Adding Mozgov to the already super-generous offer is absurd. Knicks will then be giving Chandler, Gallo, Felton, Randollph, Mozgov + E. Curry’s contract and a No 1 draft choice to Denver in return for Melo + Billups and 2 bench riders–gone after the season. Where is the depth and rebounding to come from? Moving Mozzy puts more pressure on Stat to play more minutes–while Romy Turiaf’s injury prone career makes his contribution problematical and often day by day. With Randolph also gone in the deal, there is no other back-up center available on the team–nor are there assets left to find one this year or in July. Recall that the Knicks have no No 1 draft choice until 2014.
The only reason the Knicks have offered as much as they have is because Anthony is scared that he will lose up to $40 million (probably a highly inflated number) in a new CBA and thus reduction/limitation on max salary affecting team salary caps. Thus, the fear is that he will be forced to (1) agree to sign an extension in Denver–which by the way does not want him any more because of the team disruption he has caused or (2) accept a trade and extension with New Jersey. If that is the case, Melo may be rich, but never attain a championship ring in his lifetime,
As a number of us have said, the ball is essentially in Melo’s court. If he can hold firm and reject an extension with Denver and an extension with New Jersey, he can force a trade to New York at a more reasonable cost to the Knicks. He can then get the extension, and perhaps more, from the Knicks as well.
Once again, I believe that Melo’s fears need to be minimized by a more realistic perspective. The teams (including the owners) who have attained finanicial success and want to compete with the elite will not want too much restriction on cap space. NBA consolidation will also serve to benefit the cap space issue. Marginal players will lose their jobs, but good players will find homes in other cities–who will need to increase not decrease their salary caps. Melo, moreover, will make more from association with a winning Knick franchise than he could in either Denver or New Jersey/Brooklyn. There is no limit to what Melo could make in marketing his own products, product endorsements and appearances. And if Stern is serious about NBA expansion, then New York is the place to launch an international Melo sale of products (see Marbury in China) as well as exhibition and/or even league play in London, Paris and Madrid.
As a number of us have said, the ball is in Melo’s court.. If he can hold firm, and call Denver’s bluff, he can (1) reject an extension with the Nuggets (who I believe no longer really wants him) (2) reject an extension with New Jersey, and (3) can likely force a trade to the Knicks.
I believe that Denver is bluffing and is acting in bad faith with both Melo and the Knicks. If Denver decides to keep him without a signed extension (bad idea) or trade him for little or nothing to a team willing to take him without an extension–where he will be disgrutled, then so be it. Melo only has to endure the experience until July 1st, when he can join the Knicks, who will be in a better position to surround him and Amare with greater talent.
New Jerseys Russian owner’s conduct in this matter is equally despicable. He knows that Melo is not interested in playing for his team, yet he plays on Melo’s insecurity regarding the salary cap to force him to accept an extension with the Nets–minus Harris, Favors and 4 No. 1 draft choices. So much for a championship in Melo’s future. Melo should say NYET to the Nets in no uncertain terms. Prokhorov is doing this solely to drive up the price for the Knicks so that one day a Brooklyn Nets/NY Knicks rivalry will put fans in his arena. New Jersey and Brooklyn residents who are Knick fans should remember this insidious, treacherous act and boycott all Net games, –especially the games when the Knicks visit. .
Dolan, Walsh and Co. should not waiver in their stance on a Melo trade. Adding Mozgov along with what is already on the table is suicidal. If no deal is struck today or by 12:00 noon tomorrow, the Knicks should wak away and seek to strenghthen the team by trading or buying out E-Curry’s contract and attaining either a solid rebounder/defender or a back up point guard.