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What the Knicks Should and Should Not Give Up For Carmelo

January 26, 2011 – Kevin Burke

Who are these “sources?” Where do they live? And how did they get their job? I don’t think we’ll ever get the answer to those three questions so we’ll have to just live with the fact that “sources” seem to run the NBA circuit to a degree. By now you’ve heard that these very same “sources” have all but assured us that Carmelo Anthony will become a Knick before the trade deadline.

For argument’s sake, let’s just assume that these “sources” are accurate and ‘Melo will indeed take his talents to Manhattan. If that’s the case, it may be time to examine what the Knicks should and should not surrender for his services.

Before we do that, however, we have arrived at this point because Nets majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov said that his team is no longer a participant in “Let’s Make a Deal: the Carmelo Anthony Edition.” He apparently wasn’t happy with how the whole thing played out in the media and frankly neither was I. It got sloppy and incredibly mishandled. Any time you have daily reports about young players possibly getting dealt, and whispers of secret meetings being held, that’s usually a good sign that things went terribly wrong. I also think that we are here because perhaps ‘Melo made the incorrect contractual decision back in 2006.

All of that is irrelevant though, right, because “sources” are telling us he’ll be a Knick. In the past I’ve gone on endlessly, primarily on podcasts, about how I think ‘Melo is one of the most complete offensive weapons in the league. From day one out of Syracuse, he had certain fundamentals that were uncommon in such a young player. He’s extremely savvy and can score in a multitude of ways. Because he’s not that gifted of an athlete (not basketball player – an athlete), it makes what he’s able to do that much more impressive. I’ll always be a fan of his game. That being said, I wouldn’t necessarily move Heaven and Earth just for the sake of landing him if I’m the Knicks.

In order to acquire ‘Melo, the Knicks are going to have to get rid of either Wilson Chandler, Landry Fields or Danilo Gallinari. These are the three best wing payers on the Knicks and they’re all very young.

With Wilson Chandler you have a guy who can score from outside as well as put the ball on the floor too. He’s not afraid to play defense either (better than ‘Melo does) and almost looks like the second coming of ‘Melo at times – even down to the tats.

Landry Fields was clearly the steal of last year’s draft and if this were actually Blake Griffin’s sophomore campaign, he’d get my vote for Rookie of the Year. Landry started for the Knicks from day one and hasn’t disappointed. He has a motor that won’t quit and is leading all NBA guards, not the just Rookies, in rebounding.

Then there’s Danilo Gallinari who has been up and down this year. When he’s on, he’s on. When he’s not, he gets down on himself and you can see it in his facial expressions. He’s versatile for his size and causes matchup problems at times. So what should Knicks GM, Donnie Walsh do?

About a week ago or so, it was reported that the Knicks offered Wilson Chandler, Landry Fields and a first round pick to Denver for ‘Melo and the Nuggets said no. Denver definitely should’ve pulled the trigger on that and I was shocked that the Knicks offered so much. That’s when fear set in with the realization that the Knicks may give up too much for him.

The Knicks should not give up Wilson Chandler unless a they receive a player back in addition to ‘Melo (that won’t happen though). In addition to what I mentioned above, I’d say Chandler is a candidate for Most Improved Player which shows that he’s only going to get better. He’s been extremely valuable to the Knicks and really showed his worth when Gallinari went down. Carmelo is definitely more talented than Wilson but the Knicks score more than anybody in the league, so that’s not an issue.

Here’s who they should give up:

Danilo Gallinari – I see more upside in Chandler and I still think Gallinari is as coveted as he is largely because of nepotism, since his father and Knicks coach, Mike D’Antoni played together in Italy.

Landry Fields – I would really hate to see him go but we’re talking about ‘Melo here.

Anthony Randolph – He was supposed to be the reason that the David Lee sign and trade made sense. Give me a break.

Bill Walker – He can play but they don’t give him enough minutes anyway.

All the draft picks that Denver wants – I’ll take the sure thing in ‘Melo over a shot-in-the-dark Rookie.

Those are pretty much the players being discussed with the exception of Eddy Curry and his expiring contract. They’re going to have to try and pull a third team into the mix again. They tried dangling the Grizzlies’ O.J. Mayo in front of the Nuggets, but Denver had no interest.

The only guy I’d have a tough time parting with is Wilson Chandler as crazy as that sounds. Denver is undervaluing him and they don’t realize it. If I’m Donnie Walsh, I try to sell the you-know-what out of Anthony Randolph. I would remind Denver that he’s still only 21 and is as good as previously advertised. Then I’d run for cover so I wouldn’t get struck by lightning. I’d shove Randolph down their throats to take attention away from Chandler.

If these “sources” are right, and ‘Melo will become a Knick, I’m terrified to see what they give up if Landry, Chandler and a first rounder didn’t interest them. I’m sure Chandler will be gone but if that’s the case, the Knicks should do everything in their power to get back a big body who can defend in addition to ‘Melo because although they score more than any other team, they get scored on almost more than any other team. That being said, maybe a serviceable 5 who can defend should be on their radar instead. Oh that’s right, they don’t exist anymore. Nevermind.

If you’re looking for your everyday, predictable basketball talk, then go somewhere else, because Kevin Burke of The Kevin Burke Project brings provocative, thought provoking content about basketball as only he can. Kevin also hosts The Hoop Doctors weekly podcast show, which you can subscribe to for free on iTunes. Follow Kevin on Twitter and Facebook

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