Now that Robinson Cano has taken the money from Seattle in exchange for never being relevant again, New York City needs a new franchise player whose ability to actually help your franchise is debatable and may or may not walk away in free agency to debate about. That man is Carmelo Anthony. To some, he is an absolute elite basketball player, whose skill and ability put him on par with Kevin Durant or Dwight
Howard to change the fortunes of a franchise. A player who can create his own shot and score in any manner and who can win a scoring title. To a rational person he’s a volume scorer who has a brutal playoff record and to whom “defense” is just a theory.
Defense, that’s a deniable theory, just like…
So the question remains; what the heck should the Knicks do with Carmelo Anthony.
Do they trade him?
That would effectively signal “We’re rebuilding” which in NY is a no-no.
Or worse, it would say “Boy were we wrong.” And when you screw the pooch on your big free agent signing and then on your big trade, it’s tough
to admit it.
Do they keep him?
If they keep him, and therefore extend him, they’ll be stuck paying max dollars over max years to a player who is only going to get worse and will be in his Mid-Thirties by the end.
Keeping him would mean that they need to bring in help, so they would have to wait out Amar’e to get his money off the books (any trade of him will likely get a worse contract back). So then you’re wasting TWO years of your franchise players end prime.
Knicks fans need to face reality. With Carmelo Anthony this team is going nowhere. Due to terrible management, coaching, discipline and play the Knicks will not contend this year (they were never real contenders last year either), next year and unless there’s a crazy shakeup (Aliens abduct the Pacers and Lebron Decides to become a Mennonite) they won’t be real contenders in 2016 either.
And let’s make it clear, Carmelo knows this too.
So if keeping your star means you aren’t a contender for the rest of the Obama administration, you should probably think long and hard about trading him. You can’t let your best player walk away for nothing.
Trading for Melo is tricky though. The Knicks would need draft picks and either a young controllable star, or a nice expiring contract.
There are only three teams that make any sense to take Melo.
Chicago – which waved bye-bye to trading for Melo after making the Deng trade.
LA Clippers – which is the hip destination and they have some pieces. Though it begs to ask, why would Doc Rivers go to LA only to try to move their most marketable star in 6 months?
LA Lakers – This is the city that Melo wants. Melo is the star that LA needs. LA may not have the draft picks that would make the Knicks swoon, but they do have an expiring contract that they can’t wait to get rid of and a desperate need for a second star once Kobe heads off to the glue factory.
And what’s better – This trade makes sense and can work!
If the Lakers add 2 picks, the Knicks can make out like bandits. They can rebuild through the draft, plus have Gasol’s 19 million and Amare’s 21 million off in successive seasons. Even if you assume that LA will be a decent to good team and that the picks will be mid-rounders, you can add to the (presumably) high picks the Knicks will get on account of their the Knicks and either package those picks for some talent (Kevin Love) or you can build an actual team. Then with the money you have, you can buy a lot of talent.
Or you know, you can keep Melo, never make it out of the second round, and keep deluding yourself that if “he only had another star then he wouldn’t shoot as much.”