To acquire Anthony, the Knicks are sending trade tons of players and $3 million. All things go as planned Anthony’s first game with the Knicks is expected to be Wednesday against the Milwaukee Bucks at Madison Square Garden.
“I’m extremely happy for ‘Melo,” said Anthony’s agent, Leon Rose. “We are very appreciative to the Denver Nuggets organization for their efforts in assisting ‘Melo to get to New York. ‘Melo is excited and looking forward to playing for the Knicks.”
The trade is expected to be finalized by the league on Tuesday, bringing an end to the season-long drama which began when Anthony made clear before training camp he didn’t intend to sign an extension with the Nuggets because he was unsure about the franchise’s ability to win in the future. From the start, Anthony preferred a trade to New York, where he and his wife are from. He also would have been receptive to going to the Chicago Bulls, but it was unclear whether either the Knicks or Bulls would have enough assets to get a deal done.
The Knicks had been conservative in their bid for Anthony, believing they could sign him in free agency if a trade didn’t materialize. But after the Nets re-entered the talks, Knicks owner James Dolan flew to Los Angeles on Thursday to meet with Anthony. The Knicks improved their offer the following day by including Gallinari in the proposal.
Anthony, however, received his wish. He’s going home now after spending seven-plus seasons with the Nuggets, who made him the No. 3 pick of the 2003 draft. Denver reached the playoffs in each of those seven seasons but advanced out of the first round just once.
In an interview with Yahoo! Sports after the Nuggets’ season opener on Oct. 27, Anthony explained, simply, why he was no longer committed to staying in Denver.
“I feel it’s a time for change,” he said.