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Pressure All on Melo Now

Brooklyn Native has to deliver championship to MSG

By Jared Dubin
Follow me on Twitter: @JADubin5

            Carmelo Anthony got his wish tonight when the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks finally, mercifully, at-long-last agreed to a trade that sent the All-Star forward to New York in a complicated, 3-way deal in which Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Renaldo Balkman and Anthony Carter wound up with the Knicks; Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Timofey Mozgov, a 2014 first round pick, and 2 second round picks went to the Nuggets; and Eddy Curry and Anthony Randolph were sent to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

            The Knicks gave up a lot. A whole lot. Pretty much all of their young talent except for Landry Fields. Gallo was coming into his own lately, and while I wasn’t as high on Chandler as most, he was having his best season yet. Felton had proven in just a few short months to be a warrior, a terrific leader, and a guy who had the stones to take and make big shots when the time came. Mozgov, while raw, looked to be a decently competent big man. Randolph never really got off the ground here, but he is unquestionably a talented athletic specimen. (Notice I didn’t mention Eddy Curry… damn.)

            And because the Knicks gave up so much, and because Carmelo declined to use the leverage available to him and force a trade to the Knicks by communicating to Denver that he would only sign an extension in New York, the team he goes to has a lot of talent at the top, but not much after that.

            Carmelo and Amar’e Stoudemire instantly form one of the highest scoring tandems in the league, and bring a lot of star power. But the rest of New York’s new starting lineup will probably include Chauncey Billups, Landry Fields, and Ronny Turiaf. Shelden and Shawne Williams will come off the bench and provide minutes, along with Balkman, Carter, Bill Walker, and Toney Douglas. Not much punch to work with. Probably a worse supporting cast than LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh are working with in Miami.

            So there is a whole lot of pressure on Carmelo to deliver in New York. Really deliver. Championship deliver. That’s the mandate. It’s why he was brought here. Being able to sell Chris Paul, Deron Williams or Dwight Howard on the Knicks next season will certainly help. Developing excellent chemistry with Amar’e Stoudemire will help more. Putting in his 26 points a game will too. Carmelo has set high expectations for himself and his friend Amar’e. He needs to surpass them to truly be loved in his hometown. 


  1. I believe the Knicks also get Corey Brewer from the T-Wolves which will help their depleted bench.

  2. I hate this trade, this going to look like Hershal Walker someday.

  3. You have to love it, one superstar tries to leave home while another gets his wish to come home. What is right always wins. Also just want to throw in a holy smokes on the Nets move, NY area BBall just got more interesting.

  4. As the Nuggetsmix.com writer, this trade has mercifully happened. I think both teams did as best as they could. The Knicks got Melo, and they had to go get him. He would have signed the extension with NJ or Denver. Melo is way too smart to leave $20-40 million on the table. The new Nuggets will be interesting to watch. George Karl is the consumate teacher and he has a ton of young talent and size to play with. The trade also freed up almost $25 million in salary cap space through the end of the 2012 season for the Nuggets. I also think NY will buy Chauncey out of $3 million after the season unless the Knicks make a playoff run for the ages. Having said that, what great electricity at the Garden for Melo's debut. Nuggets fans were great to Melo and hated to see Chauncey go. Enjoy it MSG! - Dave Bruning - nuggetsmix.com writer

  5. Dave,

    Agreed on most of what you said but I doubt the Knicks will buy out Chauncey. It would leave them with a huge hole at the PG spot (and they already have one at Center). Also, his $14.5 million salary next season is a great trade chip for what is sure to be an out-of-control season of speculation on Chris Paul-to-the-Knicks rumors.

    If you wind up keeping them, you'll grow to love Gallo, Wilson and Raymond as much as we did. Gallo is a much tougher and complete player than he gets credit for from a lot of NBA writers (he gets to the line A TON). Raymond is not the greatest shooter but he's so tough and so smart. Chandler will cost you a little bit of money this summer if you want to keep him around, but he's really shown a lot of improvement in the last few years.

  6. Jared,

    Thanks for the reply. Have been impressed so far with the new Nuggets. Will continue to follow their games closely. They lost a tough one in OT at Portland. Gallo was very impressive. Georged Karl is excited to have all these young athletic pieces.

    As far as Chauncey being bought out, that is probably wishful thinking on my part as we all know he didn't want to leave Denver.

    I'll look forward to your impressions of Melo as he settles in with the Knicks. When you watch him play every game you realize what a great scorer he is. Just wish he would rebound, pass and D up a bit more, which he can do. I have several articles on the nuggetsmix.com blog about Melo and the whirlwind season he has had if you get a chance, check them out and I will keep an eye on your posts. Thanks! Dave

  7. Dave,

    I'm assuming you're at least slightly impressed with Melo's D last night? Esp. last 6 or 7 minutes. I was at the game and I'll have something up about that experience tonight or tomorrow.