One reunion between a star player and his former home court received plenty of fanfare yesterday, as Dwight Howard put up a monster 39-point, 16-rebound line in his return to Orlando. Tonight will feature another star playing his former team, as Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks face the Nuggets in Denver. Because of the 2011 lockout, the Knicks didn't travel to Denver in a shortened '11/12 season, making this time the first time Carmelo has played in Denver since being traded in February 2011.
Here are a few Wednesday morning Knicks notes, with a focus on that Carmelo trade:
- Discussing his desire to be traded to New York, Anthony tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports that a number of Nuggets players at the time were on expiring contracts, and he was facing the possibility of being on a rebuilding team. "People didn't really know the business side of the situation we were in," Anthony said. "Everybody's contract was up. They had plans of going younger. People from the outside looking in didn't really get it."
- When the Nuggets and Knicks finalized the blockbuster deal, it was one of two options on the table for Denver GM Masai Ujiri. According to Spears, an offer from the Nets was also available, which included Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, Troy Murphy, and three draft picks. The Nets ultimately sent a similar package to the Jazz for Deron Williams.
- Sunny Saini of ESPN Stats & Info and Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com each explore the question of who "won" the 'Melo trade between the Nuggets and Knicks. Begley reaches the same conclusion I would, arguing that both sides would likely do the deal again.
- Ian O'Connor of ESPNNewYork.com believes that, as bad as Amare Stoudemire's contract looks for the Knicks, it was a necessary evil, since it contributed significantly to the team becoming relevant again.