As the days go on, the Carmelo Anthony era with the New York Knicks might be coming to an end. We won’t get any serious discussion for at least a month, but the future of ‘Melo in New York is getting progressively clearer as the days and weeks continue.
Carmelo has said he will test free agency but would like to resign with the Knicks. He wants to be “wooed” and be shown how much he would mean to a franchise. Anthony hasn’t ever really gotten the chance to hit the free agent market in his career. If Carmelo truly wants to stay with the Knicks, they can offer him the biggest max contract at five-years/$125 million.
If he chooses to sign somewhere else, however, the biggest contract he can be offered is four-years/$88 million. An example of a player who turned down the max contract from his former team for a lesser contract with a new team is Dwight Howard. The Knicks financial situation for the next five years relies heavily on Carmelo’s decision.
If Anthony can’t give the Knicks a definite “yes” if he’s staying, they have every right to shop him around. League sources have told ESPN that the Knicks have discussed proposing a trade to the Los Angeles Clippers for Blake Griffin. I am in favor of this trade if Carmelo isn’t giving an answer of his future.
People overrate Blake Griffin so much that I believe he is underrated. Blake is averaging 22 points and 10 rebounds this season and for some reason people think he can’t play basketball. He’s averaged 26 points and 11 rebounds over the last 10 games, but it will be interesting to see how he plays without Chris Paul, who will be out 3-5 weeks with a separated shoulder.
If the Knicks had to trade Carmelo, they wouldn’t get a player like Griffin in any other trade. I know he has the knock of being a “highlight reel” player, which is 100% true, but he is developing his game into more. Blake is still only 24 years old, which means he has time to improve his game and hasn’t reached his prime. He is one of the most athletic players in the league and hasn’t reached his full potential, which is scary. Though Griffin’s dunks make the highlights, what’s rarely shown from him is an improving jump shot, improving post game, and the ability to handle the ball like small forward.
Do the Knicks even want to commit $125 million to Anthony? He will turn 30 years old this season and hasn’t had the postseason success of other superstars. I have defended Anthony for a long time, and I’ve said he’s never been on a real basketball team.
The Knicks need to rebuild, and if they can get a 24-year-old All-Star averaging 22 and 10 a game in exchange for a player who will leave at the end of the season anyway, they have to do it, especially when this season is a dud. You don’t want Carmelo leaving and having J.R. Smith as the face of your franchise, do you? Didn’t think so.