The Melo Trade
Okay so I know you know both sides of the trade. The main argument seems to be, “how do you trade all those pieces for “’one guy’?” Here’s how I think. Felton was only signed through this season. Chandler’s contract is up too, and the Knicks couldn’t possibly afford him and pursue Melo (assuming he wasn’t traded and locked up elsewhere first). The Knicks weren’t winning this year with their current team anyway – they need more pieces. Billups is the secondary player who matters in this deal because he’ll start at PG, is a former finals MVP, and at 34 y/o brings a face to the team that has been there before. His nickname with the Pistons was “Mr. Big Shot” for a reason. He will cancel out not having Felton (who in my opinion the Knicks would have overpaid long term for – he was sold high I believe), if not add a different dynamic to the game with his experience and shooting ability behind the arc.
Anthony is a superstar capable of things that would take any 2 (at least) of the guys traded to contribute to the team on the offensive side. It takes pressure off Amare to be the lone ranger in some games where they won’t win unless he gets 40. The draft picks the Knicks gave up are hopefully not good ones as they plan to stay in contention in the East. Finally, they moved Curry and Randolph out. Assuming the Knicks signed Melo in the offseason instead, they pretty much would still only have Felton (overpaid & given he resigned), Gallo, and Mosgov. With Billups being solid for at least 2 years WITH a buyout clause after this one, you can even make the argument the Knicks traded a few draft picks, Gallo, and Mosgov, for Melo and Chauncey (thanks Danny). How do you pass up getting a player of that caliber? I know there’s much more to it with the possible curbing of the max salary over the next offseason, signing him and giving up nothing now, etc, but as a trade, it is does not put the team in a much worse supporting role position than the offseason would have if we has just signed Melo outright. We’ll miss the guys who left, but time will show, hopefully, that this proved a worthy investment.
"The Fab 4"
I am tired of hearing about how Halladay, Lee, Oswalt, and Hamels are the best rotation ever to play together. It is not even a month since pitchers reported, and ESPN is following these guys around, asking things like if they’ve had a staff dinner yet, and seeing how competitive they’ll be against each other. ESPN: I don’t care. I’m not downplaying their talent at all, but let them pitch. Remember – Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz (and a solid 4 guy for 10 years that varied), not to mention a good lineup, only got one in 1995. Prove it guys, and then you’ll be treated like champions. The under and over on number of wins they will total is set at 65. What do you think? I’ll start taking unofficial bets. I’m betting the under and an ALDS upset bouncing because I love crying Phillies fans.
Concussions /Hits to the Head
We heard it all NFL season, and the topic is hot in the NHL now as well. There are a lot of concussions happening lately. Just last night, Marc Staal of the NY Rangers got taken out on a high hit by his own brother. He visited Eric the night before to hang out with him and his family. No one wants to seriously hurt their own sibling when you’re reportedly on good terms. As much as you’d like to make it safe for everyone to play (I hate Crosby and his concussed brain but the game needs guys with his talent), and think there should be stricter penalties/fines and better equipment for everyone to do so, it is unrealistic to ask someone to think about that when their first instinct is to win the game. These guys are competitors. I was happy with the no call to Eric Staal last night – as much as it pained me to see our best defenseman and alternate captain go down hard. It was (barely) clean. I hope no fines are/have been levied. It is a contact sport on a sheet of ice – people will get hurt. I would prefer they use a case by case basis for everything from now on with no real mandatory fines from precedents – unless someone goes all Marty McSorley.