Knicks Land Carmelo Anthony in Blockbuster Trade
By Michael Ventura and Jim Scott
MANHATTAN — Carmelo Anthony is taking his talents to Broadway.
After months of posturing, the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets finally hammered out a trade Monday night that sends Anthony to Big Apple in exchange for four starters, three draft picks and cash, according to several reports.
The Nuggets will send the All-Star swingman to Manhattan along with point guard Chauncey Billups, forwards Shelden Williams and Renaldo Balkman and guard Anthony Carter, the New York Times reported.
In exchange, the Knicks send most of their starting lineup to Denver, including point guard Raymond Felton, forwards Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler, and rookie center Timofey Mozgov, the Times reported. New York will also send their 2014 first round pick and two second-round picks, in 2012 and 2013, to the Nuggets. Anthony is expected to sign a three-year, $65 million extension as a condition of the deal.
The Knicks also traded Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry's expiring contract to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for forward Corey Brewer, the paper said. It was unclear whether he would stay with the team or be traded elsewhere in another deal.
"I'm glad its over," Nuggets coach George Karl told the Denver Post. "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."
The Knicks paid a king's ransom for a chance to get one of the league's top scorers and pair him with All-Star forward Amar'e Stoudemire. Anthony, 26, has a career scoring average of 30.4 points at Madison Square Garden.
Anthony led the Nuggets to the playoffs in each of his first seven seasons after winning a national title at Syracuse as a freshman in 2003. However, Denver advanced out of the first round just once during Anthony's time there.
"This was a long process and Carmelo is relieved that it is over and he's thrilled to be joining the Knicks," Anthony's agent, Leon Rose, said in a statement, the News reported.
Anthony and Billups will likely join Stoudemire in the Knicks starting line up with rookie Landry Fields and center Ronny Turiaf. New York, which has available roster spots, may sign free agent center Earl Barron or bring back Jarred Jeffries, who could be bought out by the Houston Rockets, the Daily News reported.
Billiups, 34, replaces Felton, 26, whose emergence helped transform the Knicks into winners this season. But Felton's resume doesn't compare with Billups who has made a career out of hitting big shots and leading teams to playoff wins.
"I think Chauncey will go down as one of the greatest winners," Karl told the Associated Press. "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."
Meanwhile, Anthony will have to pick a new jersey number for his starring role on Broadway. The All Star forward wore No. 15 in Denver, but that number was retired by the Knicks to honor New York legends Earl Monroe and Dick McGuire.
Whatever number Anthony picks, he and the new-look Knicks (28-26) begin the second half of their season against the Milwaukee Bucks at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday with a tremendous buzz surrounding them. Suddenly, the Bucks are a hot ticket.