After yet another loss on Sunday afternoon, it is utterly clear that the New York Knicks are not going to be a playoff team this season, as they now sit two games out of the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference with a 20-31 record. While there are a number of different factors for this brutal record, and there are certainly many who want to put the blame on Mike Woodson, it is clear that the team should get rid of superstar forward Carmelo Anthony quickly.
There is certainly no doubting that Anthony has been the lone shining star at Madison Square Garden during the 2013-14 season, and no sane mind could put blame on him for the Knicks’ struggles. Anthony has averaged an impressive 27.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.1 steals per game and 38.6 minutes per game, which is absolutely incredible.
Nobody can doubt the talent of the shooting guard, as his .419 three point field goal percentage, .452 overall field goal percentage and .844 free throw percentage makes indicates the fact that he is an offensive behemoth. Furthermore, the small forward is actually playing incredibly hard on both ends of the floor this season, something that has not always been the case. Whether this newfound hustle is because of the fact that Anthony is playing for a new contract after the season could be brought into question, but it certainly will help raise his value in trade discussions.
When it comes to the Knicks’ future outlook, it is clear the team has no real options on the free agent market because of poor cap management. Even without Anthony on the books for next season, New York has $67.69 million committed, with $59.99 million of this going to Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, Andrea Bargnani and J.R. Smith. Each of these guys is either old and broken down, under-performing, or some mixture of the three, and surely won’t form a championship caliber core, essentially leaving the Knicks in a holding pattern.
With recent indicating factors telling the common viewer that Anthony is not particularly inclined to sit around and wait through a rebuilding project at the age of 29, it would be genius of the Knicks to trade him now. They could certainly get a huge package for his services, as a package of two first round picks and one promising youngster would surely be tabled from multiple contenders, with the Chicago Bulls and Phoenix Suns looking particularly likely destinations.
Considering the fact that New York doesn’t have a first round pick this year and has no young talent outside of Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr., it is a wonder they haven’t pulled the trigger on a move yet. If they don’t before the NBA Trade deadline occurs on Feb. 20, fans will be able to blame owner James Dolan and Steve Mills as the franchise slips into the abyss for the next few years.