I knew plenty of people who thought Steven Rice was a can't miss All-Star and demanded he get held out of a trade for....Mark Messier.
Where would the Yankees be if they didn't deal can't miss Hall of Famer Roberto Kelly for Paul O'Neill or if they took the chance to deal (hold your breath!!) Russ Davis and Sterling Hitchcock for Tino Martinez and Jeff Nelson. The latter may have been the best deal they ever made.
So when people talk about the rise in Chandler's play this season, accolades are warranted and everyone knows the idea would be not to deal Chandler if you believe Donnie Walsh. And in fairness, Chandler is not really a prospect as it relates to other sports, he is entering the land of proven players.
People I've talked to around the league believe that the reason Denver isn't really overly keen on Chandler is because many feel he's a product of this system. But if you've watched him play the 3 and are familiar with his skills on both sides of the ball, he is far from a product of space. He can score in many ways and after an adjustment to his shooting stroke, his jumper is pure. It goes through the basket with this "don't even think about hitting the rim or make the net move" authority that the greats possess. And he attacks the rim with serious acceleration.
But to compare Melo to Chandler, or to think that Chandler has come anywhere near Melo's level, to me, is misleading.
The Knicks know they are Anthony’s preferred franchise, but there is a serious debate within the organization about how much of an upgrade Anthony would actually be if the Knicks have to hand over Chandler and, say either Landry Fields or Danilo Gallinari, as part of any deal to acquire the Nuggets forward.It depends on if the Knicks need to deal, yes. But if Melo tells Denver only deal me to New York, something that may be coming, it would seem that a financially proper package of Chandler, Curry's contract a first round pick and probably Landry Fields would get it done. Except the Knicks would have to get more back from Denver if they are going to give up Fields in the same way the Yankees snagged Nelson, a venerable throw in, who anchored the 8th inning for the Yankees from the right side. That inclusion was a MAJOR key to the Yankees championship success.
Would the Knicks be doing too much damage to their emerging core of young players if they made such a deal? It is a hard question to answer, for fans, for analysts, even for the Knicks’ president, Donnie Walsh.
Chandler hasn't proven he can be the consistent fourth quarter half court finisher that Melo has been for years. The guy is a finisher, and to have two or 3 consistent finishers, you have a competitive championship team offensively with the ability to shape up front.
Again, the looming CBA still poses too many questions, but one that is an easy one for me is that star players close games. The line between a young up and coming borderline All-Star, and a young perennial All-Star who knows how to make shots or get fouled in the fourth quarter, is not nearly as thin as you may think.