NBA training camp is all but a couple weeks away now. Thus, now is the time where teams like the Knicks re-up their hopes and dreams and set their sights on an NBA title.
While teams like to look ahead to the future, with each new season often comes reflection amongst fans with regard to where a team has come from, as well.
With that in mind, my pal Tommy Dee asks a rather simple question: looking back, who got the better of the Carmelo Anthony trade, the Knicks or Nuggets?
Frankly, superstars of Anthony's caliber are rather difficult to come by. If a team has the opportunity to acquire one (or more, for that matter), they should do it at all costs. Championships aren't won with role players leading the way, though such members are important to surround a team's existing star(s) with. Stars are needed, however, to bring home the bacon and win ball games. Just as the New York Yankees have a Hall of Fame bound closer like Mariano Rivera, NBA teams need to feel confident in a closer of their own's abilities to knock down game winning shots when necessary. Role players can't be depended on to do that.
The Knicks certainly did, however, give up the farm to reel Anthony in. The likes of Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, and Timofey Mozgov (not to mention, draft picks/considerations) were all shipped out to Denver to make the deal happen. Acquiring Anthony required the Knicks to blow up the team as they, the media, and fans knew it to be.
Fast-forward to the fall of 2013, however, and New York still isn't looking too shabby. Not only has Felton since returned (further minimizing any Knickerbocker "losses" in the deal), but the team has also been able to fill out the roster with the likes of Tyson Chandler, J.R. Smith, Kenyon Martin, Metta World Peace, Andrea Bargnani, Pablo Prigioni, and Beno Udrih since bringing Anthony aboard.
I've said it many times, and I'll say it again: Amar'e Stoudemire, as minimal as a contributor as he may prove to be this coming season, still deserves all the credit in the world for something. That very something is starting a movement and sparking interest from other talented players in the Knicks, under the mindset that this team is on the verge of accomplishing something special.
As much as Anthony may be blamed for "blowing up" the team, it can be argued New York's continued acquisitions over the last year and a half were completed because other quality players believe in Anthony's ability to lead the team.
Only time will tell if Anthony soon proves all the nay-sayers right or wrong this coming season.