Carmelo Anthony is heading to New York. The Knicks acquired Anthony on Monday night, and the consensus among national columnists is that the Knicks will return to relevance with Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire, who are expected to become one of the league's top frontcourt tandems.
We're still sorting out all the moving pieces of the deal (after all, this is like a 47-player deal, right?). The Knicks will reportedly send send Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov and a 2014 first-round draft pick to the Nuggets, along with more picks and cash. Accompanying Anthony to the Big Apple will be Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman.
(Update: ESPN is reporting that a third team, the Timberwolves, was involved in the deal. The trade will be officially announced sometime today.)
But this deal is all about Anthony, a former Towson Catholic standout. Trading for Anthony gives New York "a sidekick for Stoudemire who will cause problems for Boston, Miami and Chicago while serving as further magnetism for future free agents," wrote Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.
ESPN's Michael Wilbon doesn't think the Knicks will represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA finals this year, but he thinks they could be "pretty darn good" once they get used to playing together.
"They've got pieces, good ones, enough to be a credible team by the end of March," Wilbon wrote. "They've got two top-15 players, perhaps two top-10 players, which is something the Knicks couldn't truthfully say during the Patrick Ewing days and probably since the championship days of the early 1970s, if then."
Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated thinks it's a "terrific deal for years to come" because it instantly changes the image of the Knicks, who haven't won a playoff game since 2001.
"Now that the Knicks have two stars in Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire, other top players are going to want to follow them to New York," Thomsen wrote. "The view of the Knicks has changed instantly. For the first time in a decade they look like a team on the rise, which isn't bad for a franchise that had been snubbed last July by all of the most-wanted free agents."
"Hallelujah!" wrote Stephen A. Smith of ESPNNewYork.com, who feels Anthony is "the quintessential missing piece of the Knicks' puzzle."
"The Knicks are on the upswing. Madison Avenue will be calling once again. You can talk about crawling before walking, but this is a little bit more than that," he wrote. "It's officially the best chance the Knicks have had to compete for something significant since the days when Latrell Sprewell and crew went to the Finals in 1999, back in the Patrick Ewing era. That's good enough for me."
Not everyone is sold on a Knicks resurgence, though.
Charley Rosen of FOXSports.com thinks the Knicks will still be a .500 team after the trade. He called Anthony "just another numbers-hungry, super-duper star."
"Too bad he is reluctant to pass, would much rather go one-on-one than play screen-roll, doesn’t always compete, can’t rebound in a crowd and is a chump on defense," he wrote.
Royce Young of CBSSports.com believes the Knicks will be a "scary team" to play in the postseason, but he says they are a year or two -- and maybe a missing piece or two -- away from truly being title contenders.
"Are they actually a legitimate threat to unseat the Celtics or challenge the Bulls or Heat?" Young asks. "Hardly."
And according to Kevin Blackistone of Fanhouse, the Knicks don't have to win it all this season. But they have to become contenders soon -- and Blackistone thinks the Knicks will have to add a third superstar like Hornets point guard Chris Paul to do it -- or the deal will be considered a major bust for Knicks owner James Dolan.
"But the main thing was, he got his second superstar and gave up more than anyone in the league -- the Celtics, the Lakers, the Heat -- to get that extra superstar," Blackistone wrote. "So Dolan better win. Quickly."
We'll see if Anthony and the new-look Knicks can deliver.