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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fantasy basketball: Carmelo Anthony trade analysis

As a sports fan, the story grew as tiresome as the endless loop of Brett Favre updates ESPN fed us last summer.

Carmelo Anthony is headed to the Knicks! Wait, the Nets! The Lakers are interested, and they're willing to part with Andrew Bynum and his elderly knees? Well, sources say he only wants to sign an extension with the Knicks. The Nets are back in!

At last, it's over. Anthony is, indeed, a Knick. And Chris Broussard can move on to other NBA stories.

From a fantasy perspective, like fans in general, there were more losers than winners in the Knicks' deal with the Nuggets.

Anthony's value is a wash, since you depend on him for scoring, some rebounding (7.6 per game), free-throw percentage and not much else. He has another star to share the rock with in New York (Amare Stoudemire, for those who play fantasy but have no idea about real-life hoops), but Coach Mike D'Antoni has never been shy about running and gunning.

I would give Chauncey Billups' value a slight upgrade, since he should play major minutes for New York, which traded point guard Raymond Felton to Denver. Billups is a decent scorer and is a big help in 3-pointers made (2.1 per game) and free-throw percentage (92.3).

The rest: losers.

Felton, Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari are the big names headed west, and all three had been surprisingly productive under D'Antoni.

Felton was averaging 17.1 points, 9.0 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.6 3-pointers per game. But he joins a team that already has its point guard of the future in Ty Lawson (10.4 points, 3.7 assists, 50.1 field-goal percentage, 39.0 percent on 3s).

At best, you should expect Felton to share minutes with Lawson, which isn't good for those of us who were enjoying the former's breakout season.

The outlook isn't as grim for the 6-foot-8 Chandler and the 6-10 Gallinari, but it's not great for three reasons: Aaron Afflalo, J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin.

Gallinari can play power forward, but is better suited to play the '3,' where he could take Anthony's place in the starting lineup.

Or Coach George Karl could start Chandler at the 3, Martin (13.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, 1.2 steals) at the 4, Nene at center, and have Lawson or Felton be joined by Afflalo at the 2.

No matter in which direction Karl goes, the bottom line is Felton and Chandler or Felton and Gallinari could be bench players.

With Felton, Lawson, Afflalo (12.8 points, 50.2 field-goal percentage, 1.6 3s per game, 43.8 3-point percentage, 86.0 free-throw percentage) and Smith (11.2 points, 1.2 treys per game, 3.9 rebounds, 1.2 steals), the Nuggets are pretty deep in the backcourt.

That would lead us to believe Chandler and Gallinari will split time at small forward, and Gallinari could play some at power forward.

Felton averaged 38.4 minutes per game in New York, compared to 34.8 for Gallinari and 34.5 for Chandler.

All three of those totals will be reduced. By how much, we will find out in the coming weeks.

See how Karl divides his players' time this week, and if two of the three high-scoring former Knicks are reserves, they probably should be on your fantasy bench, too.

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