This isn’t a matter of loyalty, money, or anything else. This is a matter of looking at this roster, this owner, this GM, the franchise’s track record and getting out while you can.
It’s been no secret that I am not Carmelo Anthony’s biggest fan and I still don’t believe that paying him 5 years $129 million is a smart idea but the man has put together arguably the best 1.5 seasons of his offensive career and he is doing it on a team that can’t get out of its own way.
This year Carmelo Anthony has gotten little to no help from his surrounding cast and the future prospects of it improving are slim. The only player who has played below his career level that, at least in theory, should bounce back is Tyson Chandler. Everyone else is a complete mystery and the smart money is on them fluctuating from good to horrible on a weekly basis.
The one good lineup on the team, Felton-Prigioni-Shumpert-Anthony-Chandler, which outscores opponents by 21 points per 100 possessions barely plays, only 50 minutes so far this year. It is also the only lineup that holds opponents under 100 points per 100 possessions (83).
Yes, it is true Mike Woodson is on the way out but the last three Knicks coaches have been Isaiah Thomas, Mike D’Antoni, and Mike Woodson. It is not hard to see the pattern there of coaching hires for this team. And Dolan’s notorious media restrictions and lack of roster control his coaches typically have makes it very difficult to lure in a very good coach to the team.
If Anthony chooses the money and hope over reasonable analysis (and let’s face it, anyone who accepts $100 million contract from James Dolan is doing just that) he will be saddled with 2 years at a combined almost $11 million per year to Raymond Felton and J.R. Smith.
Basically, following the 2014-15 season, if Anthony is on the team the Knicks will have about $20 million in cap space and 7 roster spots to fill. The roster will be Anthony, Smith, Felton, Pablo Prigioni, and Tim Hardaway Jr. Good luck making that sales pitch to free agents.
There is also the fact that James Dolan is the owner of the Knicks. This doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon and Knicks fans know exactly what that means. This is the man who hired Isaiah Thomas, didn’t fire him after the Garden lost a $12 million lawsuit when Thomas allegedly sexually harassed an employee, and after Thomas left Dolan made the new GM (Donnie Walsh) praise Thomas for his “efforts” in bringing Amar’e Stoudemire to New York. In short, James Dolan is a nut job and can not be trusted to do the smart thing, ever.
Dolan forced Walsh to pull the trigger on the Carmelo Anthony trade THREE DAYS before the trade deadline when Walsh was waiting to try and lower the very steep price. If Donnie had gotten his way maybe Knicks fans could be dreaming of drafting Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, or Jabari Parker (assuming they all come out). Instead, the Knicks may end up with about 35 wins and that could cost them their best player with no first round draft pick to show for it.
This Knicks team is like when in Seinfeld Kramer tells George Costanza he is wasting his life and eventually asks if George has any prospects or anything on the horizon, both questions are answered negatively by George. If Carmelo re-ups he will essentially be dating George Costanza when he can certainly do better.
Carmelo, this is the franchise you demanded to come to and this will be the franchise you are a part of for the next five years if you choose to resign this summer. Not even in the interest of basketball but just in trying to be a decent human, I implore you to consider getting out while you still can.