Contrary to what some think when dealing with big-name stars such as Carmelo Anthony, trades are not just about the getting. They’re about the giving, too.
And when a team’s “give till it hurts” demands approach excruciating, even an All-Star forward capable of a 50-point night (as Anthony had Monday against Houston) becomes too expensive — especially when he can become a free agent this summer.
That’s why the Nets bailed on trade negotiations with Denver last month. That’s why Knicks president Donnie Walsh spoke cautiously when the subject of an Amar’e Stoudemire-Carmelo Anthony partnership was brought up yet again on Super Bowl Sunday. And that’s why the Lakers’ reported rejection Tuesday of the Nuggets’ demand for 7-foot center Andrew Bynum for Anthony validated the actions of both area teams.
The Lakers (36-16) — a team seemingly capable of sending anyone not named Kobe Bryant anywhere, for only the best — rejected a deal that could rocket them into superpower status because they didn’t want to give up their young tower in the middle. Sound familiar? Walsh doesn’t want to part with Danilo Gallinari, either.
Same reason. Smaller scale.
With the very beatable Clippers (19-31) coming in Wednesday night and the Western Conference’s third-best Lakers on Friday, the Knicks’ (26-24) attempt to pull comfortably away from the .500 mark would benefit greatly by getting Anthony now. They have offered talent, though the potential of Wilson Chandler needing a third ankle surgery in three years could set that back.
But how much talent must they ship out? When is enough, enough? That answer might come soon. The Daily News reported that Knicks owner James Dolan has gotten into the negotiations, likely on the urging of his unofficial consultant/Svengali Isaiah Thomas.
Considering it was Thomas who dug the salary-cap hole Walsh has worked so hard to escape, anything is possible now. But Dolan might do himself a favor by comparing notes about the Nuggets’ modus operandi with Lakers player personnel boss Jim Buss before Friday’s tip-off.
They can talk about the value of keeping the future together.