Donnie Walsh should be the envy of every elite poker player.
The president of the Knicks never reveals his hand and is the master of saying a lot without revealing much. Raised in the Bronx, the 70-year-old Walsh learned long ago the art of being coy.
Walsh has been steady and unnerved in the storm swirling around Carmelo Anthony. Whether it has been through back channel communication or just intuition, Walsh knows that Anthony only wants to be a Knick. So he has allowed the drama to play out and is holding a strong hand in his efforts to obtain the Denver Nuggets star.
Ostensibly, it is only a matter of time before Anthony is doing his work in a Knicks uniform. The Nuggets cannot afford to let Anthony walk as a free-agent after the season with nothing to show in return.
Clearly, the reported deal the Nets had in place for Anthony – Derrick Favors, Devin Harris and two first round picks – is much more enticing than the current speculative package the Knicks would utilize to acquire the Brooklyn native. But when the proposal fell through it was evident even to the Three Blind Mice that the only team to which Anthony would accept a trade is the Knicks.
Reports have stated the Knicks would only have to relinquish Eddy Curry’s expiring contract, Wilson Chandler and seldom used Anthony Randolph in a three-team trade that would include the Minnesota Timberwolves. If this is accurate, the Knicks not having to give up Danilo Gallinari or rookie Landry Fields would be a monumental steal and a momentous boost to their future as a championship contender.
Nevertheless, some members of the media as well as fans have insanely stated that the Knicks should not include Fields and Gallinari in any package for Anthony. That is why they are journalists and fans and not NBA deal makers.
Anthony’s 50-point outburst on Monday versus the Houston Rockets in under 40 minutes of floor time says it all. He is the most versatile scorer in the league and a franchise player. While Fields and Gallinari are wonderful young talents, they are not in Anthony’s class.
As his been written on these pages for well over a year, the message to Walsh and the Knicks is louder than ever: Get Carmelo!