G’morning! If you didn’t get to bed at a grandparents’ hour last night, you already know that the Knicks traded pretty much their entire team for Carmelo Anthony. Exciting stuff! As Dave Krieger of the Denver Post put it, the biggest winner in last night’s trade madness — and perhaps the only one — was Carmelo himself, who went to the team he wanted, gets to play with another superstar for the first time in his career, and, oh yeah, will get all his money before the NBA changes all the rules. So we know how he made out. But how about everybody else involved with the Knicks? Where do they stand, post-Carmelo, in this reshuffled organization? Let’s take a look.
Mike D’Antoni. Obviously, D’Antoni has to be excited to have a player of Anthony’s caliber, even if he had to give up Danilo Gallinari, one of his favorites. (All the guys the Knicks traded are D’Antoni Guys, really.) But no one will be under more pressure, immediately, than D’Antoni. There have already been grumblings about D’Antoni’s short rotation, and the Knicks just traded away half of it. Also, it won’t be easy to shake those “he doesn’t care about defense” complaints now that the Knicks have brought in a notoriously lackadaisical defensive player. Also: Chauncey Billups is the opposite of a D’Antoni point guard; can he adjust to a halfcourt team? This just doesn’t feel like a D’Antoni team anymore.
Jim Dolan. All right, big guy: You think owning the team means you get to make all the moves … here you go. In Dolan’s mind, forcing the Carmelo trade through is his only real path to be loved and respected. If the Knicks make it to the NBA Finals in the next three years, Donnie Walsh will deserve credit for the constructions, but Dolan will deserve credit for the execution. But if this becomes a disaster — and oh, how it could — Dolan will remain the meddling, destructive pseudo general manager who can never be fired. This is the quintessential Dolan move. Let’s hope it’s the first one that works. No matter what happens: Shaving the mustache was a good idea.
Landry Fields. Congratulations, Landry: You have gone from openly mocked second-round draft pick to the third-most-important — and only untradeable, apparently — player on the NBA’s most valuable franchise in the matter of seven months.
Amar’e Stoudemire. Stoudemire has his running mate, his fellow superstar, and that’s one of the main reasons he came here in the first place. Now he just needs one more. We’re not sure we understand the “this should take pressure off Amar’e’s knees” point people have been making: Stoudemire now has to shoulder more of the load, considering the team’s top three scorers after him just got traded.
Isiah Thomas. Yep. You’re not getting rid of him. Ever. Now it’s official.
Donnie Walsh. Walsh’s work here is probably done; it’s tough to see that contract extension being picked up now. Marc Berman of the Post reported this morning that Walsh was so left out of the Anthony negotiations that he went to visit family in Indiana over the All-Star break. He has been pushed aside, and, with this current roster, it’s not like he has that much to do anyway. (Deron Williams or Chris Paul aren’t coming here because of Walsh.) Walsh will be remembered as the man who cleaned up the Isiah Thomas/Jim Dolan mess and made the Knicks relevant again … before handing the reins back to Isiah and Dolan in the end, after all. Even if you believe Walsh is being mistreated, all told, getting Carmelo Anthony isn’t the worst legacy to leave.