Ten years ago today, one of the biggest trade-deadline deals in NBA history occurred. And it involved current Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony.
Anthony was traded on Feb. 22, 2011 as part of a months-long process for the Denver Nuggets to offload him. As Anthony described in a recent appearance on The Woj Pod with Adrian Wojnarowski, he didn't want to be a part of what looked like a Nuggets rebuild.
"We just came off a [trip to the] Western Conference Finals. I don't want to rebuild in my seventh season in the NBA," Anthony said. "So, [I told them] if you guys want to rebuild, it's cool, but let's work something out. Let's figure something out. That was in July."
But no move occurred until the last moments possible. With the clock ticking down to the trade deadline, the Nuggets had several deals on the table, as Anthony outlined. There were offers from the Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers, and New Jersey Nets that included players like Derrick Favors, Lamar Odom, and Andrew Bynum.
However, the New York Knicks swooped in late, as Anthony explained, and ultimately became a contender in the trade talks.
"New York comes in at the 25th hour, and we have a meeting with New York. The infamous meeting -- 3 o'clock in the morning -- and it's just like, 'What are we gonna do?'," Anthony said. "At this point, we have to make this decision. We have to figure this out.
"If New York it gonna be the place, we might as well just sit down, break bread... let's figure this out and make this happen."
The Nuggets and Knicks were able to do that, with a little help from the Minnesota Timberwolves. The teams finally pulled the trigger on a 12-player deal that was headlined by Anthony and Chauncey Billups going to the Knicks.
Here's a snapshot of what the deal looked like, via Yahoo Sports:
The trade was a massive shift for the NBA landscape, as Anthony was one of the biggest stars in the game at the time and landed in one of the biggest markets in New York. He was supposed to help the Knicks return to relevance and make them true contenders.
However, that didn't come to fruition. The Knicks only ever won one playoff series with Anthony on the team and largely struggled to surround him with talent. Eventually, they offloaded him in a salary-dump trade to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Meanwhile, the Nuggets did well with the major piece they acquired, Danilo Gallinari, and he played a key part in keeping the Nuggets playoff-relevant until he was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers in 2017.
Ironically, three players involved in that deal did win championships after the trade with different organizations. They were Corey Brewer (Mavericks, 2011), Eddy Curry (Heat, 2012), and Timofey Mozgov (Cavaliers, 2016).
Anthony will be looking to add his name to that list while wearing Blazers colors.