It's readily apparent to anyone watching the Knicks these days: the team stinks. It's time to blow it up and start from scratch. The only way to do that as far as I can see is by dealing Melo.
I'm an avid Melo defender and fan. I love him as a player, but the rest of this crew is abysmal.
Tell me why this doesn't work:
Melo, JR Smith, and Ray Felton to the Bobcats for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Ramon Sessions, Ben Gordon's contract, Jeff Adrien, and Anthony Tolliver
The two biggest factors that make this a great deal:
1- It makes Charlotte a legitimate contender this year. Melo, Al Jefferson, and Kemba Walker would make one of the best top-3's in the East. The Bobcats can realistically make a run at the #4 seed (4.5 games out as of today). Who could have ever imagined home court advantage for these guys, even if just for one series.
2- It will make the Knicks terrible next year. They might be a contender for having the worst roster in the NBA, and the Knicks finally own their own pick in 2015. Stars are aligned to get a franchise-type player.
Some other reasons this deal works:
-The Knicks can't afford to lose Melo for nothing in June. Getting out from under the Smith and Felton contracts is a big something.
-Charlotte has to overpay free agents to come there (see Al Jeff). Maybe if a guy like Melo was forced to spend time there, he would see that he loves North Carolina.
-Or maybe Melo will love working with MJ for the next three months and sign long-term. Unlikely, I know.
-More likely would be Melo losing some type of wager to MJ forcing him to re-sign in Charlotte.
-JR Smith and Ray Felton will only make about $10.5m per season for the next two years. They aren't going to cripple the cap situation in Charlotte. MKG would be making about half that anyway.
-Maybe Felton would be rejuvenated playing in North Carolina again. He'll only be asked to play 15 semi-productive minutes a game.
-Sessions, Gordon, Adrien, and Tolliver are just in this deal
to make the numbers work. They are all free agents after the season.
-Kidd-Gilchrist has been a flop to date, but he's from New Jersey. Maybe a return to the tri-state area works wonders.
-Amare, Tyson Chandler, and Andrea Bargnani all come off the books after the 2014-5 season. With only MKG, Iman Shumpert, Pablo Prigioni, and Tim Hardaway, Jr.under contract for 2015, they will have the resources to sign Kevin Love and a likely top-5 pick to make NY an even more attractive destination.