Carmelo Anthony Glad He Forced a Trade Out of Denver

by October 14, 2011

Even though it took forever, Carmelo Anthony got what he wanted last season when he was eventually traded to the Knicks, and now says it was absolutely the right decision for financial and basketball reasons (especially now that the lockout has begun.) From Newsday: “I think I did the right thing,’ Anthony told reporters Wednesday while promoting the release of his new Jordan Brand sneaker, Melo 8, in Manhattan. Throughout most of last season, Anthony waited for the Denver Nuggets to trade him after he declined their efforts to sign him to a contract extension. He wielded rare power for a player on the trading block, one that first prompted the Nuggets to deal him before the February trade deadline rather than risk losing him for nothing in the summer, when he could opt out of his contract, and yet also limited the teams that would trade for him because a deal would have to include an extension. And there was only one place Anthony wanted to go: New York. Though the feeling was mutual, most Knicks fans (and, it should be noted, former president Donnie Walsh) believed that with little to no competition in a trade, the Knicks did not need to gut the roster to acquire Anthony. The feeling was that if Anthony really wanted to win in New York, he should be against the Knicks giving up quality young talent such as Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler and even center Timofey Mozgov, refuse all trade-and-extend offers so the Nuggets would be forced to keep him through the trade deadline and then sign with the Knicks as a free agent in the summer. It seemed like the best plan. But it wasn’t the right plan for Anthony, not with a major labor battle on the horizon. And with the lockout into its 105th day and already costing regular-season games, his aggressive move turns out, for him, for the better. ‘For the average person out there who really thought I was just trying to get up and just leave for no reason, that really was a big key in my decision,’ Anthony said about the lockout. ‘I knew free agency was coming, I knew it would be altered, I knew it’d be messed up, so imagine if I’d have stayed. I’d have been a free agent now in limbo.’ Instead, Anthony signed a three-year, $65-million extension with the Knicks just after the trade and that’s money he’s guaranteed to see. The NBA initially proposed 20-percent rollbacks on current contracts but has since taken that off the table, which means, barring an unforeseen turnaround, Anthony will get all of his money.”