At least Raymond Felton is gone too.
The New York Knicks, on Wednesday, traded their second best player and one of their worst for an above average point guard, a decent center and not much else (though I do like Shane Larkin as a 10-15 minutes a night guy as a role he can grow in to).
Jose Calderon will undoubtedly help the Knicks regardless of what offense they run.
He is better at just about everything Felton, but is marginally worse on defense than the porous Felton.
A detail that should get more play is, assuming the Knicks do run the Triangle, the point guard’s ball handling roles will be lessened. He will however be relied on to space the floor and hit those corner threes (think Steve Kerr and Derek Fisher all those years in Chicago and LA).
Felton last year shot 31.8% from three and shoots 33.2% from there for his career. Both numbers are not good. Calderon on the other hand shot 44.9% from beyond the arc last year and 41.1% for his career, both excellent.
Calderon is more than capable of running a good offense too if Carmelo Anthony leaves and Jose has a bigger role. While having guys like Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis helps, Calderon was a key player on the third best offense in the NBA last year.
As much as this trade is about improving at the point, it’s about trading Tyson Chandler.
Before last year’s injury hampered season, Chandler was the three time defending true shooting percentage and offensive rating champion. While many people questioned his offensive impact, Chandler really was an extremely important key to Knicks success on both sides of the ball.
While only in the strike shortened 66 season (Chandler actually played more games that year than last, playing in 62 of 66 and last year 55 of 82) the Knicks had an above average defense, Chandler was the only thing keeping the defense from falling into the bottom five.
Now the Knicks lose their rim protector and pick and roll hammer in exchange for a slower, even more injury prone, and older Samuel Dalembert. Dalembert isn’t terrible, his year last year was comparable to Chandler’s in most areas, but it was also a down year by Chandler.
The open ended part of this trade is the swirling rumors that Larkin could be involved in a trade during the offseason, so any opinion on this trade can’t be 100% complete without seeing those trades.
That being said, short of the Knicks pulling off a coup of a deal, it’s difficult to say the Knicks really got better with this trade.
With the team in transition that may be secondary to other issues though.
The one wild card is, Chandler and Anthony have gotten along and Carmelo has put the Mavericks on his short list of teams to visit. It’s difficult to envision any star player willingly going from the East to the West but it couldn’t have hurt to get Carmelo’s best teammate down to Dallas.