Anthony set for free agency, but has hinted at re-signing with the Knicks.
When Carmelo Anthony sits down with the New York Knicks management this summer, the 29-year-old will have a significant decision to make. Currently in the prime of his career, Melo must simply decide whether or not he believes that the franchise can win an NBA Championship.
This season has undoubtedly been a disaster for the Knicks thus far, with J.R. Smith’s antics at the start of the campaign, followed by coach Mike Woodson continuously having his position questioned with the team sitting six games out of a playoff position and now Raymond Felton’s recent off-court misdemeanors which have only added to the mounting list of problems that the organisation faces.
However, the biggest challenge that they will encounter will arrive at the end of the season, regardless of whether or not they participate in playoff basketball this year, and that is to convince Anthony that his future lies in the Big Apple.
Anthony himself hinted during All-Star weekend that he is open to discussions and will see what is “on the table” when crunch talks take place. Meanwhile, his wife, LaLa, has revealed her belief that he wants to succeed in his current market, and therefore will stay in New York.
Nevertheless, putting aside all the distractions and issues surrounding him, this summer should be seen as the chance for Anthony to make a straight decision as to whether or not he sees the Knicks being able to compete.
We’ve all heard the criticism time and time again of how he isn’t a team player, his defense is a weakness and he is arguably just a great scorer. Many suggest that he shouldn’t be the player to build your team around, and that he would ideally compliment a franchise player which in turn has led to speculation linking him elsewhere.
His frustration with his current situation is becoming more evident, revealing that it is “definitely testing me” after Saturday’s loss to the Atlanta Hawks, where he added that he is baffled by the team’s inability to learn from losing games in the same way over and over.
Houston Rockets star Dwight Howard stopped short of helping Melo make a decision this week, but insisted that he must “take his heart out of it and think with his head and think about business”.
Melo is currently having one of the best statistical seasons of his career, with 28.2 points per game on 45.4 percent field-goal shooting and 42.6 percent from beyond the arc.
He will have the opportunity to sign for the Knicks for more money across a five-year contract, or settle for less over four years elsewhere. However, given his recent mood and comments, there is a sense that money isn’t really an issue at this stage, he just wants to win.
If that decision keeps him in New York, then arguably a player of his talent deserves a ring and many will wish him well. However, the summer is an ideal opportunity for him to explore his options and take a chance elsewhere of immediate success rather than waiting to see what the Knicks build around him, although there are question marks over how much they can really do given their current restrictions.
While he undoubtedly loves playing at Madison Square Garden and flourishing in one of the biggest markets that the NBA has to offer, it’s time for Melo to think about business, and that brings it back to whether or not New York really is the best place to end that wait for a championship.
Every NBA fan has an opinion on his future, but the only one that matters is his, and with 25 games to go until what could be the end of New York’s season, we won’t have much longer to wait until we have some answers.