with the Bostons, Miamis, Orlandos or Chicagos of the East. Granted, the team will definitely be fun to watch, but it just doesn’t seem to be built for playoff success. Of course, the last time I made a post lamenting a NYK personnel move, it ended up re-igniting the team and making the Knicks relevant on a national scale for the first time in a decade (the move, that is, not the post). We’ll see.