Since the 2013-14 NBA season ended and even well before that time, people have been discussing the future of Carmelo Anthony and whether or not he will return to the New York Knicks next season. Not only will that decision determine the future of Anthony, but will almost certainly determine the fate of the organization in the near future.
Now we have the first step in the entire process taking place. According to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo!, Anthony has informed the Knicks that he will exercise his early termination option in his contract. Subsequently, Anthony will be able to test the free-agent market this summer, officially starting on July 1.
The gut reaction of hearing that Melo isn’t picking up his option is to think about him signing with one of the many teams around the league that are interested in acquiring his services. Certainly teams like the Chicago Bulls and the Houston Rockets are pleased to hear that Anthony is available for the taking this offseason if they can offer the right pitch.
However, it would be unwise for fans or front offices to jump the gun in their line of thinking about Melo. In fact, Anthony opting out of the final year of his contract is more expected than anything. Yes, he’ll be able to sign with other teams this summer, but that also doesn’t mean that the 30-year-old is definitely not going to be playing in the Big Apple going forward.
The money is still in New York if that’s what Anthony is concerned about. While teams like the Bulls and Rockets can offer him max-money if they clear enough cap-space, they can only offer about $90 million over four years. Meanwhile, the Knicks will be able to offer a $125 million contract spanning over the five years.
Anthony is going to be a free-agent this summer and the speculation is going to run wild over the course of the next few weeks. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that this bit of news really means much of anything. Things are just as uncertain as they’ve ever been regarding the All-Star forward.