Carmelo Anthony traded to Knicks. Finally.

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Carmelo Anthony has been traded to the New York Knicks. Finally.

A saga that started this summer when Anthony and his representatives told Denver officials he would opt out of his contract and leave as a free agent if not traded — and that he would only sign an extension with the Knicks — has ended with Anthony getting what he wanted, according to the The Denver Post. That trade has now been confirmed by all the parties, including Anthony’s agent Leon Rose.

This is a three team deal with Minnesota a part of it. Denver gets Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, the Knicks 2014 first-round draft pick, the Warriors’ 2012 second-round pick, the Warriors’ 2013 second-round pick and $3 million in cash. Anthony will go to New York, along with Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman, as well as Corey Brewer from the Timberwolves. Minnesota will get Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry’s expiring contract from the Knicks.

Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri spoke to Yahoo’s Marc Spears:

“You lost a great player. A deal is a deal. But we lost a great player in Carmelo. We are excited about the young guys we’re getting”

Technically the league office was closed Monday so the deal can not be sent in and finalized until Tuesday, but all the parts are in place. Throughout the evening reports continued to come in that this got closer and closer.

Carmelo Anthony did not take part in Nuggets practice Monday (although he was set to be on Conan O’Brien’s show Monday night). Chauncey Billups did practice but refused to speak to media when leaving the facility.

The Nuggets have had talks about flipping some of those Knicks assets — specifically Felton and Gallinari — for picks. There was talk of those two going to the Nets  in a three-team deal that includes Devin Harris and the Mavericks, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo. However, ESPN’s Chris Broussard shot that down Monday night, but Broussard’s source also said they planned to keep Nene and J.R. Smith. Which makes me wonder if that source is not just trying to give the Nuggets some leverage for negotiations.

The Knicks balked at including this many players in any deal to get Anthony throughout the summer and into the season, with team president Donnie Walsh thinking if he could not get a trade done he would sign Anthony as a free agent. Knicks owner James Dolan came in and upped the offer — with advice from Isiah Thomas — and that seemed to make the trade come together for the Knicks.

But the Knicks now have traded away four guys who started — basically everyone not named Amar’e Stoudemire — and how they will fill in around their superstars to compete with Boston and Miami (and Chicago) remains to be seen. It will be a challenge under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, whatever that looks like.

Knicks fans don’t care, ticket brokers in New York have reported a rush and are increasing the prices they charge for Knicks games by 30 percent at least, according to CNBC’s Darren Rovell.

Joel Embiid scores over Carmelo Anthony, then they exchange words (VIDEO)

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Joel Embiid gives zero… well, you know where I’m going with that.

Embiid trolls the world and backs down from no man, and that includes Carmelo Anthony. Late in the fourth quarter of the barn burner between the Thunder and 76ers Friday night, Embiid backed ‘Melo down and scored over him, then did a little jawing — which Anthony didn’t appreciate.

I love that Embiid egged on the Sixers crowd after this. He knows his audience.

Embiid talks a lot — A LOT — but he is backing it up.

For example, in the first overtime Russell Westbrook thought he made a drive that was going to win the game, and Embiid rejected him.

If you did not watch this game, go find a replay. This is the new best game of the season.

Rudy Gobert leaves game vs. Celtics with likely knee sprain. Again.

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Rudy Gobert missed 11 games this season due to a bone bruise in his knee. While the Jazz defense suffered as should have been expected with their anchor gone, their offense found a groove without him — and with more Donovan Mitchell and Derrick Favors — resulting in Utah going 7-4 with their star center out.

Now the Jazz will be without him again for a while — he seems to have sprained his left knee just minutes into Friday night’s game against the Celtics when Favors fell back into him. That is the same knee he injured before. Gobert was forced to leave and will not return to the game.

If that diagnosis holds, it will be weeks again the Jazz will be without Gobert.

The Jazz know how to play without Gobert. Favors moves to center and while he’s not near the same defender his offensive skills got them buckets and opened up the floor. The rookie Mitchell, as well as Ricky Rubio at points, took advantage of it to give the Jazz a top-10 offense with Gobert out. They need to find that groove again.

Still, Utah needs Gobert back and himself to really reach the heights they are capable of.

Veteran NBA official Monty McCutchen to be head of referee development, training

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After 25 seasons running up and down the NBA hardwood and refereeing more than 1,400 games, NBA official Monty McCutchen got a promotion.

He officiated his last game Thursday night in Minnesota and will move to a desk at the league office where his new title is Vice President, Head of Referee Development and Training.

“Monty has earned the respect of players, coaches and his peers during an exemplary career as an NBA official,” said Senior Vice President, Head of Referee Operations Michelle D. Johnson (who started on the job in October).  “He understands as well as anyone what it takes to be an outstanding referee and how the league can best support its officials.  With his wealth of insight and experience, Monty is uniquely suited for a leadership role in our officiating program.”

“I’m excited for the opportunity to channel my passion for the officiating profession in a new way,” McCutchen said.  “While I’ll miss officiating games, I’m grateful to continue working with our incredibly talented referee staff as part of an organization so dedicated to excellence and innovation.”

Despite what some fans like to blast on Twitter (especially during the playoffs), NBA officials are the best trained and flat-out best basketball referees in the world (if you don’t think so, watch the college/scab referees from the last lockout of the refs, it was painful). Could they improve? Sure. Hopefully, McCutchen can help do that in his new position.

Kristaps Porzingis officially day-to-day, questionable vs. OKC

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Knicks fans can exhale now.

There was understandable concern after face of the franchise Kritaps Porzingis had to leave the game in Brooklyn Thursday night following a non-contact injury.

Turns out there is nothing to worry about. After the game, Porzingis spoke to the media and was standing on the leg, a good sign. By Friday, after a day of treatment, he was doing well. Officially Porzingis is day-to-day and may sit out Carmelo Anthony‘s return to Madison Square Garden Saturday, but the injury is nothing serious. Ian Begley of ESPN has the details.

Porzingis’ knee was “worked on” on Friday and the discomfort in his knee decreased, league sources told ESPN. It is unclear if Porzingis underwent an MRI or had X-rays to further determine the extent of the injury but sources say he did not undergo significant testing because it wasn’t warranted based on the state of the injury.

Good. We don’t need another star down with a major injury this season.

Especially Porzingis, who has led the Knicks to a 15-13 record (sixth in the East, in the playoffs) while putting up All-Star numbers: 25.5 points per game, shooting 39.5 percent from three, plus grabbing 6.6 rebounds a game. Maybe more impressive is how he has anchored a solid Knicks defense this season with his rim protection. Stay healthy and he should make his first All-Star team this season.