After being at the front of everybody's mind during NBA All-Star Weekend at Staples Center, the Carmelo Anthony trade finally went down Monday night, three days before the NBA trading deadline. The Denver Nuggets traded the four-time All-Star to the New York Knicks as part of a three-team, 12-player blockbuster deal which also involved the Minnesota Timberwolves, $3 million and three draft picks. As far as how this affects the Los Angeles Lakers, the answer is not all that much.â†µ
First of all, the Lakers don't play the Knicks again this season, and only have one more game against the Nuggets, at April 3 at Staples Center. The only way this deal would really affect the Lakers is possibly altering their first-round playoff opponent. The Spurs, at 46-10, are almost certainly going to finish as the top seed in the Western Conference, with the Lakers, Mavericks, and Thunder fighting it out for seeds two through four.â†µ
There is a game and a half separating the fifth and ninth-best records in the West, as Portland, New Orleans, Denver, Utah, and Memphis battle to make the playoffs. The Lakers' first-round opponent will come out of this group and, if the Nuggets fade as expected without Anthony (though netting four players, $3 million, and three draft picks qualifies as a major haul for Carmelo), it just means one less team in the running to battle the Lakers in round one.â†µ
The Lakers do have two games remaining this season against the Timberwolves, but their part of the deal (Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry for Corey Brewer) didn't really alter their team much, at least on the court, this season.â†µ
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