Bringing in Derek Fisher to be the next head coach of the New York Knicks? Not enough for Carmelo Anthony.
Promising added flexibility to pursue some of the top free agents in 2015 if he opts in for this season? Not enough for Carmelo Anthony.
The seven-time All-Star has options this offseason and plans on listening to every single one of them. Despite the pleas from Jackson and the Knicks’ front office for Anthony to opt in for the final year of his contract and making one last run with New York before hitting the free agent market next season, it’s clear what Carmelo’s intentions are.
Leaving almost $23 million off the table to become a free agent may seem outrageous to the average Joe, but you have to understand that Anthony is willing to do anything in order to win his first NBA championship. Even if that means taking a significant pay cut to sign with a team that has a better shot in contending.
Anthony would also be willing to sacrifice the reputation of being the big man on campus. The 30-year-old has run the show at Madison Square Garden ever since his arrival to New York in the winter of 2011. But after three quick exits from the playoffs and not even clinching a postseason berth this season, the patience is wearing off of Anthony.
Carmelo’s mind his set, which is to take his talents somewhere else to play for another team that doesn’t have to pay Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani more than $33 million next season. Fisher, Jackson and general manger Steve Mills tried to talk Anthony out of it, but it’s not going to change Anthony’s decision, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.
Carmelo Anthony hasn’t wavered from his year-long intent to become a free agent this summer despite Phil Jackson’s hopes to keep Anthony under contract through the 2014-15 season.
Barring a dramatic change of heart, Anthony will opt out of his contract on July 1 and become an unrestricted free agent, the Daily News has learned.
Jackson told reporters last month that while he isn’t losing any sleep over Anthony’s free agency saga, he is worried about the fact that “it only takes one bidder” to ruin the Knicks aspirations for their short-term success.
The Los Angeles Lakers could be a franchise standing in their way because of their ability to sign Anthony close to a max deal, as well as selling him the idea of teaming up with Kobe Bryant and the No. 7 pick, which could be Julius Randle or Noah Vonleh.
Another team that is expected to be in the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes is the Houston Rockets, per Marc Berman of the New York Post, who reported that they already inquired about Anthony this past trade deadline. While the Rockets would have to deal most of their assets to acquire ‘Melo, forming a ‘Big 3″ with Dwight Howard and James Harden would allow Houston to get past the first round of the playoffs, something that the’ve failed to do since Harden’s arrival in 2012.
A third team that has an opportunity in bringing in Anthony’s services would be the Chicago Bulls. Imagine a starting lineup that’s headlined by Carmelo, Joakim Noah and a healthy Derrick Rose (pretty scary). It’s obvious that the Bulls would have to amnesty Carlos Boozer and the $16.8 million he’s scheduled to earn in 2014-15. But in order for this scenario to be successful, Anthony must be able to play sound defense. Being an offensive minded player, Anthony would have to buy into head coach Tom Thibodeau’s philosophy of contributing on both sides of the court.
But is there a possibility that Anthony will take his talents to South Beach and play for the Miami Heat? Isola explains that while Miami has interest in 2013’s scoring champion, there will be “payroll creativity” involved.
Miami is reportedly interested in adding Anthony to its Big Three, a move that would require some payroll creativity and the willingness of all players — Anthony, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh — to take a pay cut. ESPN reported that all three Miami All-Stars would have to opt out of their current deals and take less money in order for the Heat to sign Anthony.
I really can’t wrap my head around by how ridiculous this report is. Don’t get me wrong, on paper, this will lead to multiple championships for the Heat. But in reality, putting four veteran All-Stars on the floor together with different egos and personalities will lead to disaster.
Take the 2004 Los Angeles Lakers for instance. After being bounced out of the second round by the San Antonio Spurs the previous year, the team went out and signed Karl Malone and Gary Payton. Again, on paper, an unstoppable franchise that could bulldoze through anybody. In reality, their experiment imploded after losing in the NBA Finals to the Detroit Pistons in five games. Their belligerent relationship caused each player to go their separate ways.
While this is only one prime example of four future Hall of Famers on the same team, adding Anthony to the Heat’s roster would have the same outcome. Can you really imagine Chris Bosh accepting the role as the No. 4 or Dwayne Wade accepting the No. 3 role? This truly is a recipe for disaster.
Carmelo Anthony has plenty of options to choose from this offseason. But if he wants to win a championship next season, it won’t be with the Miami Heat.