Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
NEW YORK — The Melo Drama may be on hold, but the Knicks still have other needs.
“Well, we can use another big man, that’s for sure,” Knicks president Donnie Walsh said Monday before the Knicks beat the Wizards, 115-106, at MSG.
The NBA trading deadline looms Feb. 24.
The Knicks currently use Amar’e Stoudemire, Ronny Turiaf and Wilson Chandler at the four and five spots.
Big men Eddy Curry, Timofey Mozgov and Anthony Randolph are not in the rotation.
“I usually have five fours and fives,” Walsh said. “We have three on this team… I would make concessions to the way Mike [D’Antoni] plays by saying four and then a Gallo [Danilo Gallinari]-type guy that can play outside but he can rebound. Chandler can do that. We have a lot of guys that can do that.
“We’re very flexible when it comes to those positions, but I think when you get down low, if one guy gets hurt, you got two.”
Asked if the Knicks needed a backup point guard for Raymond Felton, who’s production has waned during the team’s six-game losing streak, Walsh said, “Not really. It would be nice to have another guy…You need three guys that can play point guard. We’ve got two [Felton and Toney Douglas].
“But I don’t think I’ve told any of you all year long that we have every position covered and we’re done.”
On the Carmelo front, an unnamed NBA general manager was quoted Monday saying it was “inevitable” that Anthony would end up with the Knicks after the Nets announced last week they were pulling out.
“I don’t know how many other teams are going to want to get involved in any negotiation for him, because who wants to go through what the Nets just went through?” the GM said in the Sporting News report. “It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.”
Asked to comment, Walsh declined.
“What general manager was quoted? Walsh asked. “Because you’re going to quote me on my answer. So what general manager was quoted?”
Walsh did say he wouldn’t give up the farm for one player.
“If we can make the team better, I’ll try to do that,” he said. “If you can’t make the team better, why would you do the deal? I don’t want to do a deal for the sake of doing a deal. I don’t want to give up the whole team for a player.
“The question is: ‘Is there anything out there that can make you a better team by what you perceive you need?’ ” Walsh added. “I haven’t seen anything I can trade for that would make us a better team right now.”
Even if the Knicks don’t land Anthony via trade in the next month, he could still come as a free agent next summer.
But Anthony would risk leaving millions on the table when the new collective bargaining agreement expires June 30.
The Knicks have the means to get max cap room for next summer if they either renounce Chandler’s $6.4 million cap hold (CORRECTED) or get rid of several other players on the roster.
“There’s going to be a new collective bargaining agreement and so to a degree you don’t know what it’s going to be,” Walsh said. “I’m comfortable that we’ll be better off than the other guy, than a lot of other guys.
“We’re below the cap now and proportionally, if the cap goes down the value of the player goes down, so the payrolls go down. We’ll still be in a good position that way.”
**Read the NBA.com notebook on the game here.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.