Denver finally deals Melo
By Sports Network
|Carmelo Anthony has finally been traded to his team of choice, the New York Knicks, according to reports. (JEYHOUN ALLEBAUGH/NBAE via Getty Images)
DENVER - It seems Carmelo Anthony has gotten his wish to play in New York.
The Denver Nuggets have traded Anthony to the New York Knicks in a blockbuster multi-player deal, the Denver Post reported on its website Monday night, ending speculation that began in the offseason when the All-Star forward expressed his desire for a long-term contract or a trade.
The paper, citing a league source, reported that the Nuggets are sending Anthony, guards Chauncey Billups and Anthony Carter and forwards Shelden Williams and Renaldo Balkman to New York.
In exchange, the Nuggets will receive guard Raymond Felton, forwards Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler and center Timofey Mozgov from New York. The Nuggets will also get the Knicks' 2014 first-round draft pick, the Warriors' 2012 and 2013 second-round picks and $3 million in cash.
The Knicks and New Jersey Nets have been front-runners to land Anthony's services for seemingly the entire season. After backing out of trade talks in mid-January, the Nets were reportedly back in negotiations during last weekend's All-Star break.
But the Knicks, it seems, have landed Anthony, leaving the Nuggets without their marquee player for the first time since they drafted him No. 3 overall in 2003.
Denver head coach George Karl told the Post that he was "glad" the trade was finally done and that "it's an opportunity to re-invent" the team.
"I think everybody handled it as classy as you could handle it," Karl told the paper. "There's some sadness to it, there always will be."
Details were still emerging from a deal the Post reported also includes the Knicks sending Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The trade won't be made official until Tuesday, the paper said.
Anthony is set to become a free agent at the end of the season and it was unclear if he signed a contract extension to push the deal along.
Regardless, the four-time All-Star would bring a career scoring average of 24.8 points per game to the Big Apple. The 26-year-old has produced the same output in the postseason, but Denver got past the first round just once while he was there.
The only other Denver regular supposedly joining Anthony in New York is Billups, who has totaled 16.5 points and 5.3 assists this season, his 14th in the league. The 34-year-old is a five-time All-Star and helped the Pistons capture the 2004 NBA title.
Carter and Balkman have been lightly-used bench players this season, while Williams has started 32 of 42 games played, but averaged only 17 minutes per contest.
The Nuggets, meanwhile, would land developing talent in addition to the slew of draft picks.
Felton, in his sixth NBA season, has produced career-highs of 17.1 points and 9.0 assists while running the point for Mike D'Antoni's high-octane offense.
The 23-year-old Chandler has averaged at least 14.4 points as a starter for the Knicks the past three seasons. Gallinari, the sixth overall pick in the 2008 draft, has started all 48 games in which he's played for New York this season, logging 15.9 points and 4.8 boards per contest.
Mozgov, a 7-foot-1 Russian rookie, has played 34 games this season and put up 4.0 points and 3.1 rebounds.