By Brandon Niles

I was going to talk about the NBA
All-Star game and the very cool
over-the-car slam that Blake Griffin
performed to win the dunk contest
this year. I was going to bring up
the Celebrity game where we got to
see that Scottie Pippen still has it,
Michael Rapaport is still fantastically obnoxious, and somehow Justin
Beiber had game. I was even going
to mention All-Star snubs (LaMarcus Aldridge) and top performers
(Kobe Bryant). However, in the
wake of bigger news, I must forego
the All-Star discussion and focus
on what will probably go down as
the most controversial trade in the
NBA this year.
Carmelo Anthony (Melo), longtime
star of the Denver Nuggets and
one of the ten best players in the
game right now, was traded to the
New York Knicks. This is a fantastic
piece to the puzzle for the Knicks,
who already have a top ten player in
Amare Stoudemire. With these two
star players, the Knicks are definitely in a good position to compete
for a playoff position in the Eastern
Conference.
The question remains however, is
this a good trade for the Knicks in
the long
term?
The
Knicks
essentially
gave up
three key
players,
two guys with potential, and a first
round draft pick for Melo, point
guard Chauncey Billups, and backup
shooting guard Corey Brewer. While
Billups will be a temporary upgrade
at the position, he’s only likely to be
with the team for two or three years
at the most. He’s not the long-term
solution at the position.
Additionally, losing so much young talent
could potentially put the Knicks in
a position where they lack enough
role players to compliment their
stars. Most surprising is the fact that Melo
would’ve been a free agent after this
season. He also
has explicitly
stated on multiple
occasions
that he wants
to play for
the Knicks,
and only
the Knicks.
Instead of giving up so much, why
didn’t the Knicks just wait until the
end of the season and sign Melo to
a free agent contract? Even if they
took that gamble and Melo signed
elsewhere, they’d still have a shot
at another marquee player next year
in Chris Paul or Dwight Howard.
Both players are arguably better than
Melo, and both have expressed
desire to play in New York.
New York was desperate for a guarantee of Melo’s services. As a result,
their long-term future could suffer.
While Melo and Amare pairing up
in New York will defi nitely sell seats
and will surely help them put up
some points, the price was too high
and the timing was all wrong. Kudos
to Denver for getting a lot out of a
guy who was leaving at the end of
the season anyway, and shame on the
Knicks for competing against themselves in this negotiation.
Brandon Niles
has done online
freelance writing
about the NFL since
2007. He is a Communication Studies
graduate student
at the University of North Carolina
Greensboro.