Carmelo Anthony Officially a Knick

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:13 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Feb 21, 2011 9:46 PM CDT

Grant Belcher
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

NEW YORK – The Carmelo Anthony drama has finally come to an end, and Knicks fans are rejoicing.

The Denver Nuggets finally dealt the veteran forward to New York after weeks of speculation and drama.

The Nuggets received a host of players and picks in return: guard Wilson Chandler, guard Raymond Felton, forward Danilo Gallinari, center Timofey Mozgov, a first-round pick, two second-round picks and $3 million in cash.

New York will receive Anthony along with guard Chauncey Billups, former Midwest City forward Shelden Williams, forward Anthony Carter and forward Renaldo Balkman.

Anthony, who is on track to become a free agent after this season, is expected to sign an extension with the Knicks to keep him playing in Madison Square Garden for at least three years.

The Minnesota Timberwolves also appear to play a small role in the trade to make it work financially. They will take on the contracts of Eddy Curry (who will reportedly be waived immediately) and Anthony Randolph from the Knicks. The Timberwolves will reportedly send forward Corey Brewer to New York.

After the All-Star break, Anthony did not return to practice with the Nuggets.

Anthony met with New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and partial owner Jay-Z during All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles, but did not commit to signing an extension if he was traded to the Nets.

Anthony said that he would like to come out of All-Star weekend with some sort of resolution to his saga, and got his wish.

How does this affect the Oklahoma City Thunder?

The Denver Nuggets are in the same division – the Northwest – as Oklahoma City, and were in second place behind the Thunder for much of the season.

With Denver shipping its only superstar out, the Nuggets will go into full-on rebuilding mode, meaning they will not be a threat to Oklahoma City for several years. OKC plays division opponents four times each year, and that means four fewer chances for Anthony to be a thorn in the Thunder’s side.

With Utah coach Jerry Sloan recently resigning from the Jazz and point guard Deron Williams supposedly wanting out, the stage is set for Oklahoma City to dominate the Northwest Division for years to come.

Denver will also be looking to shed contracts of those players it feels do not fit into the long-term plans, which include center Nene.

Nene would be a solid fit for a Thunder frontcourt looking to fill a hole in the middle, and the Nuggets have made it known that he is one of the players on the trading block.

The trade deadline for all deals to be finished is Thursday, Feb. 24.