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Carmelo Anthony's a Knick. Next Step: The Aggressive Pursuit of Deron Williams or Chris Paul

Carmelo Anthony got traded to the Knicks last night and I fully admit to initially being pissed off. For months, the Knicks had all the leverage, and then at the last minute, they panicked and soiled themselves (I blame Dolan and Isiah, those fools). If this were a poker table, the Knicks were dealt a pair of Aces, and the Nuggets were holding rags. The Nuggets and Melo bluffed their way to a victory. If you believe Melo would have gone to New Jersey, you’re as dumb as Dolan.

Gauging reaction from around the web, it seems most fans/columnists fall into one of three categories:

Camp 1: Horrible deal. Anthony doesn’t help the defense, he’s not a good fit with Amare, Billups is old, and the Knicks have no bench. (My estimate, based on comments last night and twitter responses: this is 35% of fans)

I fell into this camp last night. After a night of sleep, I’ve softened my stance. Tough to find many columnists in this camp, but …
Peter Vecsey seems to be here. He compares Anthony-Amare to Bob McAdoo & Spencer Haywood (a pairing that didn’t work).
Mike Lupica seems pessimistic about this trade. “The Knicks get Carmelo Anthony even after giving away all the leverage they had in this thing, and what feels like half their roster.”

Camp 2: It doesn’t look like a great deal but the Knicks had to do it. Amare & Anthony will be able to attract a third elite player, like Deron Williams or Chris Paul. (estimate: 40% of fans)

Mike Vaccaro of the Post takes the long term outlook on the deal. “But they’re in position to go for it now. Forget everything else and focus on that. They’re closer this morning than they were yesterday.”
Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News, seems to agree, but with this note that will surely come back to haunt the Knicks if the new CBA makes it impossible for them to land a third elite player. “I just think the Knicks could’ve held out, paid less, and been better situated for what’s to come.” I agree 100% with that. If Kawakami were debating this point, someone would use Ian Thomsen’s logic (see below) as a rebuttal.

Camp 3: Great deal! The Knicks gave up spare parts for a Top 15 player in the league and you can be sure they’ll recruit another elite player! (estimate: 25% of fans)

Ian Thomsen of SI falls in this camp. He closes by asking, “Why isn’t everyone celebrating?”
Ian O’Connor of ESPNNY gushes about the trade, too.

I woke up this morning, scanned some analysis of the trade and thought, “well, the Knicks will be slightly more entertaining and I can spend the next two years worrying about whether or not they can land Williams or Paul. Then it’s on like Genghis Khan.”

But wait! ESPN’s Chad Ford is now saying the Knicks won’t be able to add a 3rd superstar:

“Under every scenario I could come up with, the Knicks are unlikely to have the money to make a competitive offer to a major free agent next summer or possess the assets to trade for him beforehand … Assuming the salary cap in 2012 is the same that it is this season ($58 million), the Knicks would be looking at $11.5 million in cap space in 2012. However, no one thinks the cap will stay the same. With the owners asking for major concessions from the players in the new collective bargaining session, the cap will most likely be considerably lower.

Who’s ready for disappointment when the Knicks don’t get either point guard? This will sting worse than LeBron’s rejection. (If they settle for Ricky Rubio, I’ll gladly accept him.) So the first order of business will be for the Knicks to convince Anthony to take less money. The selling point: You want CP3 or Deron? Take less money. And then he might say, “Will Amare take a pay cut?” (This is under the assumption, of course, that Amare’s knees are still holding up.)

I guess I can live with the deal, mostly because there’s only 25ish games left in this season, next season will be shortened by the lockout, and then the Knicks will get their third superstar!

 

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