Carmelo Anthony traded to Knicks!
The Carmelo Anthony saga came to an end Monday night, with James Dolan finally getting his man.
In a blockbuster deal months in the making, Anthony became a Knick Monday night and will make his Garden debut Wednesday night against the Bucks.
The trade – which involved nine players – completely overhauled the Knicks’ roster, but left them with two superstars in Amare’ Stoudemire and Anthony, who punched his ticket out of Denver at the start of the sesaon when he refused to sign an extension.
A source said the deal was completed when Dolan, the Garden chairman, gave in and included 7-foot Russian center Timofey Mozgov in the deal. According to a report, heading to Denver with Mozgov are Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler and draft picks.
The Knicks, in addition to Anthony, are set to get Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and former Knick Renaldo Balkman.
Incredibly, there were deals all throughout the NBA that were being held up essentially because of Mozgov. When informed yesterday that he might be the most important player in the NBA as of this moment, Mozgov replied, “Thank you.
“You told me this,” he added. “I didn’t know that. I will know this. It’s great. But I don’t feel nothing about it.”
There are reports that the Nuggets, after making any deal with the Knicks, could send Mozgov, along with another player, to the Nets for first-round picks. That would unite Mozgov with fellow Russian Mikhail Prokhorov, who owns the Nets.
While Prokhorov could end up with the two Knicks, Dolan won the border war, not only landing Anthony but keeping him out of New Jersey.
“This is Jim and the Russian and Jim does not want to lose to Prokhorov, which is why I think the Knicks will overpay for Carmelo,” one league official said before the trade was completed. “It looks like they are both willing to overpay for him.”
The Nets had a nine-player deal in place that required Anthony to agree to a three-year, $65 million extension. Yahoo! Sports reported yesterday that Denver coach George Karl favored the Knicks deal. However, it has been widely reported that team president Donnie Walsh and coach Mike D’Antoni are against gutting their roster to acquire Anthony.
The Daily News reported that former Knicks president Isiah Thomas is advising Dolan and was pushing him to include Mozgov in the trade. On Sunday, the Garden took an unprecedented step of releasing a joint statement from Dolan, Walsh and D’Antoni that said the three were working on the deal without any involvement from an outside party.
The statement did not mention Thomas by name and it also didn’t answer the most obvious question: If Dolan, Walsh and D’Antoni are all on the same page, why have negotiations with Denver advanced to this point with the team president and coach against the deal?
When D’Antoni was asked after yesterday’s practice in Greenburgh if he is in favor of trading three starters, he replied: “That’s – you know, I’m not going there. There’s no use in me answering stuff like that. Because we could sit here and debate all day but I’m not going to do it. It’s not worth it.”
Anthony missed Nuggets practice yesterday to make an appearance on Conan O’Brien’s late-night show.
Had the trade not been completed before noon Tuesday, the Knicks would have all be together for the first time since last week, when Amar’e Stoudemire was quoted as saying he was in favor of a deal. Stoudemire, who started in Sunday’s All-Star Game, was excused from yesterday’s practice.
Curry was also excused due to travel problems but the other players mentioned were in attendance. Felton, who is said to be upset over possibly being moved, did not comment. Nor did Chandler. Gallinari, who not long ago was viewed as being a big part of the Knicks’ future, addressed his status and admitted he’d prefer to stay.
“To be honest with you, it’s tough to leave New York,” he said. “It’s tough. But it’s a part of the NBA life and it’s a part of how the NBA works. You’ve got to live with that.”