FanPost

Trade Analysis

Ah well.  This is really just for me to process things.  You may enjoy it but you're probably reading something else which is fine.

My thoughts:

I am pretty upset, particularly about the Raymond Felton part of the trade.  I'm man enough to admit I shed a tear last night and had trouble sleeping.  But I guess if you look at it  - this is pretty much the same situation they would have been in had they signed LeBron to go with Amar'e - except they have Anthony instead.  And Billups.  So from that perspective it's not terrible, I guess.
 
I think that Dolan was so concerned about losing out particularly to his cross-river rival, that even the 5 or 10 percent chance that he would lose Carmelo to the Nets seemed to him too great a risk to take, and so he basically ponied up to Denver's demands.  And to Carmelo's demands, because if he had gone to free agency the max salary in the next bargaining agreement would probably be less.
 
Trades for established superstar guys like Carmelo happen very rarely - they often get traded in their early 30's but I can't think of a time that a 26 year old perennial all-star got traded like this.
 
There's no doubt that Anthony is the most talented wing scorer we've had since Bernard King.  My concern is that he's a volume scorer and may not have the competitive fire to play defense and do the little things.  The history of the NBA is littered with guys like that that don't sniff a championship.
 
On the other hand, superstar jargon aside, I think one of the main formulas for winning is having a great player inside and a great player outside.  The Knicks now have that.  And still have holes a-plenty.
 
The Felton inclusion troubles me the most because I really liked the guy and though he was a good leader, tough defender, fearless kind of guy, and at 26 he really had room to grow.  It reminds me of the Mark Jackson trade that I believe cost us a championship.  On the other hand, Carmelo Anthony is much, much better than Charles Smith.
 
The Felton/Billups aspect of this trade is puzzling to me.  Why would Denver want Felton when they have Ty Lawson and Billups' deal seems to be expiring at just the right time?  I'm beginning to suspect it was the Knicks that were in favor of this particular piece and that for some reason they may not be very high on Felton.  Billups has a history of playoff success.  This year, he's probably going to be better in the playoffs than Felton would be.  Next year?  I don't know.
 
Losing Gallo and Chandler hurts, but as they play essentially the same position as Carmelo, it kind of makes sense.  Losing Mozgov may turn out to be disastrous, but what are the chances he becomes really dominant?  Meanwhile, he's not a great rebounder, and neither is Amar'e and neither is Turiaf.
 
On the other hand, Shelden Williams, one of the throw ins, hasn't played a lot of minutes this year but he's a very good rebounder per minute.  Carmelo's also a very good rebounder, and I think will play the 4 a little.  And they didn't give up Fields. 

The Knicks became a better rebounding team.  I think that's very, very good.

Balkman is valuable as compensation for losing the enormous entertaining personalities of Gallo and to a lesser extent, Mozgov.  And he might turn out to be useful in D'antoni's system - but probably not unless he's learned how to hit threes.   They also seem to have ended up with Anthony Carter, which improves their backup point guard situation... and Corey Brewer, who I don't know much about but apparently can play defense.  That's good.
 
Basically, after losing out on LeBron, the Knicks signed Felton and Mozgov and the value of those guys increased, so the Knicks were able to turn them into Carmelo Anthony along with their other small forwards and Anthony Randolph, who's value decreased a lot, but was still somewhat desireable.  They might have also received a first round pick from Minnesota - and they still have this year's pick and 2013's.
 
Their point guard situation is fine for this year, and they probably do better in the playoffs than they would have had they not made the trade.  But after this year it becomes troubling, and I think point guard may become a perennial problem for them (again) if they are unable to procure Deron Williams or Chris Paul.  But, I suppose, fearing the past is no way to attack the future.
 
I would have preferred they called the bluff and been OK with Carmelo going to NJ on the small chance he'd actually do that.  But I understand from Dolan's perspective, as a team owner with a rival franchise moving into Brooklyn and trying to woo fans, the Nets getting Carmelo would be seen as a disaster.  I don't think it would be, but there it is.  It's a fair enough trade for Carmelo talent-for-talent, but you hate to see the tactical advantage of having no competition squandered.
 
There's something distasteful about the whole thing - I liked the team they had. Tactically, technically, it's not awful.  But I liked the team they were building, and whatever happened to hard work and team play trumping flashy superstars?
 
Oh well.  Symptom of the times, I guess.  I'll still root for them, and hopefully will still like them.  You can really only control the games you actually play in.  Can't take this stuff too hard, as a spectator, it goes with the territory.

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