...That is what has proceeded the mega-trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. It might be time to step back from the (Madison Square) Garden party, look past the hype and take a hard look at the new-look Knicks. 'Melo, who made his New York debut last night, makes the Knicks relevant on the NBA scene. What he doesn't do is make them a championship contender in the East.
The Celtics, Heat and Bulls all have better trios than the Knicks troika of Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups. The Hawks with the addition of Kirk Hinrich are also a deeper and more talented team. Orlando is a toss-up. Bringing 'Melo to Broadway was costly for the Knicks. New York had to give up virtually its entire supporting cast, including Raymond Felton, a point guard who was better suited for New York's uptempo system than the 34-year-old Billups, who will struggle to contain the East's better point guards like Rajon Rondo and Derrick Rose.
Anthony is a trophy piece for the Knicks franchise, but he's not going to bring them a trophy with the current roster. Paging Chris Paul.
...That's what the Patriots have when it comes to picks in the 2013 NFL Draft, which starts Thursday. After all those years of stockpiling picks the way a survivalist does non-perishables the Patriots have just five picks in this year's draft, thanks to Band-aid trades for Albert Haynesworth, Chad Ochocinco and Aqib Talib. Five picks would be the fewest draft picks in franchise history. (Part of that is attributable to the trimming of the draft to just seven rounds in 1994). Further complicating matters is that two of the Patriots' greatest needs are at wide receiver and cornerback, positions where they have sustained draft droughts. With that in mind, I'm convinced the Patriots are going trade back out of the first round of a quanity-over-quality draft where you're just as likely to pick a Pro Bowl player in the second and third round as you are in the first round.