Carmelo Anthony trade rumors continue to circle the New York Knicks and, as was the case with the New Jersey Nets, the players rumored to be involved have played poorly. Marc Berman of the New York Post does the math; since Mikhail Prokhorov pulled the Nets out of the 'Melo sweepstakes, making the Knicks the primary trade rumor partner by default, New York has gone 4-8. A Friday loss to the L.A. Lakers dropped the Knicks to .500.
Knicks president Donnie Walsh actually admits to Berman that the trade rumors have affected play.
"[The Nets] did play much better right away. It's probably a bigger thing to players than you think it is. They've got to move. They've got family."
The Nets are 7-6 since Prokhorov's pronouncement, still well outside the playoff picture (even in the East!). But the team has looked considerably more confident, in even defeat, than it had during Newark's long flirtation with Anthony.
Walsh staunchly declares that the poorer play of late does not mean he will either put trade discussions on the fast track or abandon them altogether; the trade deadline, after all, is just weeks away, and when you're talking about drawing an All-Star for the next five years, a win or two represets small potatoes. But you wonder if this season's dose of poor play from heavily rumored teams might lead to a hesitation in the future in terms of franchise getting involved in midseason player sweepstakes.