Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What's the Point: Was the Melo Trade Really Necessary?

Its official, Carmelo Anthony is a New York Knick. This is good news for the city of New York and for basketball in general. But before we get too carried away, lets look at who the Knicks gave up: Felton, Gallanari, Chandler, Mozgov, and three future draft picks. That is quite a haul for an aging point guard and a pure scorer. The craziest part about this trade is that it was completely unnecessary on the part of the Knicks!

From day one, Melo made it clear that he wanted to go to New York. He desires the big market, the packed arena, the east coast, and only New York would suffice. He spurned the Nets numerous times, along with the Nuggets and their offer of a contract extension. Maybe he would have been traded somewhere as a rent-a-player, but he would not sign an extension anywhere but New York.

With Carmelo being a free agent this summer, why didn't the Knicks wait until then to sign him? They could have kept the core of their potent team together. They also could have gotten Carmelo for much cheaper than they paid for him, due to the new collective bargaining agreement where player salaries and salary caps will be cut dramatically. This is a move for the future. If New York thinks they can win it all this year, they'd have to be crazier than Isiah Thomas.

There is no doubt that Melo and Amare will form a dynamic duo for years to come. But imagine what kind of future the Knicks could have had if they were patient instead of jumping the gun. They could have had Melo at a reduced price with room to sign another star (Chris Paul?) to combat the other beasts of the east. The Knicks could be a real contender in the future. It will just be harder to get there.

What's the Point is a weekly column written by David Straple. Feel free to comment.

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