Featured Gallery, NBA / Feb 21, 2011 / 3:30 pm

The Knicks need Chauncey Billups more than Carmelo Anthony

Chauncey Billups

Chauncey Billups (photo. Jonathan Mannion)

Sometimes it’s so simple that we get caught up over-thinking, trying to find the complicated part.

According to rumors and reports far and wide, the New York Knicks have a chance to acquire Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups this week, and all it would cost them is a point guard who isn’t as good as Billups, a small forward who isn’t as good as ‘Melo, a borderline starter/backup swingman, and a draft pick that won’t be made for another three years. And maybe it will cost them a 7-foot rookie whose NBA highlights so far include destroying the Pistons one time and getting Blake Griffin‘s palm-print on the back of his head. And why hasn’t this happened yet?

Who knows what the Knicks front office is thinking, but I know more than a few Knicks fans who don’t want the trade. The refrain I keep hearing them sounds a lot like this comment from Dime reader LMNOP: “I hope this doesn’t happen. It would be a typical Knicks move if it does. Give up all our young pieces, depth and flexibility just to add a slow-it-down halfcourt PG and a defenseless rebound-allergic scoring forward to an uptempo running team which scores the most points in the L but sucks at D and rebounding.”

So here’s the thing: The Knicks are only an uptempo team if coach Mike D’Antoni makes them uptempo. A coach is supposed to be able to adapt to his personnel, so if the Knicks did swap Ray Felton for a slower point guard — one who is more accomplished than Felton and has been more successful than Steve Nash — isn’t that up to D’Antoni to change the system? Isn’t it is job to not be completely stubborn if it makes sense to adjust his offense?

Oh, and there’s this: Chauncey is not exactly a turtle. Despite his deliberate individual pace, have you noticed that the Nuggets are actually the NBA’s highest-scoring team? They’re dropping 107.6 points per game through the All-Star break, a full point ahead of second-place New York, while shooting a higher field-goal percentage (47.6%) and getting to the free-throw line more often (23.8 FTA). Last season, the Nuggets were 3rd in the NBA in scoring, while the Knicks finished 9th.

So the evidence shows that an offense led by Chauncey is more efficient and more productive than the offense D’Antoni is currently putting on the floor.

When you equip Chauncey with a couple of weapons like Carmelo and Amar’e Stoudemire, with Landry Fields at the two, that’s a title-contending core. Right now. And aren’t the Knicks trying to win now, or would they rather set themselves up to maybe win later? Because Amar’e’s knees aren’t as sturdy as you think.

The proposed Nuggets/Knicks trade would give New York two of the 10 best players in the NBA, and a point guard who knows how to win championships. It’s that simple.

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  • Steve Nash

    well if you put it like that…

    lets not get caught up in the star power – remember Marbury!!!

    then again Melo is on another level than Marbz… ef it… Amare and Melo can beat any team any night and thats what i want!!!

  • sonic

    Let’s not bash Raymond Felton here… Billups is definitely more accomplished, but Ray’s proved himself this year in D’Antoni’s system and I’d rather have him than Billups at this point. However if both CP3 and DWill are eyeing NY for 2012 than all of this is moot, doesn’t matter who runs the show for another year

  • Bojangles

    Sorry to throw cold water on the dream “title contending core” mentioned in this article, but defensively this team is terrible. Billups is too slow to keep up with any young PG, Melo and Amare have proved their consistent inconsistency when it comes to being interesed in locking guys up, Landry Fields is decent but still just a rookie. Combine that with the foul machine that is Mozgov at center and you have a second-round contender at best.

    Better to hold onto the core of the team and throw their cap space at Howard or C. Paul in a year.

  • Tyrone

    Mr. Burton: I am a New York Knick fan since the (1970’s), the days Walt(Clyde)Frazier, Dave DeBusherre, Bill Bradley, Earl (The Pearl) Monroe, Willis Reed, Cazzie Russell, Dick Barnett, Phil Jackson even etc.., you get it.
    Well, you are right about Chauncey Billups the Knicks would become a playoff team the instant he becomes a knick.
    Melo, on the other hand is a little more selfish. I remember last year in the playoffs (Billups) had 21 first half points in a playoff game, and Melo and J.R. Smith began freezing him out of the offense. Denver went on to lose the game. Chauncey Billups is much more of a fit for the Knicks. However, since this is “Melo’s” dream maybe he can co-exist with Amare”The Man” Stoudemire.

  • Chris Jones

    Your underrating Ray Felton. He’s average 17 points/9 assists in his first 50 games with the Knicks. If you think that upgrading to Billups is a better step forward than upgrading from Gallinari to Melo, you shouldn’t be talking basketball. Chauncy doesn’t want to leave Denver (his hometown) so you can expect frustration and difficulty learning a new system. Even statistically speaking, Felton’s averaging more points, assists, and rebounds per game than Billups this season. Billups is also 8 years older…

  • Buck Macy

    THANK YOU for stating the exact thoughts that have been running through my mind for days. If this deal had been made right after “the decision,” New Yorkers would be bowing down to Walsh for putting together the best possible “Plan B.” Amare AND Melo, and veteran champ point guard Billups replacing Chris Duhon. No one would have thought twice about Felton, or even heard of Mozgov (if he even goes), and Walsh would have been called a genius. Melo for Gallo, and the only thing NY loses is Chandler, who’s been seen as a trading chip for almost the entire season.

  • LaMont

    @ sonic, you can put Fields/TD on the younger pg’s and have Billups guard the opposing team’s two…Denver does play New Orleans (CP3) and OKC (Westbrook) several times each year so Rondo & Rose shouldn’t be too much of aproblem for Billups…STAT has won gtames this year for NY with blocks on the defensive end…also overlooked is that Anthony Carter comes to NY where he can play backup PG and TD can be moved to the backup 2 where he’ll be more effective…

  • LaMont

    @ sonic, my bad…i meant that for bojangles

  • nizzio

    I feel bad for Felton. He came to new york thinking he can win a title, but he’s going to get traded to a rebuilding team. How sad

  • the truth

    solid points

  • sunni

    felton is a backup pg at best on a title team..billups is a monster in the playoffs…two titles, western conference championships…and a pg who can develop shooting guards–check arron affollo…pull it off this year and you have a chance to upset the heat, who havent fully gotten their rythm down yet..boston is one injury away from being beat…pull the trigger walsh…


    I like Chauncy, i think he brings a lot of intangables and great leadership to a team. But i dont want to be stuck with him for the next 3-5 years, and i definately dont think its a good idea to give up a younger improving PG to add him to a team that wont be competing for a chip any time soon.

    I guess it comes down to weather or not you think Carmelo pushes the Knicks towards title contenders or not and i just dont.
    What i see is that with Gallo and Wilson they have two forwards who combine for about 30 points on 35% from 3 and 45% from 2
    With Melo and whoever else plays next to him theyll have two forwards who combine for about 30 points on 35% from 3 and 45% from 2…. and i know its not that simple, and He IS definately an upgrade, i dont see him making the team significantly better.
    The alternative tho, which is to wait untill free agency and either sign him without loosing anyone or to sign the rebounding big man they actually need ORR to sign Melo then trade Gallo or Wilson for the big man they actually need…. just seems like a far better option, and is also the option that wont cripple their flexibility under the new CBA.

  • yoda

    amar’e is now one of top 10 nba players? and melo is a bitch

  • Steve Nash

    6th man – TD?

    who is our back up big man? i’ll take this team just cause it can put up buckets but wins? no no no… maybe catching tyson chandler in FA next year

  • EZ-Pass

    Im not usually one to bash dime writers, especially AB whose articles USUALLY hold some integrity. But you really effed up on this one AB. I wish i had time to explain all the faults in this article and with this trade. But bottomline, a core of stat melo chauncey and fields? Gimme a break thats not a title contender. Zero rebounding and Fields is the only one interested in playing any d and he is still an unproven rookie for the most part. Get outa here with this garbage.

  • http://bigleaguewiffleball.com/ Jon

    I think Billups would be vital if the Knicks want to make a deep run this year in the playoffs. I don’t think Felton could do the job because he is still inexperienced.

  • EZ-Pass

    ^ dumb guy. Chauncey is old. As great as he was,especially as a leader and character presence, his time has passed. He only hasx another couple years left

  • kennypayne

    since dime hasn’t dropped it but espn has


  • http://Dimemag.com Chrisballz

    What people also need to realize is also, Walsh is a business man. Chandler and fields only bring in so much money. With mello AMD billups that money near triples. Jersey sales,, ticket revenue. That all goes up. Walsh is smart. He will pull anything to get melo.

  • Colton

    two titleS? when did the second one happen again?

  • nashty

    so you’re saying two things that stood out to me:
    1)raymond felton’s 17 & 9 is worse than chauncey’s 16 & 5
    2)chauncey billups is more succesful than nash
    ok, the guy has a ring and a finals mvp but nash has 2 back to back mvps, is a 7x all star, 7x all nba selection, last year became the first player over 35 to lead the league in assists, and this year is BETTERING that campaign with 16.8 points and 11.3 assists WITHOUT amare stoudemire

  • hilly

    Billups’ one ring > felton’s higher pts/ast/ast:to ??? Dont think so. We’ve all seen that footage where cp3 mixed him like the old man he is. Insert any of these young boys out here right now to same effect. Amare is the only boss we needed. Melo means a lot less touches for him. And the rest of the squad was turning into something special that could work in dantoni’s uptempo offense. Would have been a lot more interested in getting a big that could grab 10-15/night then seeing what we need at the end of the season

  • http://www.DarkWingPro.com Diallo N Williams

    whoa buddy, I dunno about about title contending

  • Claw

    Felton has been solid and is a better defensive player than the older Billups. I don’t think that Billups is that much of an improvement but can provide big buckets but isn’t that why they have Melo?

  • Kelenna Azubuike and Corey Brewer

    You guys are forgetting about us. We’re defenders.

  • 100K

    Billups has rings. Ask Nash if he’s trade stats for chips.

  • Blk Caesar

    Billups is an upgrade. Younger does not always mean better. I like Felton but playing in D’antoni’s system has inflated his numbers. People forget he got abused by Jameer Nelson last year in the playoffs in the Orlando sweep. Also, the Knicks despite how great people are trying to make Gallo, Chandler, and Felton out to be are only two games over .500 with the Sixers right behind them.. So I am not seeing how bringing in these guys could make the Knicks worse?