How Carmelo in NY Affects the Sixers

Is it me or did the Eastern Conference just get a little more crowded? The Denver Nuggets are in the midst of saying goodbye to a player that has resurrected basketball in the Mile High City. The deal is reportedly a three team deal that also involves the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Nuggets will receive Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Timofey Mozgov and a 2014 first round selection. The Knicks acquire Anthony Carter, Renaldo Balkman, Shelden Williams, Chauncey Billups and of course, Carmelo Anthony. The Timberwolves will get Anthony Randolph, the expiring contract of Eddy Curry and $3 million in exchange for Corey Brewer.

The New York Knicks are now a brand new team. They gave up a lot of their offense to get back Anthony but when you have an opportunity at a player of Anthony’s caliber, sometimes the price doesn’t matter. The new look Knicks will look something like Billups, Landry Fields, Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Ronny Turiaf.

Head Coach Mike D’antoni will have the task of trying to mesh these two superstars in time to secure the Knicks playoff spot. It is different from the situation with the Heat in that the Heat had time to struggle before hitting their stride. The Knicks do not have that luxury but the goal is most likely not to win a title this season, but next. The Knicks will undoubtedly look to add Chris Paul during the offseason to complete their big 3 in NYC. D’antoni will have to draw up a new style for the Knicks. The team was based around Stoudemire doing his thing while everyone around him shot 3’s. The Knicks traded away three of their best three-point shooters to acquire Anthony from Denver. The Knicks will essentially have to play a two-man game between Anthony and Stoudemire

Clearly this affects the Sixers in a number of ways. It will be interesting to see how this affects the Sixers’ quest for the 6th seed. Either the Knicks will greatly improve and perhaps pull away from the Sixers, or they will falter a bit and allow the Sixers to past while they are still adjusting to the new roster.

The Sixers could indeed try to make a move to keep pace just in case the Knicks take off as a team but do not expect that to happen. There does not seem to be any major trade options for the Sixers before Thursday’s deadline. Andre Iguodala is drawing interest, most recently coming from the Golden State Warriors. Elton Brand could perhaps draw some interest based on play but his contract is most likely a huge deterrent. Players like Thaddeus Young, Louis Williams and Jrue Holiday are probably also drawing interest but the Sixers are most likely not dealing away their young talent right now. Players like Mareese Speights, Jason Kapono and Andres Nocioni could all be potential trade options but any deal involving them would be minor at best.

Expect Doug Collins, Ed Stefanski and the Sixers to stand pat and ride out the season intact. The team has a lot of chemistry right now and there is no indication that they are going to mess with that. Expect the Sixers to keep improving and keep playing hard in hopes of making the playoffs for the first time in the last 3 seasons. The last time the team made the playoffs, they were able to entice a big name free agent at the time, Elton Brand, to come to the team. Even though he has not been the number one that the team thought they were acquiring, the philosophy is still sound. Play well, draft well and when the opportunity arises money wise, convince a top free agent that he is the missing piece to the puzzle.

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