The biggest trade in the NBA in years went down officially on Tuesday. The New York Knicks shipped three starters and one key reserve along with some other minor pieces for Carmelo Anthony and point guard Chauncey Billups
Does this deal make the New York Knicks contenders in the Eastern Conference? Not likely this season, although Anthony and Amare Stoudemire give New York the second-best scoring 1-2 punch in the NBA behind Miami’s LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Stoudemire has led the Knicks to a 28-26 record this season, but said they will be even more dangerous with Anthony bringing his 25.2 points per game to join his 26.1 average. The Knicks haven't made the playoffs since 2004, but are in sixth place currently and should be a lock to reach the postseason now. But it’s unlikely they climb higher than fifth in the conference.
With Carmelo debuting at Madison Square Garden for the Knicks on Wednesday night against Milwaukee, let’s look at some of the props this trade brought about at Bodog’s Online Sportsbook.
The Knicks’ odds to win the East dropped pretty dramatically to 15/1. But New York did gut its team, trading four rotation players – including its Nos. 2-4 scorers -- for Anthony and Billups, who will start from Day 1. In reality, New York was looking more toward the free agent summer of 2012 with this deal, with an eye on possibly signing Chris Paul or Dwight Howard to form a Big 3 in the Big Apple. Deron Williams also is a possibility, although he was traded to New Jersey on Wednesday. The Knicks remain a solid fifth behind Miami (11/10), Boston (13/8), Orlando (6/1) and Chicago (7-1) to win the conference this season.
Anthony still remains a long shot to win the NBA MVP award this season, but Stoudemire got a boost up to 11/2, still behind LeBron James (2/1), Derrick Rose (5/2) and Kevin Durant (5/1).
Two new Knicks futures are now available following this trade. New York enters Wednesday’s game with 28 remaining. Bodog lists its over/under for 16.5 total wins for the rest of the regular season. The Knicks have 10 games remaining against lock playoff teams: one vs. Miami, three vs. Orlando, one vs. New Orleans, one vs. Atlanta, one vs. Dallas, two vs. Boston and one vs. Chicago. So even if the Knicks lose all of those, which is highly unlikely, it would need to win 17 of the 18 games against teams on the playoff bubble or unlikely to get in. Overall New York has 14 home and road games left.
Bodog odds makers don’t expect anything other than a first-round playoff loss for the new-look Knicks. On New York’s exact season result, a loss in the conference quarterfinals is the 4/9 favorite. As things stand, the Knicks would face the Bulls in the opening round of the playoffs. New York winning one round and then falling in the conference semifinals is next at 3/1. Winning the NBA title is still a long shot at 30/1.
The Nuggets, meanwhile, likely aren’t done trading but are rebuilding. They open the second half on Thursday vs. Boston and have 25 games left. Denver’s over/under for wins the rest of the year is 11.5 as most expect the team to slip out of the playoff hunt. Denver missing the postseason is a big 4/5 favorite on its exact season result. The Knicks and Nuggets, by the way, don’t play again this season.