The Knicks had a Melo back-up plan: Deron Williams

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Waaaay at the bottom of a Yahoo! Sports report on Greg Oden (still injured!) and his mental state (still depressed!) and his future with the Blazers (still going to get another contract, somehow!) was a quiet little item:

The Utah Jazz had a possible deal in place to send guard Deron Williams to the New York Knicks in a multi-player trade if the Carmelo Anthony deal didn’t go through, a source told Yahoo! Sports. After Anthony was dealt to New York, Williams was traded from Utah to the Nets on Feb. 24.

via Recovering Oden aware of ‘Sam Bowie talk’ – NBA – Yahoo! Sports.

Interesting. So the Knicks theoretically could have had their choice between the two and opted for Melo. If that’s the case, the move looks even worse from a long-term perspective than it does considering the Knicks’ disastrous post-trade plummet in the short-term. Williams cements a top point guard in this league, a position that is rife with elite players and every team is clamoring to obtain one. Melo, on the other hand, is a jump-shooting high-volume combo-forward. This isn’t about how good Melo is; he’s very, very good, an elite player and will have man productive years for the Knicks.

But to have Williams would have given Amar’e Stoudemire a better partner to work with in the pick and roll, and possibly allowed for more money to be available in 2012. Instead, the Knicks stuck their money on one horse, Melo, and are hoping he and Amar’e will develop something amazing in the next few years.

Then again, with Williams still likely to become a free agent in 2012, the Knicks may have their chance to have their cake and eat it, too. But in the meantime, while the Knicks are slumping towards the playoffs, keep in mind it could have been Williams lobbing to Stoudemire.