Carmelo Anthony goes to New York — will Hawks respond?

The Hawks will see Carmelo Anthony more often now that he's with the New York Knicks. (AJC file photo)

The Hawks will see Carmelo Anthony more often now that he's with the New York Knicks. (AJC file photo)

Now that Carmelo Anthony is in Manhattan, what will the Hawks do? And are they on the verge of sinking in the Eastern Conference standings?

We’ll soon find out about the first question, as general manager Rick Sund has spoken to Cleveland about Ramon Sessions and New Jersey about Devin Harris, according to our Michael Cunningham. But the fact is, Sund was pursuing a deal, anyway. The trade of Anthony to the New York Knicks doesn’t necessarily increase the sense of urgency for this season, even if it dramatically changes the big picture for future seasons.

Consider: The Hawks entered Tuesday at 34-21 and fifth overall in the East, 5½ games ahead of the Knicks (28-26). If they go 16-11 in their final 27 games, which seems reasonable, the Knicks would need to go 22-6 just to pull even. That’s not likely to happen — not with this New York team.

There’s a little too much early euphoria in Gotham. The fact is, the Knicks aren’t great yet. They have two great players (Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire) but they just gave up a boatload of the present and the future: six players, including Raymond Felton and Wilson Chandler, a first-round pick and $3 million.

The Hawks’ biggest potential problem comes this offseason, when New York is expected to add either Chris Paul or Deron Williams at point guard. (You remember Paul and Williams, don’t you, Hawks’ fans? They represent the oil stain former general manager Billy Knight left in the driveway.)

If the Knicks acquire Paul or Williams, and the Hawks don’t do something significant to improve their core, they’ll drop like a brick in the East.

The Hawks obviously need point guard help. But to make a huge-impact trade would likely mean dealing a major piece, like which probably won’t happen right now. Josh Smith is the most obvious candidate but ownership has been resistant to moving him.

Where the Hawks are fading in the East is with their three-player core (Smith-Joe Johnson-Al Horford). The blueprint for success of teams seeking a title is to have three stars to build around. Boston was the first to this a few years ago. Take a look at these conference six teams, listed in order of record:

♦ BOSTON: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen.

♦ MIAMI: Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh.

♦ CHICAGO: Derrick Rose, Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng or Joakim Noah.

♦ ORLANDO: Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson.

♦ ATLANTA: Johnson, Horford, Smith.

♦ NEW YORK: Anthony, Stoudemire, Chauncey Billups (with Paul or Williams possibly replacing him next year).

This gets back to what we discussed the other day. If the Johnson-Horford-Smith core doesn’t make significant progress in the playoffs, it will be time to make a significant change, because the Hawks have ridden this bunch long enough. And they’ve got nothing to match Carmelo Anthony.

By Jeff Schultz

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153 comments Add your comment

Lowcountry Bulldawg

February 22nd, 2011
9:36 am

1ST! Even though Jeff doesn’t care…..

beone

February 22nd, 2011
9:37 am

Vince Carter no longer plays Orlando. He is in Phoenix. Do you follow the NBA?

Hankie Aron

February 22nd, 2011
9:39 am

Jeff- I laughed when I read your headline

Danny O

February 22nd, 2011
9:40 am

Hawks need to make a move if they are going to have a shot at the conference finals.

On another note, any sign of the Count?

beone

February 22nd, 2011
9:40 am

Correction: plays for Orlando.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

February 22nd, 2011
9:40 am

Hawks should not worry about the Knicks in the rearview mirror. They need to look ahead and determine just how they get to and past the 2nd round. The piece that is movable is also the hardest piece to part with due to his immense talent, Josh Smith. He can fill up a stat sheet, but can he be apart of a Title team?

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

February 22nd, 2011
9:42 am

Yes the hawks will respond !
by saying we have to step up and play better and make no excuses that is the only response you will get out of this team that will probably lose in the 1st round this year.

JBWright

February 22nd, 2011
9:48 am

Hawks need a heart transplant.

marcus

February 22nd, 2011
9:48 am

the hawks have to pull the lever on a trade for monta ellis. package williams, bibby, teague and do it! he plays decent defense and that jerk johnson would not dominate the ball with him in the backcourt. they will run teams to death.

Paul in RDU

February 22nd, 2011
9:49 am

I’m just glad the Carmelodrama is finally over.

www

February 22nd, 2011
9:49 am

notice all of the other teams mentioned as having 3 stars all have guards who can distribute the ball (if you include rajon rondo as a star for the celtics, which i would).

atlanta doesn’t.

basketball is a very simple sport – someone needs to get the ball to scorers.

Hawk

February 22nd, 2011
9:50 am

The old saying..The hawks are” dead in the water” applies……….. I hate the spirits.

Stephen

February 22nd, 2011
9:51 am

This is a terrible article… first off, who in the world thinks Luol Deng is a star? Secondly, if you didn’t even know that Vince Carter got traded a couple months ago, then you obviously don’t keep up with the NBA enough for your opinion to matter.

Josh Kinsey

February 22nd, 2011
9:51 am

We can all tell you’re paying attention Jeff. VC is in WESTERN conference. Haha

Tech Stinger

February 22nd, 2011
9:53 am

Yea lets get rid of the whole team for one superstar. The hawks should try to get Kyrie Irving in the draft because he is the next top guard, make a trade for a top 10 pick.

JChikara

February 22nd, 2011
9:53 am

I think that Atlanta management will not make many moves this year in hopes that the core will have learned from two straight second round sweeps.

Jeff, it looks like to me that they are waiting to see what happens with the CBA in the offseason before deciding whether or not to trade Smith. I know it’s not the flashiest move, but I think waiting it out this year is the best move. The Hawks do have a chance to make some noise in the playoffs if Johnson and Smith step up.

RambleOn84

February 22nd, 2011
9:53 am

Sund will double Joe Johnson’s salary and draft another small forward.

Hawks should move

February 22nd, 2011
9:58 am

Best thing is to get the thugba out of Atlanta and take the ice capades with you. Louisville Hawks and Cleveland Thrashers have nice rings to them!!!

Veteran Fan

February 22nd, 2011
9:59 am

Josh and Zaza to Minnesota for Kevin Love and Darko. Both teams benefit and Darko is probably available with Curry going to the Timberwolves. Love has the basketball IQ that Josh lacks and he brings it every night(41 straight double doubles)! doesn’t help at the point, but Bibby and Marvin or Jamaal for a true point(Nash, Sessions, or Harris would solve that problem! Another possibility with great long term potential is JJ, Bibby, Marvin, and Josh for Lopez, Favors, Harris, and NJ’s #1! We free up the money to resign Jamaal and we solve our PG and C issues for awhile. Favors is not Josh yet but he has that same potential!

doc

February 22nd, 2011
10:00 am

jeff, really careless there, hedo is now in orlando, not vince. gortat is gone, too if you missed that. orlando looks the weakest of the three amigos bunches, but has money to spend or willingness to spend.

Tech Stinger

February 22nd, 2011
10:02 am

Veteran Fan

We don’t need an old point guard, that is a waste of a trade when Kyrie Irving is right there coming out of the draft. Then we can focus on a center.

JacketFanMarcus

February 22nd, 2011
10:03 am

Jeff,

Is this a real column, or something thrown together for a reaction.

There are so many IFs in the situation, it’s laughable.

Next season in 2012, the Hawks could be a 2 or 3 seed in the EAST, easily, if a couple things break their way.

1. BOSTON – Getting old. That nucleus didn’t scare us two years ago. And won’t next year.

2. ORLANDO – I’m sorry, Jameer Nelson and old Vince Carter???? Come-on, that’s gone next year. Maybe Gilbert Arenas.

3. KNICKS – They don’t have that 3rd All-star yet. May not be able workout that deal for Paul or Williams!

4. CHICAGO – Deng nor Boozer seem that much better than Smith or Hortford. Not scared or bothered by the that line-up at all. I think we match-up well.

And we all thought the BUCKs were going to have a good year. So who knows what next season means….

RambleOn84

February 22nd, 2011
10:03 am

When I think about some of the idiotic moves the Hawks have made over the past few years, it just steams me up.

Despite these awful moves, we somehow ended up with a pretty decent team. That will happen when you’re constantly in the lottery. If we trade Josh Smith, that will be the last straw for me…Josh could be an excellent player with a good POINT GUARD to get him the ball. He is a superb defender, and a strong presence near the hoop. He is not a shooter, but he has matured in learning this about himself (I almost went crazy when he used to shoot so many outside shots).

Smith and Horford are great players…Johnson is WAY overpaid but a very good player.

We should have let Johnson go and prepared to make a big splash in the future for one of those POINT GUARDS we should have drafted in the first place. It’s one thing to be wrong about Marvin Williams’ potential. It’s another to take a huge chance when you already had 4 guys on the team who played the exact same style of game and you REALLY needed a POINT GUARD.

I realize Sund didn’t do all of this, but the re-signing of Joe for a max deal was a HUGE mistake. We will be crippled when Horford and Smith are both long gone and we are still paying $20 million/year to a 36-year-old, still invisible in the playoffs, Joe Johnson.

Chuck Sheen

February 22nd, 2011
10:04 am

Marvin and Bibby for Harris. Get it done

RambleOn84

February 22nd, 2011
10:08 am

The Nets would have to be brain damaged to take that trade.

Tech Stinger

February 22nd, 2011
10:09 am

Chuck Sheen

February 22nd, 2011
10:04 am
Marvin and Bibby for Harris. Get it done

Horrible trade

Jerrell Stewart

February 22nd, 2011
10:09 am

I agree with the earlier post about a three-for-one for a good point guard. Our three being Marvin, Bibby and Teague.

Trojan

February 22nd, 2011
10:11 am

We need a move this year but we also need a move to help us continue to build toward a championship team. Sund or the Hawks never mention building towards a championship. They are simply going thru the motions.

There seems to be no plan.

Tremaine

February 22nd, 2011
10:11 am

“GIVE TEAGUE A CHANCE!”

RambleOn84

February 22nd, 2011
10:12 am

Jerrell,
No one in their right mind would give up a good player for those three uniforms.

Tech Stinger

February 22nd, 2011
10:13 am

Jerrell Stewart

February 22nd, 2011
10:09 am
I agree with the earlier post about a three-for-one for a good point guard. Our three being Marvin, Bibby and Teague.

The league would laugh at that offer, what good point guard can we get with that?

BlahBlahBlah

February 22nd, 2011
10:13 am

NY probably won’t be able to afford either Paul or Williams because the next labor agreement will be much more restrictive. Amare + Carmelo = no room left for either of those PG’s.

wawel78

February 22nd, 2011
10:14 am

Good article. It probably won’t happen this year but the hawks need something to knock them into the 6-8 seeds in the conference. The front office has become content with being the 4-5 seed.

Personally, I would rather see them in the lottery than the 5 seed but that’s just me. The Johnson contract, however, is going to hamstring them for a few years.

RambleOn84

February 22nd, 2011
10:15 am

I do think we should give Teague a chance…why not throw him into the fire. There are enough good players around him, so it’s not like we’re asking him to take the team on his back.

PMC

February 22nd, 2011
10:16 am

When has the league ever NOT been like this at the top? When it was good anyway?

Even playoff teams in the NBA can be irrelevant teams. The Hawks management and ownership knows that they lack a great point guard and guard play is what holds them back when it matters. They can put up the money or the trade bait…or they can shut up and continue to get pwned in the 2nd round of the playoffs.

I’m not sure what’s so bad about this star conglomeration. I like the Hawks… but for me who pretty much enjoys mostly playoff NBA basketball…. this is great. We’re going to see several very good players on the teams that will play for championships.

I wonder how these games will be refereed.

We’re still going to wind up with mostly…. LA and Boston and that’s the way it’s been for most of NBA history.

I’m not sure why media people are whining about Carmelo to NY. It’s about freaking time they were relevant again…. they haven’t been very good since the demise of Patrick Ewing.

haha

February 22nd, 2011
10:17 am

Vince is on the Suns

You should do some research before you post a blog

Veteran Fan

February 22nd, 2011
10:18 am

Tech Stinger, Nash for a couple of years and draft your point if he is that good! Nash fixes the problem NOW and is a winner! NJ might be desparate enough to take JJ off our hands and if we throw in Josh, Bibby, and Marvin we might get our center in Lopez and a PG in Harris, and Favors for Josh would be strong!

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ajc sports editor, Myron Abernathy, Leo Mc., Roy Harris, Jeff Schultz and others. Jeff Schultz said: POSTED: #Knicks get #Carmelo, so what will #Hawks do? And what this does to the East: http://bit.ly/e4FvA5 [...]

PMC

February 22nd, 2011
10:20 am

The Hawks obviously should be having garage sales and office furniture bazaars what have you to find the cash in FA to wine and dine the two PG’s they blew it on in the draft when they come up.

If they had an elite distributor that could play great defense they could go far.

haha

February 22nd, 2011
10:20 am

lol at this fans thinking Harris, Lopez and Favors are the answer

You guys are idiots, the Nets are 17-40 with these 3 players.

ryan

February 22nd, 2011
10:22 am

I did see on ESPN rumors that the Hawks are interested in Devin Harris if want impact OJ Mayo that game changer .

haha

February 22nd, 2011
10:23 am

Melo will not be a factor in NY

He couldnt win in Denver with far superior talent than the Knicks. Melo plays no defense and is not clutch

Lowcountry Bulldawg

February 22nd, 2011
10:24 am

The team is 4th in the standings and is 25th in league attendence. At this point resigning JJ was a waste of money. Should have made a sign and trade, how much worse could attendence be if they where 21-34? What is the direction ofthe franchise? No leadership obviously.

Paul in RDU

February 22nd, 2011
10:24 am

Tech Stinger
Irving will be a lottery pick – he’ll be gone by the time the Hawks are drafting.

RambleOn84

February 22nd, 2011
10:26 am

Not a chance NJ gives up Lopez.

Tremaine

February 22nd, 2011
10:27 am

RambleOn84, let’s make a trade for a point guard so we can win 1 or 2 games in the first round rather than getting swept again by Orlando. NO THANKS! This team isn’t going anywhere until they break up their “core” by getting rid of Josh Smith and building around Al Horford (the true leader of this team).

Tremaine

February 22nd, 2011
10:28 am

Brook Lopez average 4 rebounds a game. No thanks, we are already getting killed on the boards.

Tech Stinger

February 22nd, 2011
10:29 am

Paul in RDU

February 22nd, 2011
10:24 am
Tech Stinger
Irving will be a lottery pick – he’ll be gone by the time the Hawks are drafting.

Thats why I am saying we need to trade with either Minnesota oR New Jersey for a top 10 pick.

RambleOn84

February 22nd, 2011
10:30 am

My question is why get rid of Josh Smith? He is our best defender, one of our best rebounders, and an excellent dunker. Yes, a dunk is worth the same amount of points as a 15-foot jumpshot, but thundering dunks have a MUCH bigger impact on the game.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 22nd, 2011
10:30 am

The Knicks have no more trade assets and will not be acquiring their point guard this offseason. CP3 and Deron Williams don’t become free agents until 2012. 2012 is the summer when the Knicks will have a legitimate chance to upgrade. Until then, they are what they are, since they have no draft picks and they can’t sign any long term free agents without taking up the cap space they would want to use on CP3 or Deron.