With the NBA trade deadline looming, the big topic of conversation since this past off-season has been the eventual destination of Carmelo Anthony. However, considering the over-saturation of commentary that seems to be infiltrating every major media outlet, I have decided to opine instead about the much less discussed, but equally important topic of how the Knicks roster will be impacted from a fantasy standpoint by a trade involving Anthony to the bright lights of the Big Apple.
What’s the point in discussing impact if Gallinari, Felton, Mozgov and Chandler (i.e. 60-80 percent of the Knicks’ starting five depending on the opposition) are traded away? Well, that’s precisely why it’s worth discussing…because 60-80 percent of the starting rotation will be gone and someone will have to inherit those minutes, responsibilities and, most importantly, statistics. While Anthony and Billups (also long-rumored to be part of the trade) will certainly consume most of those numbers, let’s evaluate how the Knicks’ projected starting five will be affected:
Chauncy Billups, PG
Mid-season numbers: 16.5 points/game, 5.3 assists, 43.8% from the field, 92.3% free throw, 2.1 three pointers/game.
Impact: If anything, D’Antoni’s PG-friendly offense will result in a boost in production for Billups, especially in the assists category with Amar’e in the paint and Anthony near the perimeter.
Landry Fields, SG
Mid-season numbers: 10.1 points/game, 7.1 rebounds/game, 52% from the field, 1.1 steals/game.
Impact: Undoubtedly the best true rookie this year (you’re not a rookie, Blake!), Fields will receive more open looks, but will have fewer opportunities with Billups and Anthony eating up more shots cumulatively than Felton and Gallinari. His efficiency, already a ridiculously high 52% for a guard, might actually increase.
Carmelo Anthony, SF
Mid-season numbers: 25.2 points/game, 7.6 rebounds/game, 45.2% from the field, 82.3% free throw.
Impact: While Anthony has turned his game up recently, he has been distracted most of the season by trade rumors. A trade to NY might not boost his per game numbers since he’ll be paired with Amar’e, but I would expect his fg% and assists to increase.
Amar’e Stoudemire, PF
Mid-season numbers: 26.1 points/game, 8.6 rebounds/game, 1 steal/game, 2.2 blocks/game, 50.7% from the field, 78.9% free throw
Impact: Like Anthony, Amar’e’s mid-season per game numbers will probably not increase, but his efficiency should rise. Expect the MVP-type numbers to continue flowing, especially as the Knicks continue to fight for a playoff spot.
Ronny Turiaf, C
Mid-season numbers: 4.7 points/game, 3.4 rebounds/game, 1.1 blocks/game, 62% from the field.
Impact: If Turiaf is designated as the team’s starting center, his defensive numbers (assuming he’s able to stay healthy) might receive a slight boost.