Melo, Knicks Must Evaluate Partnership




HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – There’s a lot of angst surrounding the New York Knicks and the possibility that Carmelo Anthony will leave as a free agent next summer.

In an interview with the New York Observer, Anthony said that he’s looking forward to being a free agent.

“I want to be a free agent,” Anthony tells me, as our cigars burn close to the nub. “I think everybody in the NBA dreams to be a free agent at least one time in their career. It’s like you have an evaluation period, you know. It’s like if I’m in the gym and I have all the coaches, all the owners, all the GMs come into the gym and just evaluate everything I do. So yes, I want that experience.”

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony (Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE)

Though he’s now in his 11th season, Anthony has never been a free agent. He signed a five-year extension with the Denver Nuggets before his rookie contract expired, and then signed another extension upon being traded to the Knicks.

Anthony didn’t say to the Observer that he plans on opting out of the final year (2014-15) of that contract, but he made it clear in a Thursday morning meeting with reporters. Though he’s set to make more than $23 million next season, he can turn that one guaranteed year into four (if he signs with a new team) or five (if he re-signs with the Knicks).

The Knicks gave up a lot to bring Anthony to New York. Rather than wait to sign him as a free agent in the summer of 2011, they gave up three starters and three draft picks to get him at the trade deadline. So to have him walk away three years later would be a tough blow.

Anthony made it clear Thursday that he’s not exactly looking to bail on the Knicks, as Marc Berman of the New York Post writes

“This is something when that time comes, I’ll definitely explore,” Anthony said. “Does that mean I’m not coming back to New York? Not at all. But it’s definitely an opportunity I’m willing to explore and experience. That not whatsoever means I’m not coming back to New York or I don’t want to be in New York. I don’t want anyone to get that impression of what that story was. That question came different than what everyone is reading.”

Indeed, it seems Anthony is heavily leaning toward staying with the Knicks, but if they take a severe step back this season, all bets are off.

Anthony isn’t the only one who needs to think about this relationship between team and player. The Knicks need to figure out if they can really contend for a championship while paying Anthony $129 million over five years.

Teams can get good role players on cheap contracts these days and the Knicks found an offensive formula (pick-and-roll + Anthony + shooters = efficiency) that worked really well last season. But if any team is going to pay someone more than $25 million a year, that team needs him to help on both ends of the floor. Anthony has never shown an ability to do that consistently. And as good as the Knicks were offensively last season, they had a below-average defense. (They were above average both offensively and defensively with Anthony on the bench, by the way.)

The salary sheet will look a lot better when Amar’e Stoudemire‘s contract finally expires in 2015. (That guy isn’t opting out next summer.) But Anthony will be 30 years old when he signs his next contract and 34 in the final season of a five-year deal.

So the Knicks might want to think twice about committing to another five years of paying max money to a one-way star whose production is guaranteed to decline as his salary climbs. There may be better ways to construct a championship-contending roster.

92 Comments

  1. homieshome says:

    He’ll most likely stay but he has to stir as much drama possible because it makes him feel special. Unlike Paul George or Kevin Durant, Melo WILL NOT come right out and say he’s staying. He will do it in a mysterious way where you just don’t know for sure. I honestly wish we could trade him for a player just as good or of equal value like Batuma nd Lamarcus Aldridge if only Aldridge had more years on his contract

  2. Frodo says:

    Melo is not going to take any team to a championship. Waste of money

  3. jz says:

    we need to do anything to keep melo in new york

  4. sports fan says:

    Melo won’t go the Lakers if Kobe is still playing by then because Kobe doesn’t do too well with another ego. If Kobe is retired by the time Melo will be a free agent then L.A. would be on a short list of destinations for Melo. I think that list would be New York, Boston, Dallas, or L.A. (with Kobe retired).

  5. steve says:

    melo is one of the best of his generation but is never gona win a ring unless he buys into a system that works for the team rather than him scoring 30 a night. nicks had a great start last year but once injuries set in and hit a blip he went back to old ill get mine u guys get ur stats melo and lost to a better “team” rather than group of players in the play offs. still some of the greatest have never won a ring (barkleys, ewings and so far Nash to name just a few)

  6. Charlie's Park says:

    Carmelo’s only chance of getting a ring will be if he ages into a supporting role on a championship bound team in which he is not the number one option. Patrick Ewing, with less of an ego than Carmelo, couldn’t slip into that role. So look for Carmelo to retire ringless.

  7. tj566 says:

    melo to portland, lillard batum melo aldridge and lopez its a wrap

  8. Emils says:

    he is going to gsw :)

  9. Alex says:

    I say clippers or stays in New York. He’s always wanted to play with CP3 so if they can work something out I think that will be his first choice, Knicks havnt made much noise since getting Anthony. This could be a warning to them to get something done and bring someone in so they can compete.

  10. To Many Jokes says:

    LoL at all the dumb FA options being posted here. Why would he want to go the Lakers to play with Grandpa Kobe? He’s done after this year….

    Atlanta/Boston/Portland/Dallas? lmao….I think he wants to go to a contender and not have to carry another team.

    Rockets – Not gonna happen, they dont have the money to pay for yet another high dollar FA

    Right now honestly the Bulls are his best option at a ring

  11. Hustlin' Hawks says:

    Welcome to Atlanta, and it’s about damn time!

  12. R E E says:

    It’s the KNICKS or the BULLS.
    Melo will make the decision I thought Lebron would have
    and play alongside D Rose and a quality team that could uproot The Miami Heat off of the throne.
    We can all agree that the BULLS vs HEAT are basically the NBA Finals anyway.
    And we all know the Bulls are one superstar away from beating Miami.
    It’s a year away…but the Chicago is the destination is he REALLY wants a championship.

  13. Jay Scott says:

    Honestly, he should come to the Bulls, the combonation of melo who is unguardable offensively, and derrick rose who is the most dominant and unguardable point guard in the league would be SCARY..

  14. Abdel says:

    i agree with almost every comment up there but i have to say that if i was Melo and i played 11 yrs with no ring yet i would feel that balling isn’t right every player in the NBA wants to test out a free agency and most likely because they want a ring or a new team for Melo he wants a ring nothing more every team out there would basically throw money at Melo but when he clearly states no defense a couple of teams would back down. the team that would give him the most money is the Lakers and Kobe would love to play with Melo during the season Melo did say he wants to play with Rondo but doesn’t want to leave the Knicks that’s another player Melo is looking at and after KG and Pierce dropping the Celtics Melo might just go to Boston play with Rondo gets the money he wants but its a step back in Basketball he may also go to the Nets to play with KG and Paul Pierce and saying that Brooklyn is his hometown he might also be looking at the Nets i personally think that leaving NY is dumb because if they as a team step up there defense they would a very strong team. with Tim Hardaway Jr. joining the team it makes a big impact for the Knciks as soon as Jr. Smith comes back thats another impact for the KNicks it’s smart to play with the knicks wait until Stoudemire’s contract is over and draft Rondo. Rondo, Melo, Tim and maybe Jr. is an unstoppable team as long as they and the rest of the team step up there game
    also there’s a small chance that Melo might be looking at the Nuggets because if he stayed with the Nuggets he would have gotten a ring by now.

  15. Rico suave says:

    Lol. seriously a lot of people are getting this story wrong! why will melo go join kobe. He’s a great player but that don’t mean he’s a great person to get along with and melo is getting old as kobe is old and there’s not time to see if chemistry is going to work. oh and that laker coach again? Like i said melo is getting old father time is around the corner no time to go to a rebuilding team with no championship caliber at this time like Boston and many others. Melo clearly said he wants to test the free agency market just to see what he is worth with no intentions of leaving of course nothing is promised, but that’s just the egotistical side of an athlete talking to see how much attention he gets, Can’t blame him we all have egos. He thinks ring and money at the same time. N.Y can give him the most $ but maybe not a ring yet. at the same time is a strategic move to make owners take that wallet out and rebuild around him so he doesn’t end up leaving. What’s really holding them back? is that amare contract which ends around 2015. Which gives a very very high posibility for lebron to rejoin the heat until amares contract is up also chandler’s and many others by that time he had already fufilled his dream and legacy next to his aging and possibly retiring good friend D-wade and take what was being offered to him by N.Y owners first…which was big big big $ and play next along side his good friend melo. Dont say i didn’t warn you

    • alp says:

      i see kobe retiring at the end o this season anyway, theres nothing left for him to do, he’s certainly not winning any more championships and he’s coming off a devasting injury at the end of his career. you heard it here first folks.

  16. deejay says:

    Melo will go to CHINA!!!

  17. mikie says:

    duh! he’s going home to the balt-dc area to play tight end with rg111.

  18. qweezy says:

    Portland bound!?

  19. The Commish says:

    There are 34 million reasons Melo will stay in NY. Besides the Knicks will have the cap space for him to hand pick anyone wanting to come to NY. Sorry Laker fans.

  20. Kobe-Rajon-Pau-Carmelo-Lebron@Manila says:

    He is definitely going to LA and LA will get it’s 17th to 21st Championship together with Lebron.. Better watch out LA HATERS!!!

  21. BullsFan says:

    People are dumb melo cant got to the rockets it 2 much money bulls no we need defense heat -.- idiots Realistic team that will work with him portland or the celtics

  22. mckynetic says:

    Personally, it would be interesting if he’ll go to the Lakers. I’d like to see if that proverbial “friendship” between Kobe and Melo truly are present as what they were saying POST OLYMPIC games.

  23. Jeremymichel says:

    Looks like Mark Cuban has another summer target

  24. wafflesmcnood says:

    I always thought signing Amare was stupid, let alone giving him a max contract. Sometimes the Knicks need to make better moves man. Melo is going to stay and retire with the Knicks unless Miami offers him a contract. Even if he did go to Miami, that wouldn’t be a fit. We all know Melo likes to shoot the ball. If he goes to South Beach, he’ll end up like Chris Bosh.

    I would love to see Rondo come to the Knicks. The Knicks only need a pure point like Rondo to get to the chip and possibly win. That is the only thing stopping them from being a threat to Miami and Indiana. Either that, or The Zen Master changes his mind about coaching the Knicks lol.

    It’s so hard being a Knicks fan! grrr…

  25. roytroyboymccoy says:

    i like the knicks, i hope he will go in another team, no way anybody can win a title with this kind of person.
    he will have a max salary based only on a fake hype since the first day of his carreer : he started with lebron james. it was “lebron and melo are coming” but carmelo anthony is far from this kind of level.

  26. Krum Krumov says:

    Why do all bloggers for NBA.com seem to hate the Knicks? What’s your problem with New York? Did you get mugged while there and now you just dislike the place? Stop it! Melo will not leave the Knicks – he will not leave New York – you know the background he has – NY-born, the first person to represent Red Hood (his neighbourhood), the court in front of his home apartment is painted in the Knicks colors with his name and number there. He gets all the love he can in NY (to differ forn Denver where he is THE DEVIL to those ungrateful …people…). He clearly wants to be alured by other teams, but this doesn’t mean he would live. Kind of like your wife wants to be liked by other men – do you think that means she wants to leave you? Get real – stop hating on one of the most promising teams this upcoming season!

    • Davro83 says:

      Agree 100%. The comparison to wife is brilliant. She wants to look good and have other men interested, but shes not going home with them. lol. Its just confidence boosting.

  27. Good luck to him. I’m sure he’ll resign with the Knicks however.

  28. akalak says:

    he will go to Houston rockets,.. not a fan of it but im sure 110% sure he will,.. i know coz melo text me

  29. Patrick GG says:

    Carmelo will be the next import in the phils :D

  30. Kobe_Now says:

    He is going to China

  31. Bok says:

    Lakers, Celtics, Bulls are teams with great potential of landing Melo.

  32. BlazerBoogie says:

    Surprised no one has mentioned the Houston Rockets. Harden, Melo, Howard, is the big 3 Morey’s been looking for. Portland could hopefully get in on this deal and grab Asik and Parsons…..

  33. alex says:

    This is Melo’s way of saying.. Start spending money, and let build a super team like the Heat… Nets… Houston. As a Knicks fan, I don’t blame him for doing this, in fact I think it is genius. James Dolan needs to start spending more money, if he wants to keep Melo around. At the end of the day, Melo wants that ring. If Dolan signs another big name or two, he will stay for sure. I am also pretty sure they have nearly $100 million coming off the books next season, so this is a smart strategic move by Melo. Let’s go Melo, and My Knicks!!
    P.S. It’s funny how a good number of people in herepost knee jerk reactions without understanding how to look into things, and motives for actions. Why would he want to leave a big market, for another team? For a RING. It’s obvious this is a play to make DOLAN spend more money, and build around him quickly. Pshh, Melo to the Celtics, what are you guys smoking ?

  34. Peta? Who Peta? says:

    Looks like the Bulls are getting a new 3/ stretch 4 named Carmelo Anthony.

    • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

      Bulls or Rockets would be much better for Melo rather than NY or LA, if he’s actually trying to win a championship !

  35. nbafan says:

    I have a feeling he MIGHT end up in Dallas.. Ellis, Calderon, Dirk and Melo will be nice to see together … and coach Rick Carlie will make him a better Defender just like he did with OJ Mayo .. and Tyson Chandler .. If Melo becomes a good defender, they can win it all man

    • HP3 says:

      Melo is coming back the DMV … Wizards had a top 10 defense last year which he lacks in… wall and beal are great young talents! If the Lakers don’t win the bid , watch out for Washington

    • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

      That might actually be a realistic possibility…

  36. Sam Sunxer says:

    Melo was a guest at Lebron James wedding. Pat Riley is the Godfather of recruiting. Melo has more money than he can spend wisely. Melo wants to get into the HOF with a ring. Heat 2014 starting 5: Wade, Melo, James, Bosh, Oden. Taxes and cost of living are punitive in NYC and LA, so contracts are not worth as much there. Heat do not have a pure shooter like Melo so he would take the pressure off James and Wade to score so they could concentrate on defense. Players work for less money when they feel the owners are winners.

  37. squala96 says:

    This has probably a lot to do with the epic demise of Amar’e. Carmelo joined the Knicks thinking he can form an alliance with Stoudemire, but unfortunately, injuries hit him and has since been relegated to bench roles with limited success. This leaves NY with no other effective, consistent shooter (for which then free agent Monta Ellis should have been signed) in the starting lineup.

    The Lakers will be a fresh new start for Anthony. He is friends with Kobe and when the latter retires, the team will be formed around him. It’s just that he will risk getting booed at in the MSG and Pepsi Center.

  38. Dfresh_216 says:

    Melo could go to Chicago with d-rose and should at least get a ring together

    • abisan says:

      Hmmmmm, due to the reasons of health and playing capabilities there will be two players not able to play a decent defence and other three on the floor can’t fulfill holes.

  39. John says:

    They need to place good supporting cast around melo. Stat has a huge contract but not efficient. k-mart and MWP is a good addition to the team. Don’t know yet about bargani.

    • Kamote says:

      How about Denver??? That support team was so good that when Melo left, it got better. Despite his superb scoring skills, I don’t really see Melo as someone you can build a team around with.

  40. Knicks Fan says:

    I think if Melo weighed up that he’s been in the league 11 yrs and has not won a championship, that would be the main drive behind this whole experience. I believe if we ( Knicks ) do well this season and make it deep in the second round of playoffs or eastern finals that should be enough for him to commit to the Knicks.
    I don’t see why he would leave Knicks for any other reason than to get a title before he retires. Every team out there will throw max dollars at him without a question. But as stated he is basically an offensive player only, so that team would need to weigh that up.
    I’m not sure who will have what $$$ to throw at him when this time comes, but it will be interesting to see it unfold.
    Me personally if I had connections with NY and that is where I was from ( that area ) I would have more pride in riding out my career knowing I did all I could for that team to get a championship rather than “build” a team to get one. Just my personal opinion.

    • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

      The knicks are too late, the only way they will be able to keep Melo is by starting over from scratch. The only players the knicks should keep is Chandler & Shumpert and start over… which obviously wont happen so Melo is LA bound!

  41. Freida says:

    Melo finally realizes that he is the only one in the top five 2003 draft that hasn’t won a championship. Just like LeBron, he finally wants to win a championship. That will be his legacy. Does he really want to be like Charles Barkley retiring without a championship?

    • Brendan says:

      I wish he would go to clippers but I don’t think Donald sterling would go for that but he does want ring and with cp3 for 5 years blake and deandre at least with two and doc rivers in town might be one of the best possible contenders for him to join clips don’t have a great small forward unlike most the current super teams hell pacers have two all star caliber small forwards this year and I don’t see him and LeBron ever being on a functioning team together despite what some might think I’m not to sure about that kind of small ball even if LeBron is most likely the best stretch 4 in the game and Carmelo arguably could be as well.

  42. AL says:

    I think Melo will try Baseball…….is uncle dream……..

  43. pokie says:

    No. Kids. He’s coming home.

  44. Blowout says:

    Com on now Rose Melo Noah Thats a Great team bulter nd who ever else can keep a great tone of Defense Realtalk

  45. Blowout says:

    Drose boy my lil bro boy

  46. OKC says:

    He is for sure going to the suns.

  47. kg says:

    he’s going to boston

  48. Germany says:

    @Mango – Melo can’t go to the Heat, he doesn’t play Defense…Didn’t you understand the article??

  49. Weedmoker says:

    Welcome to Miami…

  50. Uncle Drew says:

    How can I be the only one thinking that the Celtics would be a good fit for Melo? With plenty of cap space available after dumping Pierce and KG’s contracts in the trade with Brooklyn, the Celtics will be able to make a blockbuster signing next summer. Many think that the Celtics are in full rebuild mode; which I disagree with. I think that with their current team they are another big piece away from contention. And I think that Melo would love to play with a superstar caliber point guard that is going to get him shots where he needs them. If Sullinger develops into the low post presence that would’ve made him a top 5 pick in the 2012 draft, then we’ve got a team that could bring banner #18 to Boston.

    • FartyPantsMcGee says:

      i never even thought about that, that would be an interesting team to watch. maybe rondo and melo would have a westbrook durant type dynamic

    • HarlemATL says:

      Is Melo not getting his shots where he wants currently? It makes more sense that Rondo comes to New York after dumping Amare’s contract. Have you ever been to the Garden? Why would he leave such a house to go to Boston which would be a step back but only forward when it comes to money. Think about it, the Knicks need a Rondo type. Or explain why Boston would be a good fit? There is nobody there to make a legit shot at the title. The Knicks are 2 players away from making life hard for LeBron and crew. They need a real 2 guard that slashes and plays above the rim and most importantly they need a 4 or 5 that can play with his back to the basket, create and draw a double team. Boston is not a better team than the Knick and without Rondo who even talks about Boston? Enough of the dream state, New York is the best platform for Melo. With that said if he wants a ring and a ring now then if anywhere he should go to Miami and then it’s GAME OVA no contest. Talkin bout saving Wade’s knees.

  51. Akeem Asante says:

    I always thought the Knicks were extremely foolish to give up so much to get Melo. He probably would have come there anyway. If he didn’t, they still would be about where they are now, at least competitively. I guess the big name sells more tickets.

    It would be interesting to see where he would go…to the Nets would be overkill, but not surprising.

  52. pablo says:

    I’d find it funny if he went back to denver. We’ll see. Lol

  53. MangoPlantioe says:

    MELO GOES TO THE HEAT! HA! 4-peat!

    • xSkyCityx says:

      haha! Miami hasn’t even gotten a 3-peat yet so just be quiet.

    • Howard says:

      Which team is more well known…GLOBALLY?? Does Camelo want a life long opportunity to connect with people globally??? Business sponsors?? Lakers or Knicks. If he doesnt stay with the Knicks and he will be getting old by next contract, how else can he set himself up for those life long business opportunities??

      • heaters says:

        life long business opportunities? Hes making $24m this year alone, why would he care obout business opportunities

  54. Howard says:

    Camelo wants to explore the free agency. The question is, if Camelo receives the best offer any team out there could offer, and that team is the Lakers, where he can gets bonus contracts from sponsors, etc…Will Camelo accept that or will he stay and get the 5 yr extension from the Knicks? He knows he will get the best offers from any team already…so whats the point of testing the free agency?

  55. ilovebron says:

    i love lebron

  56. Grievous56 says:

    So he gets traded from Denver to NYC because his dream has always been playing for the Knicks. And now he wants to test free agency?

  57. Larry says:

    Laker bound. Not sure if he’s worth max contract though. Maybe he will take less money in order to put a team together around him and Kobe.

    • TheStarMiddleschooler says:

      Personally, Kobe and Melo aren’t really my top two players to bring on one team, Kobe is decent at Defense when its a close game, Melo Defense = 8th grade defense. They need good defenders like Lamarcus Aldridge And others.

      • asdf says:

        Kobe is a decent defender? He was on 12 All-Defensive between 2000 and 2012, 9x first team 3x second team. He is one of the best guards on defense.

      • AC says:

        Kobes defence is horrible i dont think he has played any real defence since 03-04

    • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

      If Melo goes to the Lakers that would be an even greater mistake than leaving Denver. If Melo would have stayed on Denver then he might have won a championship by now…If he goes to the Lakers that would be really stupid… He might as well just re-sign with the Knicks, wait until Amare’s contract is up and be patient 1 or two more years.. Not go to the Lakers??? to start over all over again with an old Kobe with no guarantee the chemistry will work between them, and go back to the coach he got fired from the Knicks (Dantoni).