If you are a New York Knicks fan, you are probably smiling this morning. The Knicks finally made the big trade to get Carmelo Anthony, but to make the deal they had to give – and give a lot to be sure. I know, the sight of the Apostrophe Boys, ‘Melo and Amar’e, together on the court at Madison Square Garden in their Knicks uniforms is enough to make our heads spin, but we should be a little worried about how Denver got a good deal more than anyone expected to give.
Consider if old McDonald wanted to get a certain famed milking cow to add to his herd, but in order to get it he had to give up all his chickens, pigs, and half his crops too. Would he give away most of his farm for that one cow? Well, the Knicks sent Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, and Timofey Mozgov to the Nuggets to get the Brooklyn-born Anthony. They also gave Denver $3 million in cash plus a 2014 first-round pick and two second-round picks. His homecoming is coming at a very high price, and you wonder if the Knicks are letting the future slip away (especially with rookie Mozgov) in order to secure something right now.
Knicks fans need only to look to the standings for a reality check. The 28-26 Knicks are twelve games behind the Boston Celtics. Even with Anthony, there is no conceivable way that they are going to catch Boston. Of course, fans will say that was not the purpose of this trade. The idea is to get through the last twenty-eight games better than the first fifty-four, secure a spot in the first round of the playoffs, and give Knicks fans more than they have had to hope for in quite a long time.
Okay, I am all for that, but I am worried that the Knicks as an organization were played. What does that say not just about this year but the future. And, if the reports of Isiah Thomas acting as an “advisor” to owner James Dolan throughout the negotiations are true, then the writing is on the wall: Donnie Walsh, head of operations and against giving up too much in this trade, may be gone and Thomas may be back. That is bad news for the team and for the fans as well.
Tomorrow night at the Garden a new page in Knicks history begins. Anyone who has been there and heard the crowd will get a lump in his or her throat when the Knicks take the court against Milwaukee. The place will be shaking to the rafters, and visions of Walt Frazier, Willis Reed, Dave DeBusschere, Bill Bradley, and Dick Barnett running across the court will be dancing in our heads. Yes, that team was pieced together too from trades that resulted in that big championship season, and we can dare to dream a little and that’s fine.
Still, when all the cheering is done, Anthony and Stoudemire then have to walk the walk. They have to fill some pretty big shoes out there if history is going to repeat itself. Maybe this year, but maybe not. I keep hearing Mets announcer Ralph Kiner saying what I have heard him say over and over again through the years, “The best trades are the ones you don’t make.” Let’s hope that’s not the case with Carmelo Anthony, but we’ll start finding out tomorrow night at the Garden.
Carmelo Anthony – Guiterrez/AP
Timofey Mozgov – Pensinger/Getty