‘Melo trade establishes Knicks as top team in New York

By Matt Moscolo

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Spike Lee is jumping for joy somewhere . Carmelo Anthony is finally a New York Knick. After nearly five
months of speculation between the Knicks, Nets, and Nuggets, the four- time all star forward joins Amar’e Stoudemire in the Big Apple, hoping to bring the Knicks back to relevance for the first time since 1999.

The three team deal included the Minnesota Timberwolves, Denver Nuggets and of course, the Knicks. The Knicks received forwards Carmelo Anthony, Corey Brewer and Shelden Williams. They also received guards Chauncey Billups and Anthony Carter.

Denver got forwards Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari, plus rookie center Timofey Mosgov. They also acquired point guard Raymond Felton. Denver also picked up a few draft picks, while Minnesota received forward Anthony Randolph and the expiring contract of Eddy Curry from the Knicks.

The Knicks were not the only team making blockbuster moves in the New York area, as the New Jersey Nets closed a deal on Wednesday afternoon. They acquired all-star point guard Deron Williams from Utah in exchange for Devin Harris and the 2010 third overall pick, along with forward Derrick Favors, draft picks and cash.

After failing to sway any key superstars in the summer free agency of 2010, the Nets’ patience proved to be successful. By picking up Williams, head coach Avery Johnson has a solidified star at point guard to run a very young New Jersey Nets squad who has struggled mightily in the past few seasons.

New Jersey owner Mikhail Prokhorov also has a face for the move to Brooklyn in the next few years. While the recent transactions have made the Knicks and Nets even more fiery rivals, the two teams existing in New York together will provide for some more classic battles in the coming years.

Since the two New York area squads provided the most noise before the trade deadline, the question becomes which team got the most from their blockbuster trades?

Simple answer: The New York Knicks.

The Knicks currently sits sixth in the Eastern Conference, while scoring the second most points in the league. By adding Carmelo, not only do they get a young proven star, but they also add Carmelo’s 25 points per game to an already potent offense.

They also got an upgrade at point with the addition of Chauncey Billups, who has more experience than Raymond Felton, and a ring to prove it. The Nets improved their back court dramatically with the addition of Deron Williams, but still remain more than a few pieces away from being a contender in the star-studded Eastern Conference.

The Nets cleared cap space and will try to capture another free agent all-star in the near future. Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum will be available in 2012. Hopes are high for Howard in New Jersey, but we all know what happened the last time the Nets hoped to land a stud in the offseason.

The New York Knicks won this trade deadline by vastly improving their team’s potential to be solid contenders in the league for the next couple years. Meanwhile, the New Jersey Nets are still waiting to add another superstar. The New York Knicks are relevant once again, and New York’s native son is home, just in time for the stretch run.