The New York Knicks gave up four starters for Carmelo Anthony. The nation rejoiced that the ordeal is over, but unfortunately for Knick fans it’s just beginning. They still stand to lose Donnie Walsh, respected as one of the best General Managers in the league, and to bring back Isiah Thomas, often regarded as one of the worst.
All Donnie Walsh has done in his tenure is clear the requisite cap space to attempt to bring in a superstar, which they did in Amar’e and they were the odds on favorite to acquire Carmelo this off-season. Oh, and he also found a player in the second round of this years’ draft, Landry Fields, who has played very well in his rookie campaign. Unfortunately, the owner of the Knicks, James Dolan was getting anxious and once again he called upon Isiah Thomas, because Walsh wasn’t willing to give up the farm to get a player the team would likely be able to sign in a few months time. Not surprisingly, Isiah was more than willing to overpay for a player, just as he did so many times when he was running the team.
Unlike the Big 3 in Miami, Carmelo and Amar’e did not pick each other. Someone will have to set their ego aside for this pairing to work and even then it’s a terrible fit on the defensive end of the court. The Knicks had a good thing going, finally battling back to relevance, firmly in the 6th spot in the eastern conference with a nice young core and with plenty of cap room and draft picks to use in the future. This weekend they threw it all away. They’ll give Carmello a max extension, but what are Knick fans already saying, “Just wait until we bring in Deron Williams, Chris Paul, or Dwight Howard!” So, the team traded 4 starters, a first round draft pick, gave a player a max contract (which could become a massive albatross after the new CBA is negotiated, the way Emeka’s was here in Charlotte), and will likely lose one of the best GMs for a player that’s not the final piece?
Come playoff time teams have to be able to play defense, but the Knicks just traded away two better defenders (Felton and Chandler) and got back two more offensive-minded players (Melo and Billups). Scoring has not been the problem for the team that leads the Eastern Conference in points before this trade. The only defensive player the team brought in, Shelden Williams, is classified as such only because we know he’s not an offensive player. Until the Knicks get rid of James Dolan and his meddling ways, they will never construct a roster capable of winning a title.
I don’t mean to rain on the Knicks parade, celebrate like crazy this week. There will plenty of time for tears in the future.