Carmelo Anthony has officially opted out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent. It’s a move that’s been anticipated for months, but now that it’s finally happened, speculation about his future can truly begin.
It seems there are only a few realistic landing spots for the high-scoring small forward. While he could technically sign with any team capable of affording him, everybody knows that’s not going to happen. He’s either going to a place where he can be the star with a max contract, or he might actually take a little less to be a 1A type of player.
Although Chicago, New York and Houston seem to be his most likely future destinations, it’s certainly too soon to rule out the Dallas Mavericks.
Mark Cuban‘s team seems poised to at least make a run at Melo over the next week, as it should be. Because if there’s a team with a good core in place where he could win right away, it’s Dallas. The Mavs gave the Spurs all they could handle in the first round of the playoffs this year and looked like a team that will be competitive for the foreseeable future.
Dirk Nowitzki is clearly in the waning years of his career, but you know above all else he wants to win at this point. Dirk isn’t the type of player who has to be the guy at this stage of his career. He would be okay, based on what you can gather, forming a 1 and 1A situation with Melo.
Nowitzki is smart enough to know that his championship window is closing rapidly and that a guy like Melo could give him one last realistic chance at hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy.
Of course it’s up to Anthony where he wants to go and what he wants to do next. But if joining a top-notch organization, while having a shot a ring right away are on his list — you have to consider Dallas as the dark horse team to land him.
At the same time, you really have to wonder how attractive the highly competitive Western Conference is to a free agent like Carmelo Anthony.