Carmelo Anthony will become a free agent at the conclusion of the 2013-14 NBA season. With the New York Knicks floundering outside the top eight teams in the Eastern Conference and looking like they might not have what it takes to turn things around this year, the rumor mill has been turning violently regarding the All-Star forward.
With nine days remaining until the Feb. 20 NBA Trade Deadline, Anthony has been linked to several teams in potential trades. The Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers and plenty of other teams have been rumored to be in talks about acquiring Melo over the past few weeks. In fact, it’s gotten quite tiring and there hasn’t been any progress with any trade involving the high-scoring forward. Now it’s clear as to why.
According to a report from Marc J. Spears of Yahoo!—tucked away in his latest power rankings—there is “zero chance” that the Knicks are going to deal Anthony before the deadline and will take their chances in free agency this summer.
Though some people might consider it a bit risky for the Knicks to let Anthony explore free agency, it’s the best move for this team. If they are to have any hope of making up what actually isn’t that wide of a margin between them and a playoff spot, they have to have Melo in tow. More than that, though, there’s still a very good chance that Anthony stays in New Yrok when he does hit the open market.
Though the lack of success this season with the Knicks might be a deterrent for Anthony in free agency, you can’t forget the fact that money talks. While other teams may have slightly better situations and can offer him max contract over four seasons, New York is the only team that can offer him that fifth year. Four seasons after the end of this year, Melo will be 34 years old. Given what we’ve seen in the history of the NBA, he’s no longer going to be a player that commands max money at that time. Subsequently, that fifth year on a contract makes the Knicks incredibly enticing.
Obviously the decision in free agency will be up to Melo. As far as the Knicks’ decision-making goes, though, they’re playing their cards right in not dealing Melo at the deadline and waiting it out, for better or worse.