Evaluating the Nuggets-Knicks 2011 Blockbuster

A Look Back at the Melo Trade: Who's Coming Out On Top?

5/3/12 in NBA   |   Andrew_Ericksen   |   230 respect

The Verdict

Feb 7, 2011; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets small forward Carmelo Anthony (15) reacts with 5.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets at the Pepsi Center. The Rockets defeated the Nuggets 108-103. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
 
I went back and forth at the time of the deal and even while writing all of this out, I’ve flip-flopped a couple times as to who came out on top.  But it all really comes down to how much you believe in Carmelo’s ability to lead a championship run.  The Knicks will live and die with Carmelo during his tenure in the Bronx, just like the pre-James Heat did with Wade (remember the horrid 2007 club?) and the Mavs have done with Dirk.  Miami gave their superstar a solid running mate in O’Neal, while the Mavericks did a nice job of supplying Nowitzki with a collection of championship-craving veterans, but neither team would have had anything resembling a chance if Wade and Dirk didn’t step their games up in the clutch.
 
Is Melo capable of making a run like Wade did in ’06?
 
If you believe he is, then the deal heavily favors New York’s side, but I personally don’t think he has it in him and right now it doesn’t even look like Amare has the physical ability to support Melo’s effort.  Even though it’s a superstar’s league and the Miami Heat have a very good chance of winning a championship with some extremely weak rotation players like Mike Miller and Joel Anthony, I’m taking Denver’s side of the trade because I think building a solid base will eventually lead to some deep playoff runs.
 
The trade raises some really interesting questions:
 
Would you rather have a team of role players seeking a superstar or a team with a superstar searching for the right role players? 
 
Is it more likely for the Nuggets to land someone like a Howard or the Knicks to find the types of players that can properly support Anthony?
 
Given a Paul Millsap-caliber player, I think Denver would instantly become part of the top tier of teams in the West, and given a more dominant player even, Millsap’s teammate Jefferson or if there’s any chance Howard’s interested, then Denver could have their vision set on something even bigger.
 
Meanwhile, I think the Knicks are on a tougher search.  Anthony and Stoudemire are due to make a combined $40 million a year through at least 2014, and while Anthony has been at the top of his game at different moments throughout the season, Amare has had the worst season since his rookie year (not including his 3-game 2006 campaign).  So the job for New York is either to use the rest of their cap space to support this twosome, or possibly consider shopping Amare.
 
We saw Denver struggle in trying to find the right running mates for Anthony, and we all witnessed LeBron refuse to sit around and let the front office find him a match so he took matters into his own hands.  As rare as it is for superstars to come along, that’s still only one step towards that championship.  Although it may be the most important step, that doesn’t mean the other steps are any easier to come about.
 
While the effects of the trade will continue to constitute both franchises for at least the next 5 to 10 years, I think Denver fans have more to be optimistic about heading into the offseason.
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5/3/12   |   scquwi1   |   1226 respect

Dan_B wrote:
I agree with you entirely, and while I don't have it in writing here, I said the same thing at the time. Plus, I'd be lying if their wasn't a personal issue with 'Melo too. There was the the brawl at the Garden where he threw the sucker punch then ran away like a pansy. Also, I'm a Kansas basketball fan, so I've hated him since his Syracuse days beating the Jayhawks in the 2003 Final (plus I hate all things Syracuse). 

Yeah, he buster move with that punch and run to Collins, wonder what would have happen had Robinson or Jefferies would have gotten ahold of Melo. Now I am wondering what the Knicks will do to hopefully win next season.  

5/3/12   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

scquwi1 wrote:
People love the trade when it happen, and I said it on here and to any one else who brought it up, it was not a smart trade. Yes Melo can score, I will give him that, but there is not one player in the NBA past or present and I am sure there will not be one in the future that won the NBA championship. A team needs to be able to move the ball, so the other teams defense will make mistakes and get tired, more important you need to play defense. Having Tyson Chandler is not playing defense, there is other players on the floor which need to step up. Having a coach, GM and owners that also seem weak, meaning where they let the players walk around and complain not respect the name on the front of his jersey is also part of the problem. When you watch players like Magic, Bird, Isiah, Jordan play not only could they score they also played defense which turn into score, and toll the game over. It was not lets just shoot and see who can take the last shot. So to answer your question, Denver got the better of the deal because with Melo there or not the Nuggets still won the same amount with less talent. As for the Knicks they have far more talent and look like a second tier time which is really sad. Mark my words the Knicks will not make it to the Finals till they put to gether a team which can play hard nose defense and moves the ball better on offense. Jordan who may not be a great GM, said it after he won his 5th tiltel with the Bulls, by telling Phil Jackson put aside your differences with Roman and sign him. We cannot win a sixth tilte without him. Jordan understood how import defense was and role players are to a team winning the championship.

I agree with you entirely, and while I don't have it in writing here, I said the same thing at the time. Plus, I'd be lying if their wasn't a personal issue with 'Melo too. There was the the brawl at the Garden where he threw the sucker punch then ran away like a pansy. Also, I'm a Kansas basketball fan, so I've hated him since his Syracuse days beating the Jayhawks in the 2003 Final (plus I hate all things Syracuse). 

5/3/12   |   scquwi1   |   1226 respect

People love the trade when it happen, and I said it on here and to any one else who brought it up, it was not a smart trade. Yes Melo can score, I will give him that, but there is not one player in the NBA past or present and I am sure there will not be one in the future that won the NBA championship. A team needs to be able to move the ball, so the other teams defense will make mistakes and get tired, more important you need to play defense. Having Tyson Chandler is not playing defense, there is other players on the floor which need to step up. Having a coach, GM and owners that also seem weak, meaning where they let the players walk around and complain not respect the name on the front of his jersey is also part of the problem. When you watch players like Magic, Bird, Isiah, Jordan play not only could they score they also played defense which turn into score, and toll the game over. It was not lets just shoot and see who can take the last shot. So to answer your question, Denver got the better of the deal because with Melo there or not the Nuggets still won the same amount with less talent. As for the Knicks they have far more talent and look like a second tier time which is really sad. Mark my words the Knicks will not make it to the Finals till they put to gether a team which can play hard nose defense and moves the ball better on offense. Jordan who may not be a great GM, said it after he won his 5th tiltel with the Bulls, by telling Phil Jackson put aside your differences with Roman and sign him. We cannot win a sixth tilte without him. Jordan understood how import defense was and role players are to a team winning the championship.

5/3/12   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

As a huge Knicks fan, I can say, unequivocally, that the Carmelo trade is up there with any move Scott Layden or Isiah Thomas made in terms or horribleness.