We all knew it was going to happen, only we didn't know where (exactly) or when it would go down. Now that it's all over though I think I finally understand what all the "Melodrama" was about:
- For the fans it was obvious; Carmelo was leaving Denver one way or another...
- For the teams involved, and it was what they stood to lose/gain.
The Knicks basically weighed up an option – do something stupid now, but ensure two superstars for at least the next 3 years... or wait until the off-season and hope they can still win the bidding war which will be renewed with several "other" teams entering the fray that were restricted mid-season.
The Knicks took the former option, and pretty much opted to shoot themselves in the foot short-term, in the hope that long term they can make something out of this. It's hard to properly ascertain the degree of genius/stupidity on the Knicks behalf here as the impending lockout and new CBA will affect the team that they can, theoretically, build around this superstar duo.
If the cap is higher than expected, or if some sort of parity in regards to percentage of cap space is carried over to the next season they'll be "ok", but if not they will be relying on drafting Landry Fields' over and over.
If there's one thing we all hope for as Knicks fans, it's that Dolan doesn't think this proves Isiah is worth bringing back!
[Stanley Kroenke chatting to Dan Gilbert]
SK: So what did you get for LeBron again?
DG: Some future draft picks.... 3 I think.
DG: So I heard you "traded lol" Carmelo... What did you get?
SK: The Knicks starting lineup, 3 picks, and 3 mill ... Oh and we got rid of a heap of bad contracts...
DG: . ... ... ... $^#^$^#^^$##??!?!?!?!?!?!?! FML!!!!!!
That's pretty much why the Nuggets get an A.
That and because in reality, Melo could have walked in the offseason for nothing and Denver would have been equally as screwed as Cleveland with a bleak future. Now, they have good trade chips, future talents, some future picks, cash considerations, and the ability to sure up some of their other talent.
Rumors are circling fast that Denver aren't done dealing either, and could look to move Felton/Gallinaro/JR Smith before the deadline. If that means more future picks, and young talent then Denver have hit pay dirt indeed. How the Nuggets pulled this off bring me to my next grade...
Carmelo Anthony: AA++
This trade happened the way it did because Carmelo drove it that way.
He held out on meetings strategically.
He played "cool, calm, and unphased" when really he and his management were sweating the $65 mill no matter what anyone tells you.
He also forced two teams into a bidding war when really, the reality was he was only ever going to sign in NYC, not over the bridge. In doing this, Melo performed one of the better Jedi mind tricks I have seen since Episode II of Star Wars, getting Jimmy Dolan to bite on a stupid deal and effectively bid against himself.
If you don't believe me, go check the Nets deals... notice anything changing? Well that's because the Nets put one deal on the table and left it. No changes, no bidding. Dolan on the other hand, seemed to get spooked by the media circus, rumor mills, and in the end kept raising his offer against... himself? All this raising was to ENSURE Melo signed the extension, which ins short means that NYC paid more to ensure Melo got paid. I'm pretty sure Nas/Damien Marley would say "he's shrewd with decimals", and thus props HAVE to go to Melo and his management team.
But what about rings I hear you ask?
Well NJN couldn't guarantee that either, and they had some woeful contracts in addition to acquiring Melo (Outlaw for one...), which would have held the team back in acquiring a supporting cast befitting of title contention in a now stacked Eastern Conference.
So really, I think Melo viewed that as a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation, so he went where he preferred to go.
If he really wanted to win, he would have ignored both New York franchises and headed to Dallas or Houston.
In fact even LAL or LAC would have been more of a "win now" situation, but Melo wanted NYC more, and thus he made the choice he did.