Every weekday throughout the season, ESPNNewYork.com will tackle a burning question about the Knicks in our "Opening Tip" segment.
Today's Burning Question: Which team got the best of the Knicks trade for Carmelo Anthony thus far? The Knicks or the Nuggets? If you’re the Knicks GM, would you do the same deal all over again?
The last time Carmelo Anthony was in Denver, he was on his way out, headed to New York in a blockbuster, three-team, 13-player deal that sent him to the Knicks.
Due to quirks in the schedule, Anthony will be making his first appearance in the Mile High City in more than two years on Wednesday night as the Knicks take on the Nuggets.
The full ramifications of the trade that sent Anthony to New York, his preferred landing spot, remain unknown. Draft picks still need to be swapped and salary cap space needs to be used.
But with Anthony back in Denver, let’s take a look at how both teams have fared since the deal:
THE TRADE: The Knicks sent Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, a 2014 first-round pick, two second-round picks and the conditional right to swap the 2016 first round pick to Denver; they also sent Anthony Randolph, Eddy Curry and cash to Minnesota.
THE KNICKS: The Knicks have gone 88-67 in the regular season and 1-8 in the postseason since the trade.
The only player who remains with the team is Anthony. Billups was let go via the amnesty clause to make room for Tyson Chandler, who is one of the most important players on the roster.
The move to acquire Chandler has prohibited the Knicks from making a run at an elite point guard. But Felton -- who re-signed with the Knicks over the summer -- and Jeremy Lin have been serviceable.
Anthony did not mesh well with Amar’e Stoudemire. Now, with Stoudemire out for the remainder of the regular season due to a knee injury, all eyes will be on Anthony to see how far he can carry the Knicks.
THE NUGGETS: Denver has gone 98-57 in the regular season and 4-8 in the playoffs.
But they appear to be happy with Gallinari and Wilson Chandler, two economically priced pieces they landed from the Knicks. Kosta Koufos is ahead of Mozgov in the rotation. Denver acquired Koufos from Minnesota in the Anthony deal.
Denver GM Masai Ujiri is widely praised for getting rotation-ready players back for a super star who was forcing his way out.
OUR TAKE: Before the Anthony deal, the Knicks were a cohesive unit that was fun to watch, but a team that realistically posted little threat to win a title, let alone get out of the second round of the playoffs. That was the motivation to get Anthony.
Regardless of your opinion of his defense or isolation-heavy approach on offense, Anthony is one of the premier scorers on the planet. Anthony alone doesn't give the Knicks a chance to advance deep into the postseason, but I believe he puts them in better position to do so than were prior to the trade.
Of course, you won't be able fully judge this trade until the end of Anthony's career with the Knicks. Does he lead New York to an NBA Finals or a championship. And what about Denver? How far can the Nuggets go. Don’t forget, they still have New York's 2016 first-round pick to use.
One way to gauge the trade thus far is each teams' performance in the playoffs. The Knicks are just 1-8 in the postseason since the Anthony deal; Denver is 4-8. Neither team has made it out of the first round. But it feels like the Knicks are better equipped to do so than the Nuggets, who lack a go-to scorer.
So given the chance to do it over again, we would do the deal.
Question: What do you think? Would you make the Melo trade again? Which team do you think got the better of the deal?
Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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