While many analysts are suggesting that the Knicks got fleeced in the trade for Carmelo Anthony, Nuggets GM, Masai Ujiri believes that it is Denver that got “killed” in the transaction, according to NBA Fanhouse.
“We feel we got killed in the trade because we lost a couple of pretty good players. Obviously, Carmelo Anthony. I feel sad for the city of Denver. I feel bad that this was done on my watch. To lose a guy like that. And also Chauncey (Billups). But I think we had to do it.” Ujiri told a reporter.
Ujiri certainly wasn’t as down on the players he got from the Knicks as he was lamenting the loss of the two players he lost in Anthony and Billups. He said,
“We believe in the young kids we got. (The Nuggets) really like Danilo, we love Chandler, we love Felton and Mozgov has great upside and so does Koufos. And we really believe in those guys. But we lost a superstar, and superstars are hard to find in this league and in any sport. Chauncey and Melo were the ultimate. They brought smiles and excitement and greatness to this basketball organization… (But) do I feel that there’s a future here? Absolutely.”
As you watch Carmelo Anthony preserve a game, as the best player on the floor at the end against the Bucks while the other superstar Amare Stoudemire is on the bench, you can understand why Ujiri is so upset at losing Melo. However, it is unlikely that any general manager could have done better than Ujiri in cushioning the blow. At the end of the day, the Nuggets wound up with Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov, Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Kosto Koufos (from Minnesota), a 2014 first-round pick, 2012 and 2013 second-round picks, $3 million from the Knicks and trade exceptions worth nearly $20 million.
If the Nuggets got “killed,” that is one helluva spectacular way for a GM to get knocked off. Don’t you think so?