The trade is being billed as a high-risk move. But in some ways it is just the opposite, seeming to lock the Knicks in to roughly 50 wins over the next handful of seasons — not a lot more, not a lot less — under most of the more realistic scenarios.
What might the Knicks have done differently? One thing might have been to insist that the Nuggets’ center, Nene, was among the bounty of players they were receiving from Denver. A starting five of Billups, Fields, Anthony, Stoudemire and Nene could well be a 60-win team, even with almost no depth.
No, the Nuggets might not have made the trade. But no one was forcing the Knicks to make their deal either. And the trade that they did make was extravagant from the perspective of opportunity cost.