The Knicks have their man.
According to the Denver Post, the Knicks completed a blockbuster multiplayer trade Monday night with Denver for coveted superstar Carmelo Anthony.
In exchange for Anthony, the Knicks sent Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, the Knicks' first-round draft pick in 2014, the Warriors' 2012 and 2013 second-round picks and $3 million, the paper reported on its website Monday.
The Knicks will also get Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman, the report said.
Before the trade was finalized Monday, observers acknowledged that Anthony, paired with 28-year-old Amar’e Stoudemire, could quickly accelerate the revival of the Knicks, not to mention boost fan and city morale.
“Carmelo and Amar’e would be a terrific combination from every standpoint,” said John Cirillo, a former Knicks public relations executive. “The NBA, probably more so than any league, is star-driven … You can always fill in the void of role players. But how many stars are there out there that you already know have established themselves?”
Tommy Dee of theknicksblog.com said despite the high cost of the trade, the Knicks need Anthony to be a force in the postseason.
“Carmelo would bring a level of skill to the Knicks in areas they're sorely lacking,” Dee said. “To stay competitive in the playoffs, they need himThey’re getting a guy who wants the challenge, who feels like he’s been kind of undervalued in the league — and he wants to be in New York, which is a bonus for Knicks fans.”
Anthony doesn’t possess the all-around talent of LeBron James, the player the Knicks coveted but could not secure this summer, and he’s an average defender. But as a scorer, he has made the Nuggets a factor in the playoffs for eight straight seasons.
“In a lot of ways, Anthony is not an inherently efficient player. … He’s never really charted that high on some of the more nerdy, ‘Moneyball’-esque metrics,” said Will Leitch of New York magazine. “But the guy can create his own shot, and the Knicks don’t really have anyone who can do that.”
Anthony also has potential, with Stoudemire, to attract a third superstar to the Knicks as a free agent.
“[It] makes the team look much more attractive to the best free agents down the line, and that’s when they’re truly going to get competitive with the Miamis and the Bostons,” said Wayne McDonnell, professor of sports management at NYU.“Knicks fans have earned this, they’ve deserved this, and it’s been a long time coming for them.”
And yet Monday's trade was met with some ambivalence among Knicks fans, who had begun to embrace the team's young core as it marched toward the team's first winning season in nine years.
“I think the ambivalence a lot of us are feeling is itself a good sign,” said Jon Combs-Schilling, a Knicks fan living in Oakland, Calif. “A spectacular shooter versus a group of really talented young players that I wish I could see grow with Knicks jerseys on? Yeah, it's a hard choice, and I'll be sad to see Gallinari and Chandler go, but that we even have that choice is a luxury we had to do without for a decade."
The Knicks, Nuggets and Anthony’s agent, Leon Rose, did not return calls seeking comment.
A history of the Knicks' pursuit of Melo:
July: At Carmelo Anthony’s wedding in New York, Hornets point guard Chris Paul — a free agent in 2012 — reportedly toasts to his and Anthony's future union with Amar’e Stoudemire on the Knicks.
August: Reversing course, Anthony says he’s unsure whether he’ll sign a three-year, $65 million extension with the Nuggets. Trade speculation ignites.
December: Melo says he’d sign a contract extension with the Knicks in a trade, but doesn’t specify whether he would with other teams, including the Nets. (Nets attempts to trade for Anthony have fallen through publicly in October and January.)
January/February: Talks intensify between the Knicks and Nuggets. The Nuggets reportedly ask for four starters and a first-round draft pick, shocking the Knicks and making them think the Nuggets aren't serious about a trade. The Knicks eventually come around.
Monday: Knicks land Anthony, costing the team four players (Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov) and a first-round draft pick, according to the Denver Post.
Carmelo Kiyan Anthony
• Born May 29, 1984, in Brooklyn, to an African-American mother, Mary Anthony, and a Puerto Rican father.
• After growing up in Red Hook, Carmelo's family moved to Baltimore when he was 8. He considers Baltimore his hometown.
• As a one-and-done freshman, led Syracuse to the school's only NCAA title in 2003.
• NBA career scoring average of 24.7 is No. 4 among active players (No. 15 all-time).
• Married Brooklyn-born Puerto Rican actress Alani "LaLa" Vazquez last July. They have a 3-year-old son, Kiyan Anthony.
• Has perennially top-selling signature sneaker with Brand Jordan, along with Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade.