A lot of things have gone wrong for the New York Knicks this season.
At the moment, they sit at 3-13 on the season, and have a fresh set of controversy surrounding them after a locker room spat between Metta World Peace and Kenyon Martin that is making way around headlines in the city. Tyson Chandler, their second best player and arguably their most important player on the roster, is out for an extended period of time after breaking his leg. Not to be forgotten, the team is paying $21.6 million to a guy who is averaging less than five points a game and is like that old Toyota Tercel that you try not to drive too long or fast in hopes that it won’t totally break down before your eyes.
Oh, and that whole Chris Smith situation.
With all of the issues that are unfolding before our eyes, issues that, aside from the injury to Chandler, could easily have been predicted at the start of the season, should we be at all surprised with how low this team has fallen? As the image of Amare Stoudemire sitting on his balcony on any given night looking up at the sky and wishing for better knees at passing shooting stars doesn’t sound ridiculous to anyone reading this, we could have foreseen a steep decline by the oft-injured power forward.
Similarly, when a player decides to go on a partying rampage in the middle of a playoff series, can you really believe that player will show up for you once he’s gotten his paycheck?
In a nutshell, the Knicks are a complete mess.
Furthermore, they are not winning an NBA championship with the roster assembled, one that they are basically trapped with because of contractual obligations.
All of this brings me to the main issue at hand: Carmelo Anthony needs to be traded by the Knicks. It is not to be done as a means to satisfy a superstar that most likely is not in a good mood suiting up for a struggling organization, but instead, to look toward the future. This is not an experiment that has been short lived or one that hasn’t been tested out enough to see whether the results point to success or failure with the 29-year-old small forward.
It has been four seasons since Anthony joined the Knicks, and in those four seasons, how many of us can truly say that we thought the Knicks had a real chance, not a marginal one, of winning an NBA championship or even of getting out of the Eastern Conference?
With Anthony most likely all but gone from New York after the conclusion of the season, why not get a head start on the rebuild of this organization? With Anthony, the team is not winning an NBA championship, especially so long as the team remains capped out and unable to surround him with a supporting cast capable of pushing the team over the top. Contrary to many that discount the talent he possesses, Anthony is still a top 10 player in the NBA, and in terms of sheer ability, probably top five in terms of how prolific the man can be on any given night on the offensive end.
With free agency favoring the teams that face the prospect of losing a player, through the ability to offer more years and money, trading Anthony is much more than just a season rental. Instead, it is one that could very well help that team get him to sign on the dotted line join that organization for years to come.
If one throws a call towards the Chicago Bulls and asks for Jimmy Butler, Nikola Mirotic and Luol Deng, I strongly doubt the other line would hang up. It’s just one example of a trade that would make sense for both sides, but the message is a clear one. The longer that the Knicks hold onto the hope that a team with Andrea Bargnani as its third best player is a championship contender, the longer it will take for this organization to recover when this whole thing inevitably collapses within the next year.
The phones have been ringing in New York City. Now, they need to be turned towards a different name — a much bigger one that resides on the Knicks roster.