At long last, Carmelo Anthony is a member of the Knicks. That's certainly reason for him to smile, although it will be some time before we know if his arrival brings a new era of happiness to the Knicks.
It's official, the New York Knicks have finally acquired Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets in a three-team deal. Chances are, you know a Knicks fan who will no doubt start proclaiming a new era of Knicks dominance, but we know better.
The Knicks aren't about to dethrone the Boston Celtics as Eastern Conference champions. They haven't caught up with the Heat or Chicago Bulls at the top of the Eastern Conference, either. Adding 'Melo will bring some nice buzz to the Knicks, but they are still a long way off from winning a championship.
Remember when Miami landed the Big Three, and sportswriters everywhere said they couldn't win a championship because they lacked the key role players to put them over the top? The Knicks traded a number of key cogs to land Anthony, including Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, and Wilson Chandler, who combined for 49.4 points per game.
What did they receive in return? Besides 'Melo, the Knicks got Chauncey Billups, Renaldo Balkman, Shelden Williams, and Anthony Carter. Billups, a 34-year-old point guard, has lost a step in recent years and plays terrible defense. Balkman was actually drafted by the Knicks in 2006, but was traded to Denver in 2008. Somehow we doubt he became a great basketball player during his time in Denver. Williams was called "one of the least talented big men in the NBA" by Fox Sports' Charley Rosen last night. Carter is a backup point guard.
Compare these role players to Mike Miller, Eddie House, and Udonis Haslem (and Chris Bosh, while we're at it, since the Knicks only have a Big Two), and the Knicks roster doesn't look so threatening, does it?
Besides, would you rather have Anthony and Amare Stoudemire over Dwyane Wade and LeBron James? We didn't think so.
The Knicks post-trade bubble could burst pretty quickly. After facing cellar-dwellers Milwaukee and Cleveland this week, the Knicks will travel to Miami to face the Heat Sunday night. They should beat the Bucks and Cavs handily this week, but don't expect them to knock off one of the top teams in the East less than a week after overhauling their roster.
Remember how bad the Heat looked at times through the first two months of the season? That will be the Knicks until mid-April or so. When the season started, the Heat's Big Three had yet to play many minutes together thanks to a Dwyane Wade injury in the preseason. Once the real games started, this lack of familiarity showed, and we don't need to rehash the panic that set in shortly thereafter.
The Knicks traded away half their roster for half a dozen players, including Anthony, Billups, and Corey Brewer. By the time they visit Miami on Sunday night, the new Knicks may have gotten over the jet lag, but they will still need weeks to gel as a team.
Prepare to see plenty "What's wrong with the Knicks?" stories from the New York media in the coming month. It will make for some fun schadenfreude.
David Hill is a Miami native and the former owner of a youth replica Rony Seikaly jersey.