Give it up For Fotios, as this is his Original Work
The Carmelo Anthony era in New York has been a collection of highs and mostly lows. In fact, the highlight of his tenure in the world’s most famous arena didn’t even involve him. It was overshadowed by a previously unknown Asian-American point guard that played his college hoops at Harvard. Currently, the star and “leader” of the Knicks has the team in last place, in arguably the worst division in the NBA. One glance at the current team and not one trace of toughness, hustle, defense, or heart from the early 90’s exists. I wish Charles Oakley and Anthony Mason could take Melo into a back alley and beat some toughness into him. Melo has arguably as much talent as anybody in the league, but he doesn’t make his teammates better and takes as many plays off as Mike Francesa takes vacation days. These are truly sad times in the world’s most famous arena.
At the end of next season, Melo will be a free agent, where he will most likely command a max deal (which the Knicks front office will probably pay) and extend the fans’ misery another 5 years. The argument against trading Melo is always that he can’t play with other stars and isn’t a good fit for most offenses. I’m going to propose a trade that I believe could free up roughly $66 mil for the Knicks to rebuild, while bringing a championship to Houston. I’ll be honest, I don’t know if Houston could afford the deal, but if they could, it would make them an immediate contender and the premiere team in the west. The Rockets would take Melo, Amare, and Bargnani. The Knicks would receive Lin, Asik, and Omri Casspi.
The Rockets are the one team I could see Melo fitting in with. The last time Melo played well with stars was in the Olympics and I could see him fulfilling a similar roll in Houston. He’d be playing with enough talent around him to ensure he’d almost never be double teamed, while also not having to shoulder the scoring load every single night. Amare isn’t what he used to be and probably never will be, but he has been regaining his form in his limited minutes and has had a few highlight reel plays, albeit mostly in garbage time. He could be a spark plug off the bench and even a leader on the B squad. As for Bargnani, the knock on him is that he’s a soft defender and not very quick on his feet. With Dwight Howard in the middle, his lack of D won’t be as big of an issue and his solid outside shooting would help the high powered offense spread the floor. His numbers have been solid in New York and he has stayed healthy so far.
The motivating factor here for the Knicks is not winning this year. It would be to save money and reinvest in a player, or players, that can get them back to contention. I won’t use the “L” word yet, but if the deal happened at least those rumors could fly.
The Knicks would get back the player that re-inspired the City and the Garden. He’s not going to be a Chris Paul or Kyrie Irving, but Lin is a smart, young, healthy player with a good work ethic and amazing court vision. The fact that the Knicks let him go because he was too expensive at $8 mil a year is preposterous when they signed Rhianna’s party pal and shoestring puller J.R. Smith for $5 mil a year. I feel like the Melo coddling had something to do with both those decisions.
In Asik, the Knicks would be taking in a tough, big man who plays hard and could be a solid 10 point, 10 board guy with enough playing time. He has sat out the year out demanding a trade after the Rockets brought Dwight in and cut his minutes. I see him as a Turkish David Lee, another guy the Knicks let go who is having a career year with the Warriors. Omri Casspi is young, has a good offensive skill set, and his main draw is he only makes about a mil a year. He’s a gamble, but he has shown he can play when on the floor.
I know this trade is almost impossible to pull off, but I honestly believe that with Melo, the Rockets would be a better team and at least on par with the Heat. The sad reality is that Dolan and the rest of the cancer that is now running the team operations will probably pay Melo everything he wants. Knicks fans will be left with an older, fatter, lazier version of the same selfish player they have now, and at best get knocked out of the first or second round of the playoffs. This trade is pure daydream material, but it’s less painful than watching the actual product on the Garden floor. Gone are the glory days of Ewing, Starks, Harper, and Oakley battling MJ in the playoffs. I’m probably just a “Glazed donut faced ass” for even thinking about getting rid of Melo, but there’s always hope. Alway’s remember “THE DUNK”