Carmelo Anthony is finally headed to the Big Apple.
After what seems like decades worth of rumors, Anthony to the Knicks is finally a reality.
What's also now a reality is that the Knicks have a lot of work to do. New York decimated their roster in this trade for Anthony.
The Knicks are now built similarly to the Miami Heat, but without the same amount of star power.
All signs indicate that the Knicks overpaid for the superstar, and now they will have to deal with the consequences.
Anthony comes to the Knicks in a three-team trade involving the Nuggets and Timberwolves that brings guards Chauncey Billups and Anthony Carter and forwards Renaldo Balkman, Shelden Williams and Corey Brewer to New York.
The Knicks are sending Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, one first round pick, two second round picks and $3 million in cash to Denver.
New York will also send Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry's expiring contract to Minnesota.
This is quite the blockbuster trade, but it could prove just to be a bust for New York.
Anthony is a great player and there is no denying that, but he was not worth the Knicks mortgaging their future.
Chandler, Felton and Gallinari combine for over 50 points of the Knicks offense per game, while Anthony and the rest of the players headed to New York barely hit the 50-point plateau.
And when you factor in the that the Knicks gave up Mozgov, they actually decreased their offense in this trade.
Anthony's numbers are expected to go up playing in Mike D'Antoni's system, but Billups', might actually go down. D'Antoni's system is very point guard friendly, but Billups is more of a half-court guard who doesn't play well in transition.
Furthermore, ESPN's trade machine projects that this trade decreases New York's win potential by one game. It may only be one game, but the idea was to get Anthony so the Knicks would become a better team.
Instead they have put themselves in a hole.
New York gave up an abundance of young talent and allowed Denver to make off like bandits. And they did all this while bidding against themselves.
Anthony was not going to sign the extension with any other team besides New York and they knew this. Yet, the Knicks gave into all the Nuggets demands.
It is perplexing to say the least.
New York may think they have taken a step toward becoming a superstar powerhouse like Miami, but if anything they have taken a step back.
Sure, they are now built like the Miami Heat, but their roster is even thinner. If you thought the Heat were susceptible to injuries, you haven't seen anything yet.
Miami has three superstars in their starting lineup, while the Knicks only have two. The Heat also have two solid big men in Chris Bosh and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, unlike the Knicks.
New York will most likely start Ronnie Turiaf alongside Amar'e Stoudemire from now on, and as solid as Turiaf has been this season, he served the Knicks better coming off the bench.
Adding height to their roster was a main priority of New York's going into the trade deadline, yet they actually decreased in size with this trade.
Stoudemire and Turiaf are now the tallest players on the team at 6'10". Losing the 7'1" Mozgov is a huge hit for the Knicks. He provided a low-post presence on the defensive end to be feared by the opposition.
And as far as New York's bench is concerned, the main contributors coming off it are now Toney Douglas, Bill Walker and Shawne Williams.
Douglas provides scoring and some much needed defense, but Walker and Williams, who have been solid this season, are playing at their peaks. New York cannot expect any more from them.
The mention of Douglas' name also brings up another need the Knicks failed to address in this trade: a backup point guard. New York may have obtained Carter, but my guess is he'll be less than effective.
Additionally, not only did New York fail to get a backup point guard, but they made themselves more vulnerable at that position. Billups is 34 and on the downside of his career while Felton is 25 and entering his prime.
What will New York do if Billups gets injured?
Douglas is a good ballplayer, but he is more of an undersized two. He is not a true point guard. And Carter is incapable of making a significant contribution.
New York did not address any of its major needs in this trade. No backup point guard. No big man. No added defense.
This trade was a massacre for the Knicks.
They simply cannot sell us on the fact that this move brings them closer to having a "big-three" play in New York.
If anything, the Knicks are further away from having a superstar trio then ever. With two prior CBA max-deals on the roster, should a hard-cap be institutionalized, the Knicks are in real trouble.
The good news though is that the Utah Jazz's Deron Williams, New Orleans Hornets' Chris Paul and Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard probably will be traded next season if they plan to leave their respective teams.
So cap room for 2012 free agency may not be that big of a concern.
The bad news is that after this trade, the Knicks will have no valuable assets to offer any of the aforementioned teams.
All New York can offer at that point is Billups' expiring contract and Landry Fields, should any team be interested. This is a good starting point, but after what Denver has received, I'm sure New Orleans, Orlando and Utah are all salivating at what they can receive should their franchise player want out.
The Knicks can say that they made this trade to improve their team and bring them one step closer to being a championship contender and having a "big three" in their lineup.
But the fact is that the Knicks just completed a trade that gives them a team with the potential win about the same amount of games as the team they had before.
The only differences are that the outgoing Knicks team was built with some depth and optimism for 2012. The new-look Knicks, though, are built thinner than a house of cards. Should Stoudemire or Anthony suffer an injury, it's lights out for New York.
And the optimism for the 2012 free-agency pool and trading deadline is all but gone.
Carmelo Anthony is a great addition for New York, but he came at too steep of a price.
The Knicks will come to realize this as they watch from afar as Chandler and Mozgov continue to come into their own and develop into key starters in this league. And New York will be unable to take their eyes off of Gallinari as he develops into a superstar and dominates for years to come.
A bitter stench is left plaguing the noses of Knicks fans after this trade.
And it smells an awful lot like Isiah Thomas.