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Report: D’Antoni wanted to trade ‘Melo for Deron Williams

Mar 14, 2012, 5:04 PM EDT

New Jersey Nets v New York Knicks Getty Images

We know that now-former New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni and team owner James Dolan met Wednesday morning and came out of that meeting deciding to resign because of differences in how they saw the future of the organization.

Those differences were major — D’Antoni wanted to trade Carmelo Anthony to the Nets for Deron Williams. So reports David Aldridge of TNT and

D’Antoni, the source said, had been advocating that the Knicks attempt to trade Anthony to the New Jersey Nets for guard Deron Williams, a deal D’Antoni believed would be beneficial for both franchises. But Dolan categorically declined that request, and the “conflicting visions” between the owner and head coach about Anthony meant there was no way forward.

D’Antoni had hoped the Knicks’ inspired and winning play with Lin as the centerpiece — while Anthony and Stoudemire were injured — would convince Dolan the Knicks could win without Anthony.

D’Antoni and Anthony clearly had differences and the coach didn’t think he could run his offense right with Anthony in it. In recent games Anthony had been setting up in his preferred area on the elbow extended, which threw off the spacing of the Knicks pick-and-roll with Jeremy Lin. The whole offense fell apart and became desperation isolations.

But this is bigger than just play sets — this is about how to build a team to fit a system. D’Antoni may or may not have been able to win with his style in New York but we’ll never know because the Knicks management kept giving him an ill-fitting roster that would never work with what he wanted to run. At one point he had a good point guard for his system — which is point-guard dependent — in Raymond Felton, but he was traded to Denver in the Carmelo Anthony deal. Which brought in Chauncey Billups — not as good a system fit but solid. Then he was amnestied to make way for Tyson Chandler and not really replaced. Had they not lucked into Jeremy Lin the Knicks would have had all their hopes pinned on the already strained back on Baron Davis.

D’Antoni wanted a guy that fits his system. Dolan put a lot of effort into getting Anthony to New York (pushing aside then decision maker Donnie Walsh to do it). Dolan loves ‘Melo. It was a battle D’Antoni could not win, so he chose to leave the battlefield.

  1. gmen4life33 - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    With Howard staying on ORL one more year, NJ would have to move Williams or lose him. Knicks could have gotten Williams and a 1st for Melo (under contract, thus the extra 1st). Would have been great, Williams running the offense with Stat/Chandler to pass to. A real offense. Thanks Dolan…. sigh

  2. boilerup1869 - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    But Deron Williams is a coach-killer too, Mike!

  3. greenguy12 - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    Deron’s gotta be screaming for a trade now..I’d be doing it soon before the desperateness drags value down

  4. bbk1000 - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Not saying D’Antoni was correct in this instance… but Dolan is the worst owner in sports…I wish his dad would take the team away….

    • ajcardsfan - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:46 PM

      I’m not a fan of the NBA, too much drama, so I tend to stay with NCAA basketball. That said, it seams to me that this owner isn’t a smart person. You either trust your coach and let him run the show, then if that doesn’t pan out, replace him, or you fire him on the spot.

    • fouldwimmerlaik - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:19 PM

      Same line I would use for Jim Buss…

    • limonadamas - Mar 15, 2012 at 1:00 PM

      umm… Donald Sterling? hahaha

  5. caeser12 - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    One mercurial player for another, OUCH!

    Carmelo is either going to turn into a beast, or need counseling.

    • losangelasbasketball - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:55 PM

      Dantoni is lobbying for avery’s job in the new Barclay’s Center… probably won’t happen…

  6. reupjosh - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    At this point, I’d take 50¢ on the dollar. Melo stock is crashing faster than Netflix.

  7. losangelasbasketball - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    When the Knicks get back on top with a coach that can massage ego’s better than Dantoni, the Knicks fans will whine about winning too many games…. watch…

    • bbk1000 - Mar 17, 2012 at 10:48 AM

      you say ego’s or sphincters?

  8. limonadamas - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    Dolan loves Melo. He also loves Isiah Thomas. Not good company…

  9. ihatecomingupwiththesenames - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    I’ve been saying Melo for D-Will for weeks. Would have worked for both teams etc.

    I agree. Trade Melo this year and get much more in return than at this time next year after more proof of his selfish, under-achieving play.

  10. sslikma13 - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    This situation just keeps getting worse. When will the Knicks finally fall out of love with Melo? He already cost the jobs of Walsh and D’Antoni but Felton hasn’t done anything since leaving this system and Lin looks like he is about to be benched. Woodson is screwed, he should just resign as well before Melo ends his time with the team. That’s 4 casualties and counting because of Melo. Wake up Dolan.

    • skids003 - Mar 15, 2012 at 9:38 AM

      Trade Melo for what he’s worth, a sack of dog poo.

  11. imaduffer - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    Sorry Knicks fans but as long as you have MElo you are going nowhere.

  12. mhalt99 - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    Dolan has lost so many exec’s at Cablevision over the last few months and replaced the last one with…………….his wife…..his mother in law….pretty much any relation regardless of qualifications that stock analysts have no idea what he is doing. kinda like when ford was trying to run ford or maybe more like when the last augustus busch was trying to run bud between the 2 females that ended up dead around him……..

    on the bright side, if dolan keeps losing execs and firing guys like Donnie Walsh while taking advice from Isiah Thomas, he will run the knicks and cablevision into the ground faster and we will finally get a real owner.

  13. shockexchange - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    Okay I get it now. Melo tried to pull a Stringer Bell and “do” Avon (D’Antoni) before Avon did him. Makes sense.

  14. dougmanoh - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    Big, dumb sacrifice for Dolan. Essentially he gave up the coach and system to allow Lin to flourish and bring in multi million Chinese dollars (yen) for himself. There’s not much of a chance that Lin creates viewership worldwide with another system or Melo creating floor spacing issues.

    Now how is the US going to battle the US/China debit crunch?

  15. glink123 - Mar 14, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    The Knicks are a disgrace. Why those fans continue to show up and line Dolan’s pockets with their money is beyond me. I’d boycott that team until he sells it. Seriously. I’d love to see how valuable his broadcast rights would be showing games with barely 2500 fans in MSG.

  16. goforthanddie - Mar 14, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    Remember when Mr. Vasquez signed on, and all the Knicks fans were all “YIPPEE”?
    Moral of the story: Be careful what you wish for, you might just get an over-rated selfish no-team-ball playing hump.

  17. ohnothatguy - Mar 14, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Get a real PG!! Lin suks n is highly HIGHLY overrated!! Every squirrel finds a not so no1 give me the 38 point lakers game. He is so full of himself everyone hyped him, sayin like steve nash, then he wants to take over games thinking he derrick rose or d-will. Package lin,stat n a few other pieces an try and get d-will

  18. bigzant82 - Mar 14, 2012 at 7:56 PM


  19. dougmanoh - Mar 14, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    Wait a minute… He was going to give up on Lin? Jerk!

  20. andyreidisfat - Mar 14, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    I kinda feel bad for melo because he seems to e taking the whole blame. I think there is enough to go around

  21. jjpileggi - Mar 14, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    Mr. Dolan is running the adults out of town. Donnie Walsh is one of the most respected men in pro basketball and was, first, overruled on waiting out Denver in the Anthony trade (and looting the roster) and then run off completely. Like his style or hate it, Mike Dantoni is a respected innovator and proven winner. He was hired with a style well known and set up to fail. First, by trading talent for expiring contracts, and then again by assigning him isolation specialists. If I were a cynic I would say a certain ex-GM and Coach was running things in exile.

    I am a Knick fan of 40 years and will continue to root for them while hoping the Dolan family focuses on cable lines and non-sports content.

    John Pileggi

    • Kurt Helin - Mar 15, 2012 at 7:51 AM

      “Getting rid of the adults” is exactly how one Knicks insider described the situation to me. Well said.

  22. khuxford - Mar 14, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    How would the trade have worked out for both teams? The Nets could get a selfish player that really only scores (and not nearly as well as advertised)?

  23. 00maltliquor - Mar 14, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    D’Antoni was onto something, Dolan should have listened. I don’t feel bad for the Knicks anymore after reading this. It’s all downhill from here. (Everywhere in Denver, Nuggets fans are smiling/ high-fiving/ giggleing and breathing a sigh of relief that ‘MElo isn’t their problem anymore!)

  24. jigwig13 - Mar 14, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    I don’t think its all his fault just saying…

  25. chetboyle - Mar 15, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    Wow, does having a big name mean more than winning? I could care less if my team had a bunch of role players as long as they won.

    • fouldwimmerlaik - Mar 15, 2012 at 2:30 AM

      Agreed. Remember those 2004 Pistons who defeated the Lakers? I’m a Laker fan but I can’t help but admire those Pistons. Losing to them was somewhat bittersweet for me.

      • loungefly74 - Mar 15, 2012 at 7:53 AM

        agree. that pistons team had chemistry…(Laker fan as well)

        kinda sensing the same with the Pacers and 76ers this year.

        …but yeah, can’t under-estimate chemistry and team-play. the Win-Loss record proves it all.

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