DENVER, Feb. 22, 2011 – The Denver Nuggets today acquired F Wilson Chandler, G Raymond Felton, F Danilo Gallinari, C Kosta Koufos and C Timofey Mozgov as part of a three-team trade with the New York Knicks and Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Nuggets also received New York’s first-round draft pick in 2014, second-round picks in 2012 and 2013 and cash considerations. The second-round picks were acquired by the Knicks from Golden State last summer.
In exchange, the Nuggets sent F Carmelo Anthony, G Chauncey Billups, G Anthony Carter, F Renaldo Balkman and F Shelden Williams to New York, which traded F Eddy Curry and F Anthony Randolph to Minnesota and will get F Corey Brewer from the Timberwolves. Minnesota also received Denver's 2015 second-round pick.
"Carmelo has been an important part of the best seven-year stretch in Denver Nuggets history. We have shared many special moments and were fortunate to watch him grow into an All-Star and one of the league’s top players," Nuggets team president Josh Kroenke said. "However, Carmelo made it very clear early in the season that he wasn’t willing to re-commit to the organization and wanted to pursue other opportunities in basketball and life. At that point, we decided it was imperative that we do what was in the best interest of the Denver Nuggets and our fans. We wish Carmelo the best in his career and sincerely thank him for what he’s helped us accomplish.
"I would also like to personally thank Chauncey Billups, Anthony Carter, Renaldo Balkman and Shelden Williams for their contributions on and off court as members of the Denver Nuggets. I have gotten especially close with Chauncey and Anthony during their time here in Denver and their contributions to this organization and city goes far beyond wins and losses. They will truly be missed."
Three of the four players acquired by the Nuggets are former first-round draft picks; Felton was taken fifth overall in 2005, Chandler 23rd in 2007 and Gallinari sixth in 2008.
Chandler, 6-8, 225, averaged a career-high 16.4 points and 5.9 rebounds in 51 games with the Knicks this season. The 23-year-old has scored at least 20 points 16 times and recorded five double-doubles.
Felton, 6-1, 205, is averaging a career highs in points (17.1), assists (9.0) and steals (1.8) while starting all 54 games in his sixth NBA season. Felton, 26, is fifth in the NBA in assists per game and he joins Utah’s Deron Williams as the only two NBA players averaging at least 17 points and 9 assists.
Gallinari, 6-10, 225, is averaging a career-high 15.9 points and shooting .893 from the free-throw line (sixth in the NBA) in 2010-11. The 22-year-old was second in the league last season with 186 three-pointers.
Koufos, 7-0, 265, appeared in 39 games with Minnesota this season, averaging 2.7 points and 2.5 rebounds in limited minutes.
Mozgov, 7-1, 250, averaged 4.0 points and 3.1 rebounds in just 13.5 minutes as a part-time starter for the Knicks. The 24-year-old rookie spent the previous six seasons playing professionally in his native Russia.
"We are excited about the talented young players we acquired in this trade," Kroenke said. "They were valuable contributors to one of the most improved teams in the NBA this season. We are looking forward to making another postseason push. Our goals remain the same: improve every day, play hard every game and bring an NBA championship to Denver."