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Three Questions Raised by James Dolan’s Involvement With the Carmelo Talks

The Daily News reports today that James Dolan has had "direct negotiations" with Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke about a trade that would bring Carmelo Anthony to New York. (Reportedly, that trade could also now include Andy Rautins and Kelenna Azubuike, though it's worth noting that Wilson Chandler has been experiencing discomfort in his left ankle, which could require surgery in the off-season.) In any case, what questions does Dolan's involvement raise? A look, after the jump.

Does this mean talks are getting serious?
Quite possibly. The News's source suggests that Dolan's involvement might mean the Knicks are closing in on a trade. Perhaps it's an indication that talks have gotten more serious, though a source also tells the paper that "everyone is looking to take credit if Carmelo comes to New York." So perhaps Dolan is trying to steal some of Donnie Walsh's thunder. That said, according to the News: "Walsh could conceivably be in favor of Dolan's participation because when owners are negotiating directly, deals have a tendency to come to fruition."

Should we be worried that Isiah Thomas's name is showing up in the newspaper again?
This is arguably the most concerning part of Dolan becoming more hands on, as Frank Isola writes that "Dolan's involvement also suggests that former Knicks president Isiah Thomas is likely advising him." Whether this trade makes sense for the Knicks will hinge on what exactly they have to give up, and perhaps on what kind of contracts they have to take back. These are not areas on which you'd normally seek Thomas's advice. But Dolan, according to Isola, still remains close with Thomas. Even if his role is informal and of an advisory nature, it's terrifying to think that such an important decision in this franchise's revival could be made with input from the man who made such a revival necessary in the first place.

What does this mean for Donnie Walsh?
That's unclear at this point. Perhaps Dolan does indeed trust his general manager and intends to extend his contract. Perhaps Dolan and Walsh are on the same page regarding the negotiations and how the Knicks intend to play things. But with Walsh's future uncertain, it is, at the very least, hard to take Dolan's involvement — and especially any potential contact with Thomas — as a vote of confidence. Lastly, make of this potential scenario what you will. From the News report:

Walsh's future could conceivably come down to what Thomas advises Dolan to do. And if the Knicks are successful in their attempts to acquire Anthony, Dolan may decide that having Thomas as an adviser is more valuable than having Walsh run the team.

Isiah really is immortal, isn't he?

James Dolan tries to close deal for Carmelo Anthony by negotiating with Nuggets owner directly [NYDN]

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