"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Holes and Melo Rolls

He didn’t come cheap, but the Knicks finally got their man.

Over at ESPN, Mike Wilpon likes the deal for the Knicks:

Anybody who says the Knicks traded away too much is nuts; they clearly upgraded at point guard, and if Gallinari, Mozgov, Wilson Chandler and Raymond Felton were that good, the Knicks would have been better than 28-26 at the break.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting the Knicks are going to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals this June. They won’t. What I am saying is they’ve got pieces, good ones, enough to be a credible team by the end of March. They’ve got two top-15 players, perhaps two top-10 players, which is something the Knicks couldn’t truthfully say during the Patrick Ewing days and probably since the championship days of the early 1970s, if then.

SI’s Ian Thomsen adds:

Did the Knicks give up too much?

Look at it this way. They weren’t planning to re-sign Wilson Chandler (who went to Denver) as a free agent this summer, because they were planning on using his cap space to sign Anthony as a free agent. So that means Chandler wasn’t part of their future.

They had signed Raymond Felton (who went to Denver) to a two-year contract. And now in this trade they’re receiving Billups as his replacement at point guard for the short term. So that’s a wash.

So now it comes down to forward Danilo Gallinari, Mozgov, the Knicks’ 2014 pick in the first round and a pair of second-round picks in 2012 and 2013 to Denver for Anthony (along with Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman). Is that such a bad deal?

Awww, look out now.


1 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Feb 22, 2011 8:05 am

Great deal! When you can get a superstar you get him. Billups and Balkman (Renaldo!!) make it even better.

2 Alex Belth   ~  Feb 22, 2011 8:21 am

Not to mention ridding yourself of Eddy Curry.

3 ms october   ~  Feb 22, 2011 8:34 am

i'm happy with it. the knicks needed to make this deal.
they couldn't count on free agency this year given the expiration of the cba.
this is step 3 in probably a 5 step process.

4 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 22, 2011 8:46 am

True, there is that. The deal hinges on how the Knicks perform from hereon out; you have the pieces, but you have to make them work. If D'Antoni's system coaxes the best production out of these guys, then the draft picks they gave up become an afterthought and Denver will be left holding the bag as far as those picks are concerned. But if they continue to slog along at a .500+ clip or worse, then D'Antoni's and Walsh are gonna get run out of town by the sports reporters (as we've demonstrated, the fans really have nothing to do with it.) It will be even worse if the guys they gave up start outperforming their NY expectations; we'll have to wait and see.

I don't think the Knicks took a step back here, but I'm not yet convinced that it's either a big step forward vs. a wash. Some have speculated that Denver is essentially the same as NY in terms of their game play, but this is decidedly not Denver. I only wish they emphasized defense a lot more than they do; never mind the run and gun if you can't hold your opponents down.

5 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 22, 2011 8:49 am

[4] Or if the other team can run and gun better than you coughcoughmiamicough

6 ms october   ~  Feb 22, 2011 8:51 am

[4] supposedly walsh is out the door - i heard at the end of the season, but they have to make a decision on him by april 1st. so i think sooner rather than later.
they aren't going to play any d under d'antoni who is not a championship level coach. also hard to emphasize d with melo and amare (who at least is trying more on d this year until he gets 2 fouls).

7 Alex Belth   ~  Feb 22, 2011 8:52 am

4) When Riley was here they couldn't shoot, now they can't play D. Can't have it all. But I agree, not sure a run-and-gun team ever gets that deep in the playoffs. Still, they are enjoyable to watch.

8 ms october   ~  Feb 22, 2011 8:53 am

[5] miami plays good d. they have been in the top 5 for defensive efficiency most of the season.

9 Sliced Bread   ~  Feb 22, 2011 8:54 am

I loved watching Anthony play with Syracuse. I haven't seen him play a game since he won the NCAA championship in '03. Can't believe it's been that long. That's how disconnected I am from the NBA. But I'll definitley watch him with the Knicks. He's bringing a lot of casual fans like myself back to the Knicks. Huge pickup for NY.

10 ms october   ~  Feb 22, 2011 9:02 am

[9] i think that is actually the next big question. are the knicks content with just being relevant for the next few years or is the goal to build a championship level team?

11 Shaun P.   ~  Feb 22, 2011 9:23 am

[10] I think the Knicks think they are building a championship-level team. Whether that's realistic or delusional remains to be seen. I've heard that having two big-time stars is the key ingredient to going an awfully long way in the playoffs, and the Knicks have that now.

[9] Right on, Sliced. This will completely revitalize upstate's interest in the Knicks. Despite Syracuse being farther away from the City than UConn, all the Jersey-based Big East teams, and St. John's, it seems like there are a lot of 'Cuse fans in and around NYC.

The cherry on top of this sweet sundae? Thanks to work, next week I am going to see a Knicks-Magic game in Orlando. Perfect timing!

12 ms october   ~  Feb 22, 2011 9:25 am

[6] just to correct myself - walsh's contract has to be picked up by april 30th

[11] that's cool - enjoy the game!

13 Shaun P.   ~  Feb 22, 2011 9:36 am

[12] Thanks! Fortunately I have a week to prepare, with the roster upheaval and all. =)

14 Sliced Bread   ~  Feb 22, 2011 11:09 am

[11] sweet cherry on top!

yeah, many many 'Cuse fans around here. Big journalism program at S.U. and of course NYC is the media capital. Makes sense that post-graudate Orangeheads would flock here. A lot of S.U. students are from around here, too, especially the suburbs of northern NJ, and Westchester.
I'm an S.U. fan via marriage. My wife's from Siberia-cuse. Her parents live up in the semi-rural hills above the city. You can see the Dome from their mailbox. Great town, Syracuse. Wasn't big enough to keep Carmelo Anthony for more than a minute though.

15 joejoejoe   ~  Feb 22, 2011 2:10 pm

Billups is a great NBA playoff PG. He's been a Finals MVP with Detroit and some of the things he does late in games (low turnover rate, high FT%) are extra sweet to have in a point guard. He's almost like a closer. I don't know how he does with D'Antoni's fast paced offense but when it comes to playoff basketball Billups for Felton is no wash.

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