After the New York Knicks lost their second matchup with the Boston Celtics in less than a week, James Dolan’s expectations that the Knicks would compete for the NBA Championship appear to be completely shattered. Sure, the Knicks are currently playing without both Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton, but having those players in the lineup won’t elevate the Knicks into title contention. To make matters worse, the Knicks were contemplating trading multiple assets for Kyle Lowry, which is just one of the many questionable decisions that justify Carmelo Anthony‘s desire to test the free agent market at the end of the season.
The Knicks don’t appeal to first-rate free agents, and it will be very difficult for New York to make a strong sales-pitch to retain Anthony. There were rumors of Chris Paul joining the Knicks before this season, but he decided to sign a five-year contract extension that allowed him to remain with the Los Angeles Clippers. Paul passed on the opportunity to team up with his close friend Anthony and reunite with Chandler, who was Paul’s teammate in New Orleans.
With those factors in their favor, New York still failed to land another marquee player in the free agent market. New York plays in the historic Madison Square Garden which has been an arena that has primarily served as a venue for opposing stars to put on career-defining performances. LeBron James routinely plays his best basketball in the Garden, but he passed on the opportunity to join the Knicks when it was his turn to test the free agent market. Unfortunately, the Knicks have not been able to attract a big-time free agent of their own since signing Amar’e Stoudemire, and the longer this nightmare of a season drags on it appears New York will fail to retain one.
At some point every player would like to be a part of a championship winning team, but the Knicks organization has not won a title in 40 years. The current Knicks front office seems determined to prove that the team’s lack of success is no coincidence. There is no incentive for Anthony to remain with the Knicks beyond this season, and the Knicks will likely have to face that reality at some point before the trade deadline.