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Report: Nets leave ‘Melo meeting “not confident,” but Knicks have own issues

Feb 20, 2011, 9:52 AM EDT

Phoenix Suns v Denver Nuggets

The Carmelo Anthony trade saga is nearing its end — finally — but like a soap opera’s final episodes the drama just seems to ramp up for the event. Here is where we stand Sunday morning.

Anthony and Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov broke break and had a shot of, um, water at a Los Angeles area restaurant early Saturday night.

The result should not thrill Nets fans, tweeted Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo:

After Carmelo Anthony sit-down with New Jersey ownership, “The Nets didn’t come away very confident,” a source briefed on meeting tells Y!

That would seem to put the Knicks in a position of strength….

But they are doing their best to shoot themselves in the foot — including maybe driving team president Donnie Walsh away — according to Ken Berger at CBSSports.

The Knicks’ willingness to part with three starting players — Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari and Raymond Felton — plus Eddy Curry’s expiring contract and a first-round pick from another team, marked a significant departure from the patient strategy employed by team president Donnie Walsh. And sources told CBSSports.com Saturday that the involvement of (Knicks owner James) Dolan, leaning on the advice of former team president Isiah Thomas, could call into question Walsh’s willingness to remain with the team beyond this season.

Wojnarowski backs up the idea that Thomas and Dolan are the ones pushing this trade in this form.

This is Dolan’s show now — he met with Anthony, he and Thomas are calling the shots. This trade, if it goes forward as constructed, is vintage Thomas-era Knicks. If Anthony will not sign with the Nets, the Knicks are bidding against themselves, so there is no reason to part with three starters. What is more, this deal combined with Amar’e Stoudemire’s and a likely much lower salary cap in a new CBA, will make it very difficult or even impossible to sign a third star like Chris Paul or Deron Williams to go with these two. Melo and Amar’e will be your guys. And you’ll need good role players — like the ones you are trading away — to go around them to make this work at all. This move hamstrings the team for years to come against the cap. It is vintage Thomas.

If Anthony is not going to go to the Nets, the Knick can afford to be patient and lowball the Nuggets, forcing them to take less for fear of getting nothing. Walsh was letting the situation come to him. Dolan and Thomas showed the patience and nuance of a five-year-old. Or a sports talk radio caller.

Berger adds that the Nuggets do have their “nuclear option.” They could tell Anthony they will not trade him to the Knicks under any circumstances, he has to agree to a sign and trade with the Nets or stay with the Nuggets. It’s risky for Denver — he could stay, opt out of his deal, become a free agent and sign with the Knicks next summer as a free agent (the scenario that frankly would be best for the Knicks). The Nuggets risk becoming the Cavaliers. But for Anthony to do so would be to give up tens of millions of dollars — we don’t know what a max contract will look like in a new CBA, but you can bet it will be lower than the current one. Less than the three years, $65 million extension on the table.

Does Anthony want to go to the Knicks bad enough to risk giving up tens of millions in guaranteed money? Will Dolan make sure the trade happens now for the Knicks? Will Anthony wake up Sunday morning and think the Nets don’t look so bad?

All of this and more are coming in the final episodes of the ‘Melodrama.

  1. bigtrav425 - Feb 20, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    wow..just wow…..on the other hand hahahahahaha@New York

    • zackd2 - Feb 20, 2011 at 10:19 AM

      Yes haha @ the team who’s going to have Amare & Melo.

      What team are you a fan of?

      • m4a188 - Feb 20, 2011 at 11:01 AM

        Amare, Melo and Isiah? count me out hahha. Melo sucks anyways hes a chucker that does not make anyone else better.

  2. jolink653 - Feb 20, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    can we get james dolan involved in some kind of ponzi scheme so he’ll be forced to sell the team n we can get someone competent to own the knicks? what a disgrace

  3. thejokewriter - Feb 20, 2011 at 10:58 AM

    i know it sounds nuts…but look out for the Bulls.

    Believe me…I know

    Peter

  4. lawrinson20 - Feb 20, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    “Melo sucks anyways hes a chucker that does not make anyone else better.”

    You represent yourself as a 9-year old would, so i imagine you have no historical frame of reference. Fact is, he took his college team to the National Championship game and won it. As a freshman. And that team, without him for the next three years, did diddly. Fact is, the Nuggets have been solidly in the playoffs since his arrival. How often had they done that before Melo? Not so much.

    You do echo one solid point, though. Thomas’ involvement does make you question everything. He’s a barnacle that needs to be scraped from the Knicks’ hull. For good this time.

    • hungrybear22 - Feb 20, 2011 at 6:47 PM

      The Nuggets weren’t relevant in any way shape or form until they acquired Chauncey Billups. Before that, they had Iverson, a player in same vein as Anthony, a shoot first, second, and third type of player. Honestly, if the Knicks gut their entire roster for Anthony, they will have two of the worst defenders in the league as their centerpieces. How you can win like that in an era where all the top teams play good to great defense baffles me. But then again, you have Dolan and Isaih calling the shots.

  5. blackglass3 - Feb 20, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    If we get Melo but than end up with Isiah F*cking Thomas back at any capacity in the Knicks org, I am turning my gear in and becoming a fan of a different team. I stuck by them through the first Isiah run because I figured in the end Dolan would learn his lesson. I refuse to go through 5-10 more years of unentertaining basketball and horrific free agent signings.

  6. leearmon - Feb 20, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    @m4a188

    Melo unlike every other “star” out of the ’03 draft has made the playoffs every year of his career. He has almost single handedly brought the Nuggets to respect, and is arguably the best scorer in the league. Plus he’s the best rebouding SF in the league. So to call him a chucker is a bit ridiculous.

    Here are the stats to prove it. Plus Melo’s numbers are quite similar to those of Paul Pierce at the same age.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=piercpa01&y1=2006&p2=anthoca01&y2=2011

    So if Melo joined with Amar’e and possibly Deron makes you laugh, I want whatever you’re smoking to sell.

    • gatch21 - Feb 20, 2011 at 12:48 PM

      NO “D”

  7. SmackSaw - Feb 20, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    Gotta keep Gallinari

  8. goforthanddie - Feb 20, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    Leaving millions on the table isn’t an option for Mr. Vasquez.

  9. dysraw1 - Feb 21, 2011 at 10:45 AM

    heres the deal donnie did do a good job clearing the cap space, however it was isiah who gave those pieces to move. i dont fault zeke for everything that happen in his run. true some bad moves were made,but i do believe in my heart that he was trying to put a competitve team on the floor.as for the knicks up coming trade i say no u dont gut this team like that felton has proved he belongs here, gallo is delveloping more &more , so of the trade these 2 should be untouchable also we need more biggs so donnie should be looking to add some size every time amare sits down we look so weak so consider that

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