Anthony’s Shutdown Another Sign of Knicks Distressing Future

According to ESPN, the New York Knicks have shutdown Carmelo Anthony for the season. For the Knicks, the news has some upside. First off, without ‘Melo, New York will likely end up with a better spot in the draft. Second, giving Anthony rest should extend his career. Given that the Knicks are tied to Carmelo until Buck Rodgers returns to Earth, the less tread on his tires, the more bang New York can get for it’s buck.

My stomach, in gif form.
My stomach, in gif form.

So, then how come this doesn’t sit right with my stomach?

Well the reason the Knicks are shutting Carmelo down is because Carmelo Anthony’s knee has shut down Carmelo Anthony. Had New York done this a month ago, I wouldn’t be so worried. Putting a merely banged up Carmelo Anthony on ice is a good idea. Calling it a season for ‘Melo because he needs knee surgery is, well, a necessity. Carmelo Anthony is getting an extended rest much like your 40 year old cousin is finally going to put his dream of being a rapper on hold so he can get a real career.

In my travels there are people in my “NBA circle” that I can talk hoops with on a high level. Then there are the people that aren’t necessarily writers or bloggers, “regular folk” if you will, that will seek me out for my Knicks knowledge. Since about November, whenever I have a conversation with people of the latter group it goes something like this: ”

Feel Lucky?
Feel Lucky?

Regular folk: “Tough season for the Knicks, right?”

Me: “Yeah, it’s been brutal to watch.”

Regular folk: “Well at least you know they’ll be a lot better next year, right?”

Me: “No. Unfortunately that’s not the case. They’d have to be unbelievably lucky to be good in the next few years.”

How the conversation proceeds usually depends on societal etiquette. People that don’t like the response to “how’s your day” to be “really crappy” will usually change the subject. Others will proceed with a Q&A on why I’m so down on the team. My reasoning is simple: Phil Jackson, a person who has never run an NBA team as a GM before, has to pick the right person in this draft, sign the right big name free agent, fill out the bench with proper role players, and make sure to have the right coach on the sidelines to lead the team.

We won’t know the answer to those first three events until the end of the summer. However, Anthony’s injury throws a wrench into the whole plan.

Carmelo Anthony is supposedly getting a procedure that “includes a left knee patella tendon debridement and repair,” and is likely to need “four to six months” of rest. Calling a situation where a player can’t play basketball for half a year “shutting him down for the season” hearkens to recent Knick regimes that downplayed injuries. If Vegas took odds based on how the Knicks communicated injuries, one could make a fortune taking the under.

Even in Phil Jackson’s best case scenario, if Anthony’s health doesn’t hold up, then the Knicks ceiling seems to be the 2012 team. Carmelo Anthony would be Amar’e Stoudemire, Marc Gasol would be Tyson Chandler, and Jahlil Okafor would be Carmelo Anthony.

So what’s it like to be an optimistic Knicks fan? You have to hope the Knicks get a good pick in the draft. Then you have to hope they pick the right player. You have to believe they’ll do something with their cap space this summer to get a second star. You’ll have to think New York will go out and get good role players to fill the rest of their roster. You’ll need to believe that either Derek Fisher is a pretty good coach when given the right players, or that the Knicks will figure out he’s not and get someone who is. And now you’ll need to trust that Carmelo Anthony will be healthy so in 4 years from now he’s not working out a buy-out on one of the league’s worst teams to be a bit player on a team with playoff chances.

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Mike Kurylo

Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

110 thoughts to “Anthony’s Shutdown Another Sign of Knicks Distressing Future”

  1. I absolutely believe, and have believed for a while now, that Phil Jackson basically need to hit a home run with the draft pick, hit home runs with the two big free agent acquisitions this offseason (either two $13/14 million players or one $20 million player and one $7 million player), hit a double with the room exception (much less important, but still important), hit singles with the vet minimum guys, hit a home run in 2016 with whoever he signs that season and get good health from Melo for the team to have a narrow window of basically 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to compete for a title, and likely not even 2018-19 as Melo will naturally be shittier then and might be a bit of a drag on the team (but there’s a possibility that their draft pick will have come into his own then and will be able to make up for Melo’s decline).

    So I’m on the books as saying that we’re talking an extreme level of difficulty for the Knicks to pull this out.

    That said, until it actually doesn’t happen, I don’t think it’s fair to knock Phil Jackson for not doing it. That’s not what you are doing, of course, Mike. You’re just being realistic about the difficulty of what Jackson is setting out to do. So I don’t mean you.

    If Phil Jackson blows this free agency period, or if the Knicks end up with, like, Mudiay, in the draft (or worse, trade the pick for, like, Chris Bosh) then yeah, blame Phil Jackson. But not until then. Free agency will be his make or break time. But that hasn’t happened yet. He still has time to make it.

  2. I would love to flip TH2 for a Hansbrough-type pf on a cheap contract today.
    If we end up with something like a Dragic/Danny Green/Melo/Hansbrough/Towns lineup next fall, I would be satisfied. Of course, there would be very little bench, but that’s at least a competitive team.

  3. The Wolves traded away a Miami first round pick for Thaddeus Young and are now trying to deal Young for Kevin freakin’ Garnett?!!? Fuck the heck?!!?

  4. Goran Dragic, by the way, isn’t coming out of this thing sounding like the greatest guy. “They lost my trust”??!? Dude, seriously?

  5. The realistic scenario that I fear the most is us giving LaMarcus Aldridge a max contract. Trying to build a team around 2 maxed out, high usage, average to low efficiency 30 year olds would be so Knicks…

  6. I wouldn’t say “any” trade value, but yeah, you’d might have to throw in a 2nd rounder. There are teams that will gloss over Jr.’s terrible D and just look at his ppg.
    I would even be happy to get Jason Thompson for him.

  7. The realistic scenario that I fear the most is us giving LaMarcus Aldridge a max contract. Trying to build a team around 2 maxed out, high usage, average to low efficiency 30 year olds would be so Knicks…

    I agree, but I have enough faith in Jackson to think that he won’t go that route. But yes, that would be an awful way to go. Aldridge has his value just like Melo has his value, but together? It’d be moronic.

  8. I wouldn’t say “any” trade value, but yeah, you’d might have to throw in a 2nd rounder. There are teams that will gloss over Jr.’s terrible D and just look at his ppg.
    I would even be happy to get Jason Thompson for him.

    Sorry, yes, he has some value. I just don’t think it’s high enough to get a power forward who you’d feel good about starting for a good team. Also, amusingly enough (or sadly enough?), the Knicks don’t actually have a second round pick until 2020.

  9. My struggle with this on-going doom and gloom–which may, of course, be entirely warranted–is that I have the at times happy privilege of being a Rangers fan as well as a Knicks fan. As a Rangers fan, knowing that it took Glen Sather years to figure out how to put together a winning organization in the “new” NHL–knowing, as well, that Dolan had the freedom to give Sather years to figure out how to put together a winning organization in the NHL–I can only shake my head at the sort of pressure Phil Jackson is under to try to get things right in his first 400 days as GM to the Knicks. Because hockey does not attract the same media obsession that basketball attracts in New York, Dolan–and Sather–were able to take their time; I greatly doubt Dolan will be able to give Jackson that sort of time…and if things go wrong (as they may well go wrong given the (a) difficulties that can trip up any sports organization as it seeks to re-build, (b) the special challenges that face basketball organizations and (c) the really awful “sports-karma” that has attached itself to this franchise for over 40 years, not simply since Dolan bought the franchise) I wonder if any members of the media–including the blogsophere–will recognize the extent to which they play a role in making it very difficult for anyone to turn the Knicks around. Were Dolan to sell the team tomorrow, I very much doubt that new ownership would be able to extricate itself from this ugly cycle.

  10. Sather took six years to make the playoffs and, what, 11 years before he had what you could legitimately term a title-contending team (I don’t think the 2007-08 team really qualified)? I’m perfectly okay with Jackson not getting that much leeway. ;)

    That being said, I’m also fully prepared to wait five or more years before the Knicks are possible title contenders. I’ve already waited through 15 years of shittiness, what’s another five?

  11. Can’t argue with you there, Brian. Five years sounds just about right…although it would sure be good to see some progress, say, three years from now!

  12. Actually, I believe it should be dubbed “the curse of treating Julius Erving with contempt”…because the Knicks fall from grace pretty much coincided with the franchise’s decision to take the $$$ when it could have had Erving. Since that fateful decision–which has nothing to do with James Dolan!–cheering for the Knicks has been a painful experience: although for ownership they have certainly managed to make lots and lots of $$$. And please don’t tell me that the Ewing years were an exception to the pain: in many ways those years epitomized everything that is tragic, comic, and at time terrifying about calling oneself a Knicks fan, something I have been foolish enough to do since the mid-1960s! Let’s go Knicks!

  13. I dunno, I really enjoyed the Riley/Van Gundy years. You knew the team was making the playoffs every year and most of that time you figured that if things went the right way, they could possibly win a title. It was like 10 years of the 2012-13 team, only with more certainty because Ewing was such a stalwart in the middle that you knew you could reconfigure teams around him if needed (like the transition in 1996-97 and then the other one in 1999) and with much better coaching.

    Granted, just like how 2012-13 had the Heat there to say “Yeah, no one is beating us,” the 1990s had the Bulls saying the same thing, it was still fun trying.

  14. The 1997 playoffs. The provoked fight. The idiots getting off the bench. The spiked sale of antacids to Knicks fans. Nah! Give me the late 60s…and early 70s…Now THAT was a Knicks team! :-)

  15. Oh, obviously the first half of the 1970s was the best Knicks team ever. And the 1990s Knicks definitely led to some agonizing losses, but they were agonizing losses in part because we all knew they were good enough to win titles, so when they didn’t, it was more painful. I’ll gladly accept that type of agony.

  16. The only major blunder I see in Phil’s resume as a GM (ok, President of Basketball Operations, yea) is the NTC to Melo.

    Tyson’s trade? Meh, but not that awful. Tyson was an obvious goner this season, and as we saw with JR and Shump, it’s not like playing for this sorry excuse of a team would have made his trade value grow. I still don’t get why we got Calderon in that deal if we didn’t want to make the playoffs, but well…
    Jah’s signing? Awful, but still comical.
    Melo’s contract? Awful. But still tradable.
    JR and Shump trade? Meh.

    But that frigging NTC? If Anthony’s knee will be permanently hindering him, that NTC translates in two seasons in the words “stretch provision”.

  17. I still don’t get why we got Calderon in that deal if we didn’t want to make the playoffs, but well…

    Because he did want to make the playoffs.

    As for the no-trade clause, obviously it was a terrible, terrible decision, but at the same time, clearly Melo isn’t going anywhere unless he wants to anyways, so him having a no-trade clause is only a huge obstacle if Melo is a real dick about it and uses it to play hardball with the Knicks like he didn’t with the Nuggets. I have some faith in Melo that he won’t be a real dick about it. But yes, he should never be in the position where he could possibly be a real dick about it.

  18. I also have to say that I’m half kidding about the stretch provision. After all, a cap hit of around 10 million dollars in 2017-18 will be similar to a cap hit of 7 million dollars in 2014-15, which is a lot but, well, is still less than Bargs’ cap hit as of today. So what if the Knicks accidentally got younger, friskier and won 48 games in 2016-17, and need to make space to sign a few free agents to make a run in 2017-18 but an hypotetical seriously hobbled Melo says he’s not going anywhere because of the NTC?

    Yes. I’m already thinking about cutting Melo. That’s how much I am depressed.

  19. I still don’t get why we got Calderon in that deal if we didn’t want to make the playoffs, but well…

    I think it was just a matter that you can’t get every player in FA. Phil probably thought that Calderon at 7 million is fair value, and much better than 4 million on nothing. It has not panned out as expected. He has started slow and is playing a bit better lately, but in any case, he is not outproducing what he gives to the other team on D in his current role; perhaps a team more oriented on the P&R shows interest on him.

  20. Let’s talk about how this effects me, Al Franken.

    I was the only one to predict in the Roundtable that the Knicks would finish in pole position for the lottery.

    I predicted that the Knicks would be lucky to win 3 more games once Carmelo Anthony shut it down after the ASG.

    I am preening like THCJ after maxing out on bench press (but I will not reveal that embarrassing number).

    I am also so ridiculous that I am wearing the Knicks tie I received as a Valentine’s Day present to work today.

  21. @7 – Really Brian? The guy makes All NBA third team after the season of his life and they go out and sign another PG? Sure would irritate me especially when my contract is set to expire this summer…

  22. I just dont see how anyone can say that the Melo deal has been anything other than a disaster. He is signed for the max for the next 5 years and he is about to have surgery and miss 6 months. I guess a huge optimist would say that the 6 months rest would do his body some good. However, he is having knee surgery and is about to turn 31. Thats a huge issue and a lot of people saw this coming. Honestly, the Knicks would have been leaps and bounds better to just let him walk. But unfortunately Phil thought that this Melo lead team could compete in the East. Obviously he was wrong.

    Now the Knicks have an aging injured Melo making stupid money with no rotation players currently on the roster. Yes, they should have a top 3 pick but that route is at odds with the aging superstar who wants to win now. I dont think they will trade the 15 pick but I would not be surprised if Phil does. There is going to be competition for the few FAs and more likely than not the Knicks are going to have to overpay to land any of them.

    The ideal strategy and the one I hope they implement is to make the draft pick and build around him whether it be Towns, Okafor or Russell. Do not appease Melo by trading draft picks or giving out more dumb 4 year contracts.

  23. Unbelievably, this team is in a worse position than it was when Jackson took over. It’s hard to fathom, but it’s true. The two major moves were to add Calderon’s bad contract and to extend a bum knee Melo to a godawful mega max contract.

    This team is headed nowhere.

  24. @7 – Really Brian? The guy makes All NBA third team after the season of his life and they go out and sign another PG? Sure would irritate me especially when my contract is set to expire this summer…

    They pretty clearly got Thomas as Bledsoe insurance, though, no? Bledsoe had not signed yet, had just rejected a large contract offer from the Suns and said he was planning on testing free agency in 2015. So the Suns were looking at both of their point guards heading to free agency and suddenly saw Thomas available at a very cheap rate, a rate so cheap that they would legitimately be able to keep all three long term.

    Dragic’s complaint is that he has been moved off the ball, but that’s because he’s the best shooter of the three! And the end result was the team being better for it, as they’ve improved over last year. And that’s the team not being “honest” with him? That’s prima donna stuff.

  25. It’s interesting comparing the Rangers and the Knicks. I haven’t followed the Rangers that closely, but I remember that for a couple of years after Sather was GM they were still trading for names and still not doing well. Then Sather made a change in strategy. He said something like “we’re going with the kids” and apologized to the fans for the crummy hockey he expected to get initially with that strategy. A year or two after that the Rangers were good, and now they are very good. It took Jackson about three months to make the same decision. I hope he sticks with it and doesn’t start going after names with his free agent dollars next summer. I want to him to get the future Timofey Mozgov’s, Goran Dragic’s and Draymond Green’s of the NBA world, not overpay for the present ones. It will look ugly and the press will talk about how the Knicks missed out on players. But it will work, given time. And I don’t think it will take five years either, as long as the Knicks keep flexibility to make moves and don’t tie up all the their cap space and resources next summer.

  26. While I certainly don’t mean to guilt anyone into not discussing NBA stuff, as really, honestly, we’re a Knicks blog, go for it, at the same time, let us all please turn some attention to the tragic news we just received from our friend Jim Cavan about his young son:

    “Everett’s long, brave fate is nearing its end. The cancer in his lungs was too advanced for St. Jude to accept him into their trial. We’ll fly home tomorrow, to enjoy the time we have left together.

    Whatever the coming days bring, know that your thoughts and prayers, far from having been in vain, gave our son the strength he needed to give this evil disease all it could handle. May he be with you always — a spirit far too good for this world, sent to teach us all to live and love a little better.”

  27. This is truly terrible. I know we can’t do anything about it, but Lord… I can only imagine the pain of Jim’s family. I’m speechless and on the verge of tears, and I don’t even know Jim. Prayers. That’s all we got.

  28. you know the knicks have a pick n room this year right?

    Oh yeah, because the best players are going to be just dying to sign here to play with this 15 win laughing stock of a team.

  29. just saw the update email – prayers for the Cavan family. This stuff has been breaking my heart… can’t begin to imagine how they’re dealing with everything.

  30. Damn Riley can get Dragic for 2 first round picks and cap filler, i think durant might end of there in the summer of 2016. They could potentially have a whiteside, bosh, durant, 3&d, dragic starting lineup …… If whiteside is really this good, Riley is a genius and dolan should a thrown a 100 million at him.

  31. Not for nothing, but boy did Bill Simmons botch this trade value column thing. The trade deadline is today and he hasn’t put up the conclusion to his trade value column yet? And it doesn’t even appear on the horizon? That’s just a plain ol’ poor performance.

  32. Not for nothing, but boy did Bill Simmons botch this trade value column thing. The trade deadline is today and he hasn’t put up the conclusion to his trade value column yet?

    Maybe that’s what Phil was waiting for.

  33. Heat allegedly offering the Lesser Cole, McBob, Birdman and 2 1’s for Dragic. Suns are smoking rock if they don’t pull the trigger on that. Or I guess they could take THJ and a 2018 pick. . .

  34. So just to summarize this thread:

    Phil Jackson as GM – colossal failure of epic proportions

    NY Knicks – a doomed franchise

    Am I missing anything?

  35. Am I missing anything?

    Yep, the first part is not an accurate summary.

    The second part is likely accurate, though.

  36. Heat allegedly offering the Lesser Cole, McBob, Birdman and 2 1’s for Dragic. Suns are smoking rock if they don’t pull the trigger on that. Or I guess they could take THJ and a 2018 pick. . .

    Yeah, that’s a very strong offer. What else could they possibly be holding out for from Miami? I don’t think Miami has anything else to trade (except Whiteside, but come on, they’re not giving up Whiteside, so that’s a non-starter).

  37. Am I missing anything?

    Yes.

    The Cavan family tragedy makes us realize how insignificant our frustrations with the Knicks are.

  38. @ 45 – I believe you were a bit tongue in cheek but I’ll bite.

    I would not call Phil an EPIC failure but he’s certainly failed in his first year. Instead of trading Chandler to start a rebuild he thought the team with a coaching change, a better PG (Calderon) and a new offense would be a playoff team in the East. Could he have swung and missed worse? Seriously. The Knicks are the worst team in the league. Still worse, he signed Melo to that moronic deal. Now, instead of going into a full rebuild we have a 30 about to turn 31 year old who has a lot of minutes on him and about to miss 6 month because of surgery Mega Max player to gum up the salary cap for the next few years. Yeah yeah, I know the future is bright b/c the Knicks may have a top 3 pick and some cap space (guess what a lot teams do too). What move has Phil made in the last year that inspires confidence in you? I am not saying to fire Phil but calling him anything other than a failure up to this point is being disingenuous.

  39. My gut for some reason says we are dodging a bullet if we do not get Dragic. Happy for KG going back to Minny.

  40. I just don’t get it. Surely Young had some trade value. At least a second-round pick! And instead, they just pick up Garnett to see him, what, mentor Dieng and Wiggins for less than half a season? So weird. If they wanted him to retire as a member of the T-Wolves, they should have just signed him after the season to a ceremonial contract.

  41. Is Reggie Jackson even an upgrade over Brandon Jennings going forward? And it the deal was only made with this year in mind, isn’t that kind of dumb? The Pistons are two games out of the #8 seed but have two teams between them and the #8 seed!

  42. It’s amazing watching all of these teams doubling down on trying to get the #7 or #8 seed in the East.

  43. Hinkie is still a genius. He unloaded MCW for Isiah Thomas. But I love the fact that Milwaukee got MCW. If anyone can get MCW to play even decent basketball, that’s Kidd.

    STUPENDOUS trade deadline this year.

  44. Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe are a pretty good pairing in the backcourt. Knight can guard twos. Not a lot of shooting, though.

  45. my god… the flurry of deals… this is an amazing deadline…

    sixers are making out like bandits … again!

  46. Best trade Jackson has made yet. I’ll give it a solid A. Becomes a B+ if it turns out to only be one second.

  47. Boy, I didn’t feel this giddy on deadline day since eons. Sports can do so much to alleviate real life pain.

  48. So is Isaiah Thomas the biggest asshole in the league or something? Dude can play, but nobody wants him on their team

  49. I think everyone misses the extra A in Thomas’ name, and they are afraid they’re going to sign Jerome James soon if they don’t get rid of him.

  50. The Knicks apparently also got Alexey Shved. This deal is still developing. So I guess the grade should hold off until we learn what the final deal is.

  51. thomas is a better version of what nate robinson was… he’s pretty good and on a cheapish deal for borderline-starter/good 6th man type…. not really a pg tho…

    mcdaniels probably was gonna get big money from someone and i don’t think hinkie wanted to f with that in this market so he cashed it in early… he’s an interesting RFA…

    and now shved to ny… which is sort of interesting/not-interesting….

  52. Shved is a rental until the end of the year, right? So basically it’s swapping Prigs for a 2nd rounder. Decent return…wouldn’t call it genius.

  53. I actually like Kanter in Okc surrounded by Ibaka and Adams over Lopez. A nice young center project that can do the things Lopez can do. Kanter has his flaws but give me the lower salary RFA.

  54. sixers clearing the decks for this year’s draft… which is a very strong one….

    i hope the 2nd’s we got were for this year…

  55. Well, let’s just hold out. If it is picks plus Shved, then it is still a great deal.

    Feels like the Shved piece doesn’t really matter, since it’s a rental for a half season in a year we are not trying to win. If anything, it might hurt our draft position since Shved is a decent PG.

  56. Feels like the Shved piece doesn’t really matter, since it’s a rental for a half season in a year we are not trying to win. If anything, it might hurt our draft position since Shved is a decent PG.

    Oh true, I agree, Shved is meaningless. I’m just saying that if it is picks plus Shved, then it is still a great deal because of the picks.

    But yeah, it is beginning to seem like it is not multiple picks. Let’s hope it is at least one pick! One pick still gets a B+, I think.

  57. Berman is hyping the $300,000 savings on Shved for Prigs…uh oh. If that is what that shill is hyping, then that doesn’t sound good. That makes me think that if there are second round picks involved, they’re the sort of fake second round picks that we sometimes see (protected unless they’re pick #55-60, stuff like that).

  58. Yeah a pick is better than nothing. Is it Houston’s pick or someone else’s via Houston that they had from another trade? If it is Houston’s it might be like #58 pick or something…=/

  59. Yeah, what pick it is is the biggest issue. I’m beginning to worry that it is just Shved for Prigs plus two fake picks.

  60. What a dumb trade by the Heat. I never thought Riley was a good GM. Like Phil Jackson is this season, Riley backed his way into a high draft pick, never intending to lose so many games, and every success the Heat have had since then has come down to Wade. In the 2006 playoffs, Wade was arguably the best player in the league, and in summer 2010, without Wade, James and Bosh don’t go to Miami.

    They will now resume on the track they would have stayed upon had Mourning’s kidney never failed — an expensive, average team with no means of improving.

  61. Right? That’s what I’m really curious about. That would be, like, an A+ move! Berman, though, is pushing the $300,000 savings, which really worries me. If it was a good 2nd round pick, you know he’d be crowing about that, right?

  62. Just wishful thinking on my part, Brian. I imagine they’ll be low 2nds, but hey, maybe we can trade them into a good 2nd. And at least Pablo got to go to a good home. He’ll be an awesome fit for that team.

  63. Oh yeah, I’m pumped for Prigs. This is great for him. He was great when he got to play in the playoffs for the Knicks. Houston will love him.

  64. Late second round picks are barely better than signing walk-ons or D League guys. Whoopie Dam Doo.

    I agree, Phil’s best trade so far. It’s a D+.

  65. I’m not sure I’m ready for Bargs-less Knicks.

    I mean, now they’ll cut him right? And the hilarious part is that he’ll sign with the Clips. Do you even imagine a Turkoglu-Bargs-Davis frontcourt?

  66. looks like 2017 and 2019 second rounders… almost back to square 1…

    now if we could ever get our 2016 pick back…

  67. The fact that they are so far into the future made me lower my grade. I think B is fair. Still definitely his best trade so far.

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