Jan 3, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) drives the ball during the fourth quarter as Houston Rockets small forward Chandler Parsons (25) defends at Toyota Center. The Rockets defeated the Knicks 102-100. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks Rumors: Power Ranking Carmelo Anthony's Possible Destinations

We are entering one of the most anticipated free agencies in recent years, and one of those reasons is because New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony will hit the open market. With “big threes” becoming so popular in today’s game, there will be plenty of franchises involved in the chase for Anthony. There were already rumors surfacing as early as the beginning of the 2013-14 season debating whether or not ‘Melo should stay with New York. Unfortunately, only a select few teams are capable of affording the All-Star, unless, of course, he accepts a smaller contract to sign with a contender for the championship. We’ve all heard the rumors involving Anthony, but what teams have the best chance of landing one of the best pure scorers in the league?

1. Los Angeles Lakers

For a second, just imagine a dynamic duo of Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony. Everyone has their opinions on whether or not they will work well together, but if the Lakers have the chance to make it happen, why not give it a try? Since both Carmelo and Kobe are used to demanding the ball, there will be some issues early on, but those issues are capable of being fixed. Besides, if Anthony signs with them he only has to wait approximately two years until Kobe retires and then it will be his franchise.

The thought of those two stars playing together is exhilarating enough. The Lakers have so much financial flexibility which also gives them the biggest opportunity to land ‘Melo. It basically comes down to whether the Lakers want to sign Anthony instead of preserving cap space for the future. Keep in mind, if they do go with signing him, they also have their proposed lottery pick for this year’s upcoming NBA Draft which features projected stars like Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, Andrew Wiggins, and Joel Embiid. The future looks bright for this club and the possibility to sign Anthony makes it even brighter.

2. New York Knicks

Other than the Lakers, the Knicks have the best chance on Carmelo. The only thing the Lakers have to offer that the Knicks don’t is a better chance at a title alongside one of the best players in the past decade in Kobe Bryant. If Anthony exercises his early-termination option this offseason, the Knicks don’t have enough money to bring in anyone other than re-signing their own players whose contracts will be up. Since they can offer him the max-contract money that automatically makes them one of the top destinations for him in 2014.

The decision to stay in New York would indicate that he loves the city of New York so much he is willing to stay during a rebuilding process. Team president Phil Jackson has already began the busy off season that is ahead of the franchise by completely cleaning house in terms of coaches. With Jackson in the front office, it will be easier to retain ‘Melo in New York and that will be one of their pitches to keep him in New York. It is obvious Phil knows exactly what he wants to do and that may be the deciding factor for Anthony.

3. Houston Rockets

Back in early March, a statement was released by New York Post’s Marc Berman:

“According to a league source, the Rockets will make a bid for Carmelo Anthony this summer, even though they probably won’t have cap space and would have to orchestrate a creative sign-and-trade. The source said Houston asked the Knicks about Anthony before February’s trade deadline.”

If the Rockets do make a push for him they could potentially have one deadly big three in Dwight Howard, James Harden, and Anthony. So far, the ongoing struggles throughout the series against Portland has become one of the biggest disappointments of the playoffs so far. Although, the series is not over they still have not looked as good as they did during the regular season.

In that process of signing ‘Melo, the Rockets would have to convince him to leave New York and take a pay cut. According to Pro Basketball Talk, Houston would almost certainly have to arrange a sign-and-trade with the Knicks to offer ‘Melo his new-team max. Even if the Rockets cleared their roster of every player besides Howard and Harden, they still wouldn’t have enough cap space to sign Melo outright. Unless he is willing to decline seven million dollars during the next four years, and the Rockets are willing to dump all their valuable players beyond Howard and Harden – a sign-and-trade is the only solution. In a sign and trade deal, Houston could trade Jeremy Lin, Omer Asik and Ronnie Brewer’s unguaranteed contract to New York. Since they have so much to offer as well as the Lakers and Knicks, that makes them a front runner to land the seven time all-star.

4. Chicago Bulls

Dec. 21, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) dribbles past Chicago Bulls small forward Jimmy Butler (21) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Bulls won 110-106. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

According to a source close to Yahoo Sports! writer Adrian Wojnarowski,”Chicago is much more in play for him than L.A.” The main issue with the Bulls pursuing Melo’ is that they are basically banking on the return of guard Derrick Rose next season to determine their future. The future of the Bulls is uncertain and that makes them less attractive to him. Obviously on paper, the starting five of Rose, Butler, Anthony, Gibson, and Noah looks fantastic. Gibson would be in the starting five since the Bulls would definitely have the amnesty Carlos Boozer and replaced by Nikola Mirotic according to Bleacher report columnist Adam Fromal.

A problem that may be faced if the Bulls do pursue him is he is generally an offensive player and almost a liability on defense which doesn’t fit Chicago’s dominant defensive system under coach Tom Thibodeau. After reports were surfacing during the all-star break that Melo’ was curious about Thibodeau’s coaching methods which indeed already shows he’s somewhat interested. With defense not being one of his strengths he needs to work significantly on his on-ball defense and rotation on defense as well. Not being used to defense being a main focus not only could cause some problems between coach Thibodeau and Anthony and also the possibility of him landing there.

5. Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers indeed are already a contender without Melo, but still have a desperate need at the small forward spot. Currently, the Clippers are already well over the salary cap for 2014-15, so the only way for them to get Anthony is through a sign-and-trade deal. With that being said, the Knicks general manager James Dolan would have to agree to the deal which makes it more tough to complete. If sign-and-trade does become an option involving these two teams the Clippers would then have to trade their assets possibly including an emerging Blake Griffin. Outside of Griffin and Chris Paul, the Clippers aren’t left with much to offer for a player like Anthony. There are players who could be brought up if a deal is discussed such as: Danny Granger, J.J. Redick, Jamal Crawford, Deandre Jordan, etc.

The main thing that makes the Clippers so attractive for Melo’ is the fact that he would be  potentially playing alongside Paul and Griffin and that is what matters most to him if he does decides to leave. Although, it is hard to believe this happening they are still a possibility since they have other players and picks to add to the proposed deal.

Tags: 2014 NBA Free Agency Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks New York Knicks Rumors

  • Tom

    I think we can safely eliminate the Clippers.

    • Scottie Pimpin’

      You’re wrong.
      Melo has always been like cp3′s older brother, and he spent a lot of time this offseason with cp3 and B.G promoting the Jordan brand,
      Cp3 publicly stated he wanted to form a big 3 with melo as a piece but that didn’t work out.
      Plus melo was teaching b.g some of his moves when they were on team usa together, which tells me something.
      It’s either gonna be GSW, LAC, HOU, or he stays with the knicks.

      • J.A.

        I doubt he’d want to go to a team that’s owned by a flat-out racist. Put down the PCP pipe. The Clippers are definitely out. Carmelo’s half Black and half Hispanic. At this point the Heat have a better chance at signing him.

        • Scottie Pimpin’

          But I like PCP ..
          There’s plenty of black players on the clippers, and there will always be ignorant people in this world so what’s your point?
          So from what you’re saying my understanding is that there won’t be any “minority” players on the Clips after this season? I doubt it.
          I want to add the POR blazers to the list of teams I think melo will sign with, I can see that happening as well..

      • tdh

        SI.com has a story about CP3′s contract which was not a standard one. Worry about CP3 staying in LAC himself before you say he will encourage Melo to force sign-and-trade to come into this mess because they are like brothers. CP3 might not stay himself if they don’t sort this out soon That situation is a mess and a huge distraction to want to jump into. LAC can’t sign Melo outright because they are well into the luxury penalty this season. That means only S&T can get them Melo. S&T needs ownership to sign the deals and accept the salary. Playing for Sterling is unlikely and if they sell that takes time too before you have somebody to sign the deal in place. This mess likely killed any chance of Melo being traded for.

        • Scottie Pimpin’

          “CP3′s contract which was not a standard one.” Is that the same 5 year 107 million dollar contract with a player option on the final year? Sounds pretty standard to me.
          I never said it was the scenario most likely to happen, I said it’s a possibility in a reply to Tom’s comment completely eliminating them from contention for his rights.

          • tdh

            Not standard in the sense that he was traded by a NBA league owned team to another team. A group of owners voted for him to go to LAC, but not to the LAL. That is anything but standard. His contract is also not standard for this reason.

          • Scottie Pimpin’

            No … the means of which by the trade was executed were not standard. His contract itself is quite standard.

      • tdh

        Oh, and 1 more thing. All the LAC sponsers have suspended or cancelled their association with the team. It all happened in the last 24 hours. Mercedes-Benz, Kia, Corona, etc. All gone or waiting for this guy to guy. If he goes, then nobody can sign contracts until there is an owner.

    • TheSportologist

      naw… not at all Sterling won’t be there after this season… Magic will buy it or someone else and people will still come to play actually.

  • Tristan


  • TheSportologist

    I’m thinking the Cavs or the Bobcats can be dark horses as well…

  • Barker

    Good work. Melo wants to win, and you arrange the destinations in terms of bad teams as most attractive, to better teams as least attractive. Just spot on. -__-

  • tdh

    Disagree with the order, but this is a summary of the primary contenders. A few long-shots exist when it comes to any star.

    1. NYK. The odds are always on the existing team retaining talent. The CBA makes it that way. They added Phil Jackson and even if Nolan resists his ideas, the team is still better. The biggest risk is NYK getting cheap and low-ball offering Melo less than $20M x 5 years.
    2. CHI. CHI has the coach, are in the playoffs this season, and they did it without their superstar DRose. CHI is 30th in the NBA on offense and 1st in defense. Melo is not defensive, but he CAN help their offensive problem. He offers a fix to their problem. Even if Rose is not MVP again, he is still an upgrade to what they had this season in addition to Melo.
    3. HOU. Not far behind CHI. The problem is that HOU is 2nd in the league in scoring. They average 107 ppg already. How many more points offensively can Melo really improve this team? There is only one ball and there are time limits. The problem in HOU is defense. They are 28th in the NBA and Melo does not fix that problem. To offer a contract, HOU needs to get rid of Lin and Asik and their contracts are not desirable. HOU tried to trade Asik at the deadline and failed. It is a difficult argument to say Asik and Lin are worth $8.3M each for next season. HOU also can’t offer as much as CHI can clear this offseason. They are going to be players, but it may be the following offseason when there are more stars in free agency.
    4. LAL. They have Kobe, but he is not a kid anymore. Melo played for Mike D’ Antoni which ironically fails to play D’fence. I don’t see that coaching selection helping them draw Melo. Not to mention that other than Kobe nobody is signed for next season. They have a high pick, but the talent is not certain and is only rarely an impact in their first year. Not sure how this situation is better than NYK.
    5. LAC. Assuming they deal with the owner before the offseason, they would need to pull a S&T situation to be in the hunt. Which players are they giving up to gain Melo? Is NYK willing to take all that payroll back and play the luxury for a team without a superstar? This is a long-shot. They have talent, but not the kind that NYK can rebuild around. NYK are almost better off letting Melo walk than taking back $20M in contracts and paying repeat luxury penalties from the league for a team unlikely to make the playoffs without Melo in NY.