Carmelo Anthony Will Come to New York, Not LA
How about this for a script? Carmelo Anthony books his ticket for Hollywood to team up with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, creating a blockbuster matchup this summer against the Miami Heat’s big three of LeBron James-Dwayne Wade-Chris Bosh in the NBA Finals.
All right, this is probably too much wishful thinking. A lot would have to happen for this dream matchup to come to fruition, beginning with the fact that the “Carmelo to LA” story sounds like an attempt by Denver to increase trade leverage for their star.
But don’t be confused—the Lakers are serious players in landing Anthony. Their ownership knows that the sun is setting on the Kobe and Phil Jackson empire currently reigning over the NBA. If all it takes is trading Andrew Bynum to cement themselves for at least another three years atop the NBA’s elite, then don’t expect the oft-injured center to stand in the way of more rings.
There is a bigger obstacle, however, for the Lakers. Enter James Dolan, the chairman of Madison Square Garden. After being publicly spurned on national TV this summer by LeBron, Dolan realized that landing Carmelo would rid the taste of that rejection, and also settle some of the leftover anger of failures in the Isiah Thomas era.
This is a golden opportunity for the Knicks to prove that they’ve officially moved out of NBA irrelevance and are ready to contend for titles, which is why Dolan personally called Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke to hash out a deal.
Dolan not only wants Carmelo, he knows he needs Carmelo in blue and orange. Not getting a deal done here would be yet another whiff by the Knicks in recruiting an elite talent, and overall, the Knicks have much more to lose by not getting Anthony.
It seems right now that the biggest hurdle in the trade is Wilson Chandler, whose unhealed surgically repaired ankle is keeping this deal from moving forward for the Knicks.
Denver also has its eyes on a couple of New York’s younger stars, Landry Fields and Danilo Gallinari. Trading that talented duo would sting temporarily, but once Carmelo arrives in New York, he would be the last piece of a pretty formidable trio that includes Amare Stoudemire and Raymond Felton.
Another thing to consider is that when the Knicks are at the forefront of basketball conversation, it’s better for the NBA. Ratings would skyrocket with Carmelo lacing up alongside Amare in Madison Square Garden, and the spotlight would shift from Miami to New York, whose bright lights have been waiting for this kind of attention for years.
The Lakers are championship caliber without Anthony, and the Knicks aren’t. Carmelo in New York is better for the league, and the Knicks ultimately have more to offer, which is why it’s a safe bet to assume Melo ends up in the big apple.
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