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Fantasy Fallout: Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks

Matt Buser
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Now that we’ve finally got the specifics of the Carmelo Anthony(notes) trade, we can break down the expected ramifications from a fantasy perspective. You’ll have to forgive me for being light on the pleasantries, but I think we can all agree that we’re way past that point when it comes to this particular transaction…

New York Knicks

PG: Chauncey Billups(notes), Toney Douglas(notes), Anthony Carter(notes), Andy Rautins(notes)
SG: Landry Fields(notes), Corey Brewer(notes), Roger Mason(notes)
SF: Carmelo Anthony, Shawne Williams(notes), Bill Walker(notes)
PF: Amar'e Stoudemire(notes), Renaldo Balkman(notes)
C: Ronny Turiaf(notes), Shelden Williams(notes)

This will be interesting. The Knicks have replaced two supporting offensive players (Gallinari, Chandler) with the player currently ranked second in the league in usage (and sixth all-time). Since neither Amar’e nor Melo is much of a passer, the comparisons to the LeBron James(notes)/Dwyane Wade pairing are largely moot and we're entering a bit of unknown territory. Obviously Mike D'Antoni is not lacking for offensive creativity, but it’s nearly impossible to see how both players won’t have to sacrifice at least a few shots in order to accommodate the other. The 34-year-old Billups isn’t likely to match the departed Felton’s 38 minutes per game and is less of a distributor at this point of his career, so the plot only thickens. Anthony and Stoudemire are clearly immense individual talents, but the individual nature of their games means there are likely to be growing pains here and particularly at the outset. Amar’e has delivered a top-10 impact all season and Melo has been in the top 20 over the past month thanks to almost 30 points per game, but you shouldn’t count on either of those rankings staying at those high levels.

The Knicks have a rebuilt rotation, but D’Antoni will keep it shallow and the notable fantasy impacts should remain limited to a select few players. Fields’ role and responsibilities remain largely unchanged as the starting shooting guard, while Douglas will continue to see around 20 minutes as the third guard. Brewer can provide athleticism off the bench and things could get interesting if he emerges as a regular in the team’s “small” lineup, but we’ll need the change of scenery to also help address his offensive woes (career 41/31/70 percentages). Turiaf is once again in line for consistent starts at center and becomes a bit more relevant for that reason. Williams qualifies as steady-but-unspectacular but will suffice for the Knicks’ purposes if Turiaf can’t keep himself on the court, as he’s struggled to do from the outset this season. Williams and Balkman will compete for backup minutes at the forward spots, but there don’t figure to be many available.

Denver Nuggets

PG: Ty Lawson(notes), Raymond Felton(notes)
SG: Arron Afflalo(notes), J.R. Smith(notes)
SF: Danilo Gallinari(notes), Gary Forbes(notes)
PF: Wilson Chandler(notes), Kenyon Martin(notes), Al Harrington(notes)
C: Nene Hilario(notes), Timofey Mozgov(notes), Chris Andersen(notes), Melvin Ely(notes)

There’s suddenly real intrigue at point guard for the Nuggets – George Karl said that Lawson is “probably” his starter in the wake of the trade and the team is likely looking to send Felton elsewhere before Thursday’s trade deadline. We likely have not have seen the last of the shuffling here, and there are rumors of both Felton and Gallinari potentially being shipped elsewhere by Denver, with Nene now staying put. No matter what goes down over the next few days, whoever ends up as a starter for this team past the deadline is going to be in a very good position to accumulate fantasy numbers. Lawson is back online as a speculative add, but you have to imagine things would get uncomfortable if Felton isn’t shipped out and Karl decides that he’s a reserve. Neither Gallinari nor Chandler is a true power forward, but one of them would play the position for the Nuggets as it currently stands – K-Mart has been showing a few signs of life lately, but he’s now less important as a rotation regular for this team and more important as an expiring $17 million salary. Afflalo gets the anticipated upgrade here and should have every chance to expand his game moving forward. J.R. Smith’s role and prospects are largely unchanged (if he remains on the roster past the deadline), while Al Harrington and Chris Andersen, like K-Mart, get bumped down a rung to make room for the new troops.

Minnesota Timberwolves

PG: Luke Ridnour(notes), Jonny Flynn(notes), Sebastian Telfair(notes)
SG: Martell Webster(notes), Wayne Ellington(notes)
SF: Michael Beasley(notes), Wesley Johnson, Lazar Hayward(notes)
PF: Kevin Love(notes), Anthony Tolliver(notes), Anthony Randolph(notes)
C: Darko Milicic(notes), Nikola Pekovic(notes), Kosta Koufos(notes), Eddy Curry(notes)

Not much has changed for the T-Wolves. Webster figures to gain a bit more relevance as the Wolves’ starting shooting guard, provided he can get and stay healthy – he’s averaged 14.2 points, 1.8 threes, and 1 steal in the 12 games where he’s seen at least 25 minutes of playing time. The 21-year-old Randolph makes more sense for the team’s depth chart than Brewer, given their reason depth on the wings, but he’s a project and won’t be a major factor in their immediate plans. His learning curve for the Rambis-taught triangle figures to be very steep, considering his struggles to this point of his career.

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