Carmelo Anthony gives '1, 1A punch'
Wow, just had the craziest 12 hours of my career. So much to say, but really want to thank all my fans and friends for their support!” -- Carmelo Anthony tweeted Tuesday
The Knicks agreed to a trade with the Denver Nuggets for Anthony on Monday night. The deal, which also includes the Minnesota Timberwolves, became official late Tuesday following the completion of a conference call with the NBA.
Anthony signed a three-year, $65 million contract extension before the deal was completed.
Stoudemire has led the Knicks to a 28-26 record this season, but said they will be even more dangerous with Anthony bringing his 25.2 points per game to join his 26.1 average.
"Every team needs a 1, 1A punch," Stoudemire said. "And so with the ways that we both can score ... we're very versatile, so it's hard to guard us."
Stoudemire said he had "no doubt" the All-Star forwards and longtime friends could play together, and said Anthony would handle the move to New York as well as he has.
"It's what he wants. It's what I wanted, to come to New York and play on the big stage," Stoudemire said. "He has the same type of swag. This is what he wants and he can handle it. We're going to do it together."
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After the deal was made official, Anthony tweeted: "Wow, just had the craziest 12 hours of my career. So much to say, but really want to thank all my fans and friends for their support!"
The Knicks haven't made the playoffs since 2004, but are in sixth place in their first season since acquiring Stoudemire from Phoenix last summer. He thinks the blockbuster deal could make them better equipped to face teams such as Boston or Miami, which already have multiple All-Stars, in the postseason.
"It's not easy and it's not going to get any easier for us now because the target is on our back," Stoudemire said. "Teams are going to be eager to play against us."
Adding Anthony shows that the Knicks are taking the right steps, Stoudemire said.
"The Knicks are back," he said.
Miami's LeBron James echoed that statement.
"I think it is great for the NBA, the Knicks are back," James said of the trade. "The other teams are trying to compete [with the Heat] and I think that is great."
As a part of the deal, the Knicks sent Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, a future first-round draft selection and two future second-round draft selections (originally acquired from Golden State), cash and future draft considerations. Along with Anthony, New York got Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman from Denver.
The Minnesota Timberwolves got involved to help New York clear salary-cap space to accommodate its new players. The Knicks shipped Anthony Randolph, the expiring contract of Eddy Curry and cash considerations to the Wolves in exchange for Corey Brewer. Minnesota acquired a future second-round draft selection from Denver and Denver acquired Kosta Koufos from Minnesota.
The Nuggets were reluctant to take on Curry's $11.3 million salary this season for luxury-tax reasons.
The Knicks felt they had to make the move after failing last summer to land two superstars through free agency.
"We liked the way our team played this year and I looked at it and I thought we had one piece that was at the high level of the league. We always wanted two pieces at least," team president Donnie Walsh said.
The Nuggets had explored an Anthony trade since he refused to sign the three-year, $65 million contract extension they offered him last summer. They appeared on the verge of sending him to the Nets on multiple occasions. At one point in the past month, it was reported that the Lakers even kicked the tires on an Anthony trade. But the Knicks increased their offer enough to get him.
The Nets were the other leading suitor for Anthony, but it wasn't clear if Anthony would sign a deal with New Jersey. That put the Knicks back in the lead.
The Nuggets made out well, considering they could have lost Anthony for nothing in the summer. The Nets' offer, centered around rookie Derrick Favors and draft picks, would have meant a rebuilding situation. With the New York trade, the Nuggets get a solid point guard in Felton (17.1 points, 9.0 assists per game) to replace Billups, a young small forward in Chandler (16.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg) to play Anthony's position and add a 7-footer in Mozgov. Gallinari either adds 15.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game or nets a draft pick if reports of another deal turn out to be true. Either way, the Nuggets will have acquired options in the draft while having the talent to remain relevant in the Western Conference playoff chase.
"I can't deny that when the trade went down last night, I was kind of more sad than happy," Nuggets coach George Karl said after his team's short-handed shootaround Tuesday. "I think most of that sadness was because of Chauncey -- and AC a little bit, too."
But the Knicks are thrilled to get the second star to go along with Stoudemire.
"Now we've got two guys in our stable," coach Mike D'Antoni said.
Denver kicked off the post-Melo era with a 120-107 win over Memphis on Tuesday night.
The Knicks hope Anthony can be in uniform Wednesday when they host the Milwaukee Bucks. Anthony will wear No. 7 for the Knicks since his usual No. 15 is retired by the Knicks.
D'Antoni has scheduled his team's shootaround for 4:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday and the team has scheduled a 5 p.m. news conference to introduce Anthony and the rest of the new acquisitions.
Information from ESPN.com's Marc Stein, ESPNNewYork.com's Mike Mazzeo and Ian Begley, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
2011 NBA Trade Deadline
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