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.
Knicks Land ‘Melo; New-Look Team to Appear Wednesday
An air of uncertainty hung over Knicks practice Monday afternoon, with head coach Mike D’Antoni and many of the players uncertain what would happen in the coming hours.
“I think everybody’s waiting the next three days to see what happens, to see if it’s cosmetic, see if it’s big, see whatever,” said D’Antoni, whose team hosts the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday.
What happened turned out to be big.
The Knicks reportedly acquired Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets in exchange for four players and three draft picks.
Better get your new rosters ready for Wednesday’s game.
Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton and Timofey Mozgov are all gone to the Nuggets…for now anyway.
Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry’s expiring contract are headed to Minnesota in the Corey Brewer deal, according to ESPN. (What are the odds Curry plays a game in the NBA this season?)
The Knicks also kissed goodbye to their 2014 draft pick in the deal.
In addition to Anthony, the new-look Knicks include Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and former Knick Renaldo Balkman.
Gallinari reportedly could be on the move yet again, to the Nets or another team.
“I’m glad it’s over,” Nuggets coach George Karl told the Denver Post, which broke the news. “I’m glad it’s an opportunity to reinvent. I think everybody handled it as classy as you could handle it. There’s some sadness to it, there always will be.”
Assuming Anthony can pass his physical in time, your starting five for the Knicks on Wednesday will probably feature Billups and Landry Fields in the backcourt, Anthony at the three, Amar’e Stoudemire at the four and Ronny Turiaf at the five.
In Billups, 34, the Knicks are adding a proven winner. He was the NBA Finals MVP in 2004, when he helped the Detroit Pistons win the title.
“I think Chauncey will go down as one of the greatest winners,” Karl said. “His record of seven or eight conference finals is, I mean, that’s incredible. I think that’s who he is, that’s what he stands for. He brought one of them to us. Last year we had a miserable ending. I think there’s many people, including myself, that will be sad for Chauncey. I know he loves Denver and we love him, but things happen. There’s decisions that have to be made.”
It remains unclear what jersey number Anthony will wear. He wore No. 15 during his seven-year tenure in Denver, but the Knicks retired that number twice, in honor of Earl Monroe and Dick McGuire.
With reports that Deron Williams wants to join the Knicks in the summer of 2012, the Knicks have the potential to have three legitimate superstars at that point in Williams, Anthony and Stoudemire.
In the meantime, the Knicks are currently the No. 6 seed in the East and will still be getting to know each other when the postseason begins.
They probably can’t be counted on to go that deep in the playoffs, but don’t count them out if they get the right matchup in the first round.
(The AP contributed)
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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.