New York, it looks like you have your leading man.
After months of swirling rumors, the Knicks and Nuggets reached a deal early this morning to send Carmelo Anthony to New York, NBA sources told Metro. But it comes at a steep cost.
The Nuggets receive Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, three draft picks and $3 million, while the Knicks get Melo, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman, a former Knick.
“I’m glad it’s over,” Nuggets coach George Karl told reporters.
Contrary to reports late last night, it doesn’t appear the Nets will come away with any players in the blockbuster deal. Mikhail Prokhorov’s team was rumored to be in the mix for a combination of Chandler, Felton, Gallinari and Mozgov from Denver in exchange for a bevy of first-round picks.
“I think we made a very good tactical decision to force [the] Knicks to pay as much as they can,” Prokhorov said over the weekend.
The Knicks surely paid a price. Now we’ll find out if it was worth it. The opinions are already rolling in.
Anthony, a four-time All-Star who is averaging 25.2 points per game, is the lethal scoring threat general manager Donnie Walsh had envisioned when he started rebuilding the roster nearly three years ago. The three-headed offensive monster of Anthony, Billups and Amar’e Stoudemire will try to propel the Knicks to the playoffs for the first time since 2004. They are currently in sixth place in the Eastern Conference and start the second half against the Bucks tomorrow.
“Who wouldn’t want to play in New York?” East Coast-native Anthony said recently. “That’s like the ultimate dream at the end of the day … Who wouldn’t want to go back home to play?”