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Friday, April 27, 2018

With Deron Williams or Chris Paul, Knicks Could Contend with Miami Heat

The trade we’d all been waiting for and held hostage by since the summer — Carmelo Anthony’s departure to New York — finally went through on Monday night. Melo will join fellow All-Star Amare Stoudemire on the Knicks, and he’ll be accompanied by Chauncey Billups, Renaldo Balkman, Shelden Williams and Anthony Carter. Even though the Knicks gave up Danilo Gallinari, Ray Felton, Wilson Chandler, and Timofey Mozgov in the deal, they’re getting back a legitimate superstar who had the Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals two seasons ago. Though critics will say the Knicks now lack depth, I’ll argue that one star like Carmelo Anthony is worth a dozen moderate players like Gallinari, Felton, and Chandler, so I like obviously like the trade for the Knicks.

The Knicks may not click instantly, and they’re not a championship-ready team. Pairing Melo with Amare — two of the biggest offensive ballhogs in the game (and I don’t say that in a negative way because they’re both fantastic players) — will be tricky. However, I’ve always believed the more good players you put together, the better you’ll be, so I like New York’s chances for the future.

The question is can they be a title contending team?

With Boston evolving into Rajon Rondo’s team and its big three getting older (though they’re certainly the team to beat in the East), there will be room for contenders in the East in a few years. The Miami Heat certainly have fantastic prospects with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh all locked up long-term. The Chicago Bulls, led by Derrick Rose and aided by free agent signing Carlos Boozer are a contender too. But to me, the Knicks will be right there with the Heat if they can lock up one of the premier point guards who may be available in 2012 — Chris Paul or Deron Williams.

Del mentioned in his post about the trade Monday night that the Knicks are two-thirds away from the star trio they dreamed about during Melo’s wedding over the summer. That was the first thing I thought of, and the idea of Amare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Paul all playing together is maddening.

The Knicks would be right up there with the Heat if they could manage to sign Williams or CP3. Williams was already reported to have interest in playing for the Knicks in 2012. Paul was one of the dreamers back at Melo’s wedding. The desire for one of those two studs to play in New York seems to exist, the only question is whether or not the Knicks can make it happen financially.

Even though they’ve committed multiple millions to Amare and will do the same with Melo, I believe they’ll be able to make it work with adding CP3 or D-Will. Amare is the only player they have money committed to for the ’12-’13 season, and Melo will likely be the other. The Heat were able to pull it off by signing three big-time players, why won’t the Knicks? With few financial constraints, they’ll be able to make it happen.

The Amare Stoudemire signing reinvigorated the dormant Knick fans. The Melo trade has them legitimately excited. The idea of adding Williams or Paul gives them the right to dream. Basketball in New York City is most definitely back.

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