One year ago at this time, Carmelo was the object of every Knicks fans obsession. However, his inability to mold himself to fit into D’Antoni’s offense and his one-dimensional skillset have irked Knicks fans at times.
Carmelo can score in a number of different ways including from the post, however, with the post occupied by Amare and Chandler, he’s become a ball stopper on the perimeter and scores in iso situations that often gets the rest of the offense (especially Amare) out of sync. Most importantly, Anthony doesn’t appear to fit in D'Antoni's offense that emphasizes spacing and ball movement and he’s a liability in the defense. For the first time in his career, fans are wondering if Carmelo can fit into an offense and not the way around.
In his first game back on Monday night against the Nets, Carmelo appeared to be out of his comfort zone although much of his woes could be attributed to a two-week layoff. Fans are fickle though and as a result, last night I saw poll that read 20% of fans would trade Carmelo.
In reality the Knicks won’t consider trading Carmelo Anthony this season but if they did float the idea of trading Amare in the off-season and it wouldn't be the first time, the Knicks traded an elite scorer who couldn't gel with another superstar in their primes, therefore nothing is carved in stone. Like KG said "Anything is Possible". In the off chance that they did cut their losses with Carmelo, here are a few hypothetical trade proposals that could improve the team’s on-court chemistry and their Vegas odds of an NBA championship.
6. Four-Team Trade Between Knicks, Hawks, Magic and Suns
Knicks receive: Dwight Howard and Josh Smith
Hawks receive: Amare Stoudemire, Steve Nash and Robin Lopez
Magic receive: Carmelo Anthony
Suns receive: Marvin Williams and Kirk Hinrich
The Hawks aren’t winning a championship as currently constructed so management decides to assemble another great team from yesteryear that couldn’t win an NBA championship. As a result, The Highlight Factory welcomes the Seven Seconds Or Less Phoenix Suns Reunion Tour while ridding themselves of Marvin Williams’’ memory. Williams was doomed to fail in Atlanta after Chris Paul and Deron Williams, whom the Hawks passed over to draft him, became NBA superstars.
Meanwhile, the Magic end the Superman trade drama and simultaneously get a superstar from Gotham in exchange for Dwight "Wanna Get Away?" Howard. Having Tyson CHandler as your backup center/situational poweforward isn't a bad position to be in and the Knicks have more than enough scoring to account for Carmelo's absence on the scoreboard.
Carmelo is an elite scorer but that’s it. We’ve seen this movie before. His name was Allen Iverson and Carmelo learned well. Too well. He’s a ball stopper plain and simple. The Knicks have more than enough scoring options. Iguodala is a versatile offensive player, one of the best wing defenders in the NBA and is an underrated distributor averaging six assists per game. Iguodala has the athleticism to flourish in an up-tempo offense, much like a young Shawn Marion.The 76ers are overachieving right now with Lou Williams leading the team in scoring with 15 per game but what the 76ers need is a superstar who can took over on offense.
3. Knicks-Nets Trade
Knicks receive: Deron Williams
Nets receive: Carmelo Anthony
Prokhorov finally gets the All-Star forward he spent all of last season swooning over but this time, Carmelo has no trade leverage with four years left on his contract. The Knicks found a hidden gem in Lin but Williams is the Blue(and Orange)Hope diamond. It would be a radical idea but Lin and Williams could co-exist in the starting lineup similar to how Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups thrived with the Clippers for the first month of the season. Lin played two-guard for much of his career at Harvard and Deron Williams helped guide Illinois to the national championship while shared the backcourt and ball handling responsibilities at Illinois with heralded point guard Dee Brown. More importantly, he’s big enough to guard the opposing teams shooting guards.
Gay is a bigger, younger alternative to Andre Iguodala. He’s a world-class athlete with bunny rabbit hops but doesn’t have the vision and ball handling that Iguodala would provide. Gay is low maintenance and at 25 is in the midst of a career season. One single player can’t provide the same scoring punch as Carmelo but Gay is the type of unselfish talent would allow Lin to orchestrate D'Antoni's offense smoothly.
In this scenario, the Lakers plug their gaping hole at point guard in Mike Brown’s offense, while the Knicks acquire the best passing big man in the game. Gasol is still a 20-10 player, however, his size was more of an asset in Phil Jackson’s triangle offense and Derek Fisher has become a speed bump for opposing point guards. In D’Antoni’s offense, Gasol’s ability to space the floor, pass and score outside the post will be maximized.
Stoudemire can’t produce at an All-Star level with Carmelo on the wing and Tyson Chandler clogging the post. He had the same problems with Shaq in Phoenix. Deron Williams is as good as gone so why not pair Stoudemire with Brook Lopez and select a point guard in the lottery?
I wonder how this conversation would go down between the three general managers.
(Knicks)Grunwald: We’ve got a power forward that can’t produce with another All-Star forward that hogs the ball and abandons the offense for iso scoring opportunities. He can still produce 25 points a night but he has four years left on his contract and he becomes a less tradable asset every day he struggles with Carmelo.
(Lakers) Kupchak: Oh yeah! We’ve got a moody Spaniard who’s won two championships for us while playing second fiddle to a guard who has shot 144 shots than anyone else in the NBA. He’s a great passer too. All the Spaniards are. Only problem is we don’t have a point guard that can keep Kobe away from the ball and put him and Bynum in better scoring position.
(Nets)King: Hmmm…We’ve got a point guard, who spends his nights astroprojecting himself into the uniform of title contending teams.
(All in unison): Meet me at All-Star weekend, with an agent, Stern, one superstar player and some Orange Soda!. I’ve got a plan.
Bulls receive: Dwight Howard, Emeka Okafor (and Eric Gordon)
Knicks receive: Luol Deng, Kyle Korver (and Eric Gordon)
Magic receive: Carmelo Anthony
Hornets receive: Carlos Boozer
Derrick Rose has never been one to campaign for superstar teammates. However, good things come to those who wait. The Bulls defense is great but it just became dominating with the addition of Howard and power forward, Emeka Okafor off the bench. Losing Deng and Korver would hurt but it outweighs the potential of adding Eric Gordon to the mix alongside Rose. Without Howard, the Bulls may not be able to defeat Miami in a seven-game series. With Howard, the Eastern Conference Finals becomes a seven-game series
The New Orleans Hornets are in dire straits. Chris Kaman and Eric Gordon are the only bright spots but the Hornets pretty much conceded that both will be departing this summer. Even though they’d be giving Gordon up two months early at least they’d dump Emeka Okafor’s burdensome contract before the summer.
Deng finally made his first All-Star team and celebrated by dropping 23 point and 10 dimes with Rose out. That’s the type of play that would make D’Antoni a very happy coach.
This trade would never get done though as both the Knicks and Bulls would go to war over Eric Gordon. Ultimately, I believe the Knicks would win the Eric Gordon tug of war because they gave up a forward with scoring champ ability, while the Bulls received Dwight Howard.