Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks: Was the Price Too Steep?


So now that Melomania has reached its peak, it might be time to reflect on whether or not the Knicks made a good deal.

Last Friday ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith probably expressed the sentiments of most Knicks fans when he wrote “When you have a chance to get one of the top five players in the game, you do it.

“Considering the team you have and the fact that no other potential stars will be available before the 2012 season, to stand pat and do nothing qualifies as an exercise in stupidly. Or something worse. And when the specifics for hesitating to bring Anthony to New York revolve around holding on to names like Danilo Gallinari, Landry Fields, Wilson Chandler, or any combination of the three, insanity is one word that comes to mind.”

My favorite line from Smith: “If the Knicks recognize who they truly are at this moment in time – mediocre and just an injury to Amare Stoudemire away from being the Cleveland Cavaliers – they shed their posturing and unfounded comfort and finally address the Carmelo Anthony dilemma with the urgency it deserves.”

But did the Knicks’ urgency merit giving up Gallinari, Chandler, point guard Raymond Felton (having a pretty good season averaging 17 points and 9.0 assists per game), and rookie center Timofey Mozgov? To say nothing of the Knicks 2014 first round pick, two second-round picks for next year, $3 million in cash, and, most likely, GM Donnie Walsh?

Are the Knicks with Anthony still just one injury away from being the old New York Knicks? Or, considering that all James Dolan got besides Anthony – an over-the-hill Chauncey Billups and a couple of role players – are they even that good? The question was put best by Fanhouse’s Kevin Blackistone earlier today; “Dolan’s Knicks will need more to turn Monday’s gambit trade into a win. He’ll have to add a third superstar in a year and will eventually have his sights set on free-agent-to-be points guards Chris Paul and Deron Williams. He’s better get one or the other. Otherwise, the best the Knicks will be considered is Heat-lite, and that won’t justify this extraordinary expenditure.”

All of which might justify the curious statement that Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov made last Sunday night. “I think we made a very good tactical decision to force the Knicks to pay as much as they can, so it’s very good, it’s very interesting, it’s very competitive.” Well, whatever it is, it seems to be pretty good chess. Prokhorov, of course, wanted Anthony himself. But since he couldn’t land him, Prokhorov may have done the next best thing: he helped put a pretty steep mortgage on his rival’s future.

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