GREENBURGH, N.Y. — The New York Knicks were searching for a second superstar when Carmelo Anthony became available.

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — The New York Knicks were searching for a second superstar when Carmelo Anthony became available.

The price was high, but they're certain he's worth it.

"When you go out hunting, would you rather have a bigger gun or a little gun?" coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We got a bigger gun."

The Knicks agreed to a trade with the Denver Nuggets for Anthony on Monday night, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press. The teams were awaiting the completion of a conference call with the NBA on Tuesday before the deal, which also includes the Minnesota Timberwolves, could become official.

Anthony will join fellow All-Star Amare Stoudemire in the frontcourt, giving the Knicks the potent duo they hoped they could assemble last summer in free agency. Instead, they had to give up much of their core, but in return they get one of the NBA's top scorers.

"We liked the way our team played this year and I looked at it and I thought we had one piece that was at the high level of the league. We always wanted two pieces at least," team president Donnie Walsh said.

Stoudemire has led the Knicks to a 28-26 record this season, but said Tuesday they will be even more dangerous with Anthony bringing his 25.2 points per game to join his 26.1 average.

"Every team needs a 1, 1A punch," Stoudemire said. "And so with the ways that we both can score .... we're very versatile, so it's hard to guard us."

Stoudemire said he had "no doubt" the All-Star forwards and longtime friends could play together, and said Anthony would handle the move to New York as well as he has.

"It's what he wants. It's what I wanted, to come to New York and play on the big stage," Stoudemire said. "He has the same type of swag. This is what he wants and he can handle it. We're going to do it together."

The Knicks haven't made the playoffs since 2004, but are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference in their first season since acquiring Stoudemire from Phoenix last summer. He thinks the blockbuster deal could make them better equipped to face teams such as Boston or Miami, which already have multiple All-Stars, in the postseason.

"It's not easy and it's not going to get any easier for us now because the target is on our back," Stoudemire said. "Teams are going to be eager to play against us."

The Knicks also would acquire Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman in the deal that was first reported by the Denver Post. They are playing a heavy price, trading Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov and a 2014 first-round draft pick to the Nuggets, who would get additional picks and cash.

But the Knicks felt they had to make the move after failing last summer to land two superstars through free agency.

"Now we've got two guys in our stable," D'Antoni said.

The completion of the deal is delayed while Anthony first signs a three-year, $65 million contract extension with the Nuggets before the trade conference call can be held.

It was Anthony's refusal to take the extension when the Nuggets offered it to him last summer that forced them to explore trading their leading scorer. The Knicks hoped they could sign him next summer in free agency, but felt they couldn't wait because Anthony wanted the extension this season, before a new collective bargaining agreement next summer could severely restrict salaries, and that could have forced him to lock in long term with whatever team Denver traded him to.

So the Knicks agreed to trade four of their top six players, realizing there were few chances to add a player of Anthony's caliber to one like Stoudemire.