It’s no secret that the Knicks are hoping and expecting to land Carmelo Anthony before the February 24th trade deadline. However, it looks like the Nuggets may prefer to deal with the Nets, who can offer the Nuggets more than the Knicks can. According to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com, the Knicks aren’t planning to sit on their hands if they fail to land Anthony:
So if the Knicks can’t trade for Anthony by the Feb. 24 trade deadline, they’ve got two other potential Plan Bs in mind.
In one, they may go after Philadelphia’s Andre Iguodala, who would seem to fit nicely in Mike D’Antoni’s system. Eddy Curry’s expiring contract and one other player might be enough to pry Iguodala away from the Sixers, though Philadelphia doesn’t want to give away its top player in a mere salary dump.
The Knicks’ other scenario would potentially bring Cleveland’s proven role players Anderson Varejao and Daniel “Boobie” Gibson to Madison Square Garden. The Knicks are aware of their need for more toughness inside and Varejao would provide that. And Gibson could fill the backup point guard spot the Knicks have been looking to upgrade.
Iguodala would be a calculated risk. His athleticism and package of skills could make him a perfect fit for D’Antoni’s system, but he’s picked up some bad habits as a #1 option in Philadelphia — his True Shooting percentage has been lower than 54% for the last two seasons, and he’s spent far too much time pounding the ball on the perimeter and launching ill-advised jumpers.
Gibson and Varejao don’t have Iguodala’s star potential, but there’s far less risk associated with them. Gibson is a proven three-point gunner who’s made huge strides as a playmaker and all-around scorer this season — in fact, he may be the only Cleveland player who has improved offensively after the departure of LeBron James. Varejao is excellent at moving without the ball, a good finisher inside, and a furious rebounder and defender, something the Knicks saw when Varejao held Amar’e Stoudemire in check during the Cavs’ recent win over the Knicks.
The only real trade chips the Knicks have in these deals, assuming they’re not willing to part with Landry Fields or Wilson Chandler, are Eddy Curry and the talented but mercurial Anthony Randolph. With a lockout looming, financial flexibility may not be as attractive as it once was, so we’ll see if the Knicks can land a player who hasn’t made it publicly known that he wants out.