Knicks swing trade Carmelo
Last Updated: 5:19 AM, February 22, 2011
Posted: 2:25 AM, February 22, 2011
The Knicks finally got their man, giving them two superstars -- with a strong chance of adding a third in 2012.
Carmelo Anthony is finally a Knick, not a Net.
"It's a done deal," a league source said.
The deal was agreed upon last night when Knicks owner James Dolan caved in and added Russian center Timofey Mozgov to the deal after the Nuggets threatened to trade him to the Nets if they did not.
A source said Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov was contemplating doing a deal without an extension in place for Anthony -- confident he would not turn down $65 million with labor strife possibly coming this summer.
PRIZE GUY: Carmelo Anthony has something to smile about -- he is set to join the Knicks, his preferred destination, after they swung a mega-deal with the Nuggets for the superstar forward.
N.Y. Post: The long-talked-about trade -- a three-team blockbuster that includes the Knicks, Nuggets and Timberwolves -- is expected to be announced today, and Anthony looks to make his Knicks debut tomorrow night at the Garden against the Bucks.
The Knicks traded Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Mozgov, Anthony Randolph, Eddy Curry's contract, a 2014 first-round pick and two second-round picks, and $3 million in the three-team deal.
They get back Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Renaldo Balkman (a former first-round pick drafted by Isiah Thomas), Shelden Williams and Anthony Carter from Denver, plus Corey Brewer from Minnesota. The Timberwolves take on Curry and Randolph. The Denver Post first reported the deal on its website.
Anthony will play alongside Amar'e Stoudemire, giving the Knicks a potentially powerful 1-2 punch.
A person familiar with the Knicks' strategy said, "It sets them up for the future. You have two huge pieces, everything else works itself out."
The Knicks are giving up a king's ransom -- three starters and their sixth man -- but it will be all worth it if they land star point guard Chris Paul as a 2012 free agent, which was part of the thinking.
The deal will have negative connotations only because of the perception that Thomas, Dolan's loyal friend, was a major advocate of the deal.
League sources said Knicks president Donnie Walsh would not have given up as many pieces -- or at least called Denver's bluff of trading him to the Nets -- had he been completely calling the shots. Walsh often said he did not want to break up the team for Anthony, an All-Star whose teams have never gone further than the conference finals and who some league scouts believe will not fit well into coach Mike D'Antoni's system because he doesn't pass the ball enough.
But the Knicks feel relieved they did not have to give up starting rookie shooting guard Landry Fields, who they felt was a more crucial piece than Gallinari, a small forward like Anthony.
Anthony stayed in Hollywood yesterday following Sunday's All-Star Game to do the Conan O'Brien show, which was taped before the deal was completed.
"I wish it would just come to an end," Anthony said. "It's all fun and games. It's exciting to know so many people want me to come and represent their city or their organization. But at this point, it's just, enough is enough already. Let's get something done and make something happen."
And so it did. The scenario of teaming Stoudemire, Anthony and Paul began at Anthony's wedding this past summer with the point guard's infamous Champagne toast.
Billups will replace Felton at point guard, and the club does not look at the swap as a downgrade for the short term.
The Knicks still need to add a center to offset the loss of Mozgov. They hope to pursue Jared Jeffries if he gets bought out, ex-Knick Earl Barron or a D-League player.
The bigger picture to the trade is having a shot to add a third superstar in Paul or Deron Williams in 2012 to compete against Miami.
A league source said Dolan has been hell-bent on getting Anthony to keep him from the Nets' Russian owner Mikhail Prokhorov, who has become a rival. Denver preferred the Nets' draft-pick-laden trade offer until Mozgov was added.
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