Tue Feb 15 11:15am EST
The Knicks would like their fans to know that they'd still really, really like to trade for Carmelo Anthony. And that the team will attempt to give up significant parts (Eddy Curry's(notes) expiring deal, one of their 42 wing players, a draft pick that they're going to somehow procure between now and next Thursday's trade deadline), but the Knicks are also mindful of giving up way too much for a player that will be knocking on their front door once the lockout ends later this year.
And even if GM Donnie Walsh isn't around to see it all go down, people within the Knicks organization would still like you to know that the neophyte personnel guys in Denver are still asking way, way too much for a player that the Nuggets have precious little leverage with. The Anthony-to-the-Laker thing was a Worldwide Wes-planted, ESPN-styled joke. New Jersey left the table last month. The Bulls aren't sniffing, unless Joakim Noah(notes) is around and he's wearing "that coat." Houston and Dallas don't have the juice. And if Anthony had wanted anything to do with signing with the Nuggets for what could legitimately be twice the money New York can offer this offseason, he would have done it years ago.
So it's down to the Knicks, and Denver doesn't seem to care. Either it's bonkers, or it really doesn't mind just making that playoff scratch this season with Anthony, and starting over during the offseason once he jets. I actually can't blame the Nuggets in that regard, because while I like Danilo Gallinari(notes), he's due for an extension soon enough, and he's not really a franchise-changer, is he?
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News then gets to drop this story, assuring his readership that those Knicks of his are still trying, that they're still relevant, and that it's everyone else outside of New York that is gobbling crazy pills.
Carmelo Anthony could have been a Knick Monday if only team president Donnie Walsh were willing to meet Denver's trade demands, which one team official classified as "steep."
The Nuggets, according to a source, are asking for three starters -- including Danilo Gallinari and Raymond Felton -- plus Eddy Curry's expiring contract and at least one first-round pick. In that proposed deal, Anthony and veteran point guard Chauncey Billups(notes) would be coming to the Knicks.
It is believed that Walsh and Mike D'Antoni feel the team would be giving up too much. Garden chairman James Dolan has had direct involvement in the negotiations and may ultimately overrule his basketball staff.
The last part is my favorite part, because it allows us couch-dwelling types to play one of our favorite games ... Who Dropped the Plant?
Was it a Walsh sympathizer, pointing out that Donnie is trying but that he's not a basketball moron, bent on giving up way too much for a player that doesn't really address New York's on-court concerns, and one they could get for a song (and not an outmoded, old-CBA-era contract extension that would put the Knicks in the red for years) this offseason?
Or is it a Dolan guy, one who is deluded enough to think that the punters will actually cheer at reading something like the admission that Dolan "may ultimately overrule his basketball staff"? As in, "that old coot who drafted Jordan Hill(notes) doesn't want to bring you a star, see, but I gots my eye on the sky! Gonna swoop in and show this Carmelo kid the Great White Way! To the moon, Knickerbockers!"
Fantastic. At the heart of it all is a little truth. Denver is asking too much, whatever that is, otherwise the deal would have been done ages ago. Because both sides are somewhat keen to pull it off. Not keen enough, though, to pass on a playoff trip, or give up too much that would cripple a team moving forward. There's nothing wrong, here. It's just the motivation behind it that you have to be skeptical about.
Meanwhile, Gallinari did not practice Monday and is bothered by a sore knee. It appears to be a legitimate injury but players who don't want to be traded have a history of coming down with sudden leg ailments.
If it appears to be legitimate, then why in the hell does that make the paper? Why does that even make a tabloid like the Daily News?
I mean, would this fly?
Meanwhile, Gallinari did not practice Monday and is bothered by a sore knee. It appears to be a legitimate injury, but players who stay out all night drinking Campari and filming stag movies in the basement of their endangered California Condor dealer's place in Bayside are often too tired to practice the next day, and have a history of coming down with sudden leg ailments.
New York, I love you, and I dig your team. But we're going to have to take a break from each other, soon. Starting after, say, the first round of the playoffs. Cool?