The most talked-about New York Knicks player, Carmelo Anthony, is about to make his version of LeBron James’ The Decision.
The small forward is about to enter free agency and needs to decide which team he is going to play for next season. The three major contenders to land Melo are the Chicago Bulls, the Houston Rockets and the Knicks themselves. Last week, Anthony had a meeting with his agents to discuss his possibilities. That’s a conflict of interest for him right there.
If agents are going to act like agents, the only thing on their minds is going to be money — money for their client and money for themselves from commissions. Anthony needs to determine if money really isn’t that important in his quest to eventually get his coveted championship ring.
None of Anthony’s possibilities are going to be able to give him max-contract value (well, New York would, but Phil Jackson already said he’d rather not do it in order to put together a stronger roster with reinforcements), so following the steps of Tim Duncan, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, he would have to take less to gain more in competition.
If he chooses to walk away from New York, the Bulls seem like the best decision. It’s been reported that Joakim Noah has been all over Anthony trying to get him to go to Chicago. Since the 2011 MVP Derrick Rose got injured, losing the most part of the past two seasons, Noah hasn’t been able to get the team back on the map.
The Bulls badly need a consistent scorer and Carmelo would be a perfect fit, with a great system implemented by coach Tom Thibodeau and a great defense. He could be the scorer they need to take the team to the next level.
The Rockets are second in line if he decides to walk. With Dwight Howard and James Harden, they would become the next Big Three of the league, immediately becoming championship contenders.
Both teams would have to clear a good amount of cap space to make it worth it for Melo to move, though. Great role players like Taj Gibson, Carlos Boozer and Mike Dunleavy Jr. for the Bulls and Chandler Parsons and Jeremy Lin for the Rockets would need to go. Is it worth it? For teams that fell short in the first round this season, what do they have to lose?
Anthony’s decision might affect the Knicks more than himself. Jackson cannot make the same mistake he did with Steve Kerr by not having a backup plan. All possibilities must be considered before free agency even starts.
For Anthony, the future is bright. Staying in New York means once and for all becoming a franchise legend, and the chance to be a part of a (hopefully) revamped team ready to get back on the map while playing for one of the greatest basketball minds to ever be involved in the game of basketball.
If he walks, hopefully he will become an immediate contender and can get the shot at the title he lives for. The guy deserves to be part of a championship team.
But seriously, stay in New York…