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Posted at 8:11 AM ET, 02/22/2011

Carmelo Anthony ticketed for New York, but is price too steep?

By Cindy Boren

Updated at 3:50 p.m.

With questions swirling about Isiah Thomas' possible involvement in the Knicks' acquisition of Carmelo Anthony, Donnie Walsh took a moment to deliver an "oof" to the midsection of Thomas.

"I'm assuming Isiah's getting ready for the NCAA tournament. That's what I'm assuming."

Isiah, of course, is the coach at Florida International ... 9-17 Florida International.

Filed at 8:11 a.m.

Even Carmelo Anthony, finally, was fed up with trade rumors.

He was in California taping Conan O'Brien's show as the trade that sent him from the Denver Nuggets to the New York Knicks was finally really truly this-time-we-mean-it get-the-Hello-Melo-headlines-ready was gathering steam.

"I wish it would just come to an end. It's all fun and games," Anthony said, "and it's exciting to know that so many people want me to come and represent that city or that organization, but at this point, it's just like enough is enough already. Let's get something done."

O'Brien did try his best to pry some info out of Anthony. "What if you were really hungry and had a choice between a Denver omelet, New Jersey taffy and Manhattan clam chowder, which one would you want to eat?" Very sly move by Coco, but not sly enough. "The Denver omelet does have a lot of things inside of it ... it will fill you up, so I think I'll take the Denver omelet."

Wrong. You'll get chowder and you'll like it. Here, via Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, are the details:

The price for Anthony was steep, as the Knicks traded Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler and rookie center Timofey Mozgov to the Denver Nuggets. They also gave Denver $3 million in cash plus a 2014 first-round pick and two second-round picks they had acquired from Golden State in last summer's sign-and-trade with David Lee.
The Knicks get Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Renaldo Balkman and Anthony Carter. In a separate deal, the Knicks traded Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry to the Minnesota T-Wolves, who in turn will reportedly send Corey Brewer to the Knicks. As a condition of the deal, Anthony will get a 3-year, $65 million extension.

In other words, as one New York TV reporter put it: "If your name is not Amare Stoudemire ... you've been traded!"

So...what to make of the move? Management, as Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post points out, wasn't exactly breaking up the '72 Lakers with this move. They're two games over .500 and didn't figure to beat Miami, Boston or Orlando in the playoffs. They asked themselves "why not do this and had no real answer.

The Knicks weren't winning a title any time soon -- make that ever -- with the team they would have fielded sans Carmelo. And they may not win one even now; the Nuggets couldn't throw in any guarantees.
But they're in position to go for it now.
Forget everything else and focus on that. They're closer this morning than they were yesterday. They had to get this done. And they did.

Some, like Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News, break out in a rash (medical term: Cerrato-itis) over the idea that Isiah Thomas and James Dolan made the trade, which will hasten the departure of Donnie Walsh and competence.

Still, you have to know there is another bottom line to all this, for all the dancing up and down Seventh Avenue:
After Donnie Walsh made the Knicks viable and watchable again, Dolan shoved him out of the way to make this deal. Walsh wouldn't even be in New York if Thomas' reign running basketball at the Garden hadn't been such an epic, Old Testament failure, both on and off the court, in all ways, from Stephon Marbury to Anucha Browne Sanders.

As for the other team, Woody Paige's the "hick leaves sticks for Knicks" deal presents far more uncertainty. Mark Kizla says giving up Billups "rips the heart and soul out of Denver."

Photos: Melo through the years

By Cindy Boren  | February 22, 2011; 8:11 AM ET
Categories:  NBA  
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this isn't a finished product. NY still has to add interior defenders and a guy that can distribute the basketball.

The Knicks even with Anthony are no more than the Nuggets were, a mid-level playoff team that needs another offseason to retool the bench.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | February 22, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I'm wondering about George Karl. The guy deserves better.

Posted by: joecairo | February 22, 2011 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I for 1 am happy , even as a Wizard fan. I guess some will say I'm a hater, but looks to me like it "WILL" not be multiple championships in south beach as promised. After the rest of the pieces are added, I think they (Knicks) will be formidible! OK Ted, let's make sure we keep JW when all is said and done.

Posted by: bossclifnpooh2 | February 22, 2011 11:25 AM | Report abuse

This is more about selling seat's at the Garden then it is about winning a championship Felton,Chandler, and Dino were an intergal part of the Knick's turning it around this season. The focus for the Knick's fanbase now will be on seeing Melo and Amarie and hoping the opponent doesn't score a buck fifty and what happens pray tell if NY doesn't make the playoff's.

Posted by: dargregmag | February 22, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

So happy the Lakers didn't get him. Woo hoo New York!!!

A Wizards Fan.

Posted by: shelley514 | February 22, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: mortified469 | February 22, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Billups was the key.
Playing defense in D'Antoni's system does not matter because it isn't focused on winning championships - it focuses on an entertaining regular season. P.T. Barnum at his best would have made this deal, too.

Posted by: KDSmallJr | February 23, 2011 6:57 AM | Report abuse

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