Lots of media outlets reporting that the Knicks have finally traded for Carmelo Anthony. According to the New York Times’ Howard Beck :
The Knicks will get Anthony, a 6-foot-8 small forward, along with the veteran point guard Chauncey Billups and three nominal role players – forwards Shelden Williams and Renaldo Balkman and guard Anthony Carter.
In exchange, Denver will receive four of the Knicks’ top players – Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler and Timofey Mozgov – along with the Knicks’ first-round pick in 2014. The Knicks are also giving up two second-round picks acquired from Golden State, in 2012 and 2013, and will send $3 million cash to Denver.
As part of the deal, the Knicks will send Anthony Randolph, Eddy Curry and $3 million to Minnesota, in exchange for Corey Brewer. The Knicks have not yet decided whether to keep Brewer or flip him in another deal. They have several other trade possibilities in the works as they approach the N.B.A.’s Thursday trading deadline.
So some quick thoughts on the deal:
* New York has not only paid with starters (Chandler and Gallinari), but have swapped their PG (Felton/Billups) while giving up depth (Mozgov and Randolph) and a couple of picks (1st in 2014, GSW 2nd in 2012 and 2013). This transforms the Knick bench from average with a few holes (PG, C) to thin. New York did address their PG problem, (at least at the starter level) but decimated their center position.
* Just about every Knick fan has an opinion on Carmelo, but what about the other guys?
* Shelden Williams is a good rebounder, and active defender (perhaps at 4.8 pf/36 too active), but is not a shot blocker (1.1 blk/36). Hoopsdata has him as terribly inconsistent jump shooter, and he’s not an efficient scorer (career TS% 51.9%).
* Anthony Carter statistically looks like Chris Duhon without a three point shot. To stick around this long in the league with a TS% of 45.3% and 3P% of 24.6%, he must be a pleasure in practice. Hopefully D’Antoni will have him sit next to Toney Douglas to have his wisdom rub off, while never leaving the bench.
* Corey Brewer is a 6-9 ball hawk (1.8 stl/36), decent passer (2.5 ast/36), and stout defender who can’t rebound (4.7 reb/36) or score (47.6 TS%). Rumors has it that the Knicks aren’t sure if they’re going to keep him. Unless he were an awesome defender, you’d think you could find that kind of production at the replacement level.
* I’d give my left arm for Renaldo Balkman to get some decent minutes in his second stint with the Knicks. He can rebound, push the ball up the floor, and is the best perimeter defender at small forward that I’ve seen in New York. Unfortunately I’d need my left arm, since I have a better chance of seeing floor time under D’Antoni. Balkman has seen diminishing play in Denver, and isn’t noted for trying hard in practice. Throw in that he has no outside shot, will likely only see time at PF, is a bit similar to one of the guys he’s replacing (Anthony Randolph) who saw little time, and I have no hope of Balkman getting any serious burn.
* Chauncey Billups is probably the guy I’m most excited about. He’s so efficient that he hasn’t had a TS% below 59% since 2004. It’s been clear that Felton has been hurting the team since his offense has come back down to his normal levels, and this is an serious upgrade for the Knicks. The big question is how much does Billups have left in the tank? He’s 34 years old, and is probably a place-holder for Chris Paul or Derron Williams. At least Knick fans hope that is the plan.
* Gallinari and Mozgov were probably two of the fans most favorite players, with Fields being the third. When pushed the other day by thenewyorkknickspodcast.com to state my favorite player, I named Gallo. Ah well, I guess I’ll have to find someone to fill that void.
*If Howard Beck is correct, New York is sending and receiving six players. That means there are no open spots unless they release someone. If the team was receiving less, then you could probably pencil in Earl Baron. Personally I don’t think much of Baron. He has a career TS of 42.5%, and even in his best season (7 games for the Knicks) he only managed 50.8%.
* Anyone doubt that Eddy Curry is going to see minutes in Minnesota? They seem to love former Knick big-men. Theoretically playing alongside Kevin Love should mask his defensive rebounding issues, but they would be awful defensively. That is if Eddy is still interested in suiting up.
* Trying to figure out the Knicks depth chart is difficult. The starting lineup should be Billups-Fields-Melo-Amar’e-Turiaf. But what will it be when Ronny is hurt? That will likely depend on the opponent. Douglas and Carter will be the back-up PG, unless Rautins can make the rotation. For Andy, it seems like there could be a small opening for him to make the far end of the rotation. Douglas along with Walker will probably see time behind Fields at off-guard. Additionally maybe Roger Mason could make an appearance at either guard spot. Although I’d be against that happening.
At SF, you’d think when D’Antoni isn’t going small with two guards plus Fields, then Walker or perhaps Balkman will see time. But who is going to see time at PF and C? Carmelo will likely see time at PF, and Shawne Williams will keep his role as undersized center. But who else? It’ll be a battle between Sheldon Williams, Corey Brewer, and perhaps someone the Knicks pickup, like Earl Barron. Certainly the team lacks size at center – as I said a spot that was made weaker by this deal.
* New York’s depth chart might look something like this:
PG: Billups, Douglas, ? (Carter, Rautins, Mason)
SG: Fields, Douglas, Walker, Mason?
SF: ‘Melo, Walker, Balkman
PF: Stat, ‘Melo?, Shawne, ? (Balkman, Sheldon Williams, Corey Brewer)
C: Turiaf, Stat, Shawne, ? (Sheldon Williams, Corey Brewer, Earl Barron)
* Could New York make another deal? There haven’t been any rumors, but I could see another deal going through. Who could New York trade? Obviously any of the players traded could be traded quickly or released. I think D’Antoni has grown accustomed to Douglas’ defensive energy, but another team could take him away at the right price. Roger Mason could be a throw-in, if needed. However, New York’s biggest trading chip would be Bill Walker, a young player that could emerge as a good scoring option off the bench. In return for any deal, getting some size and rebounding would be a priority for the Knicks.