The time has finally arrived; the NBA’s free agency period. Carmelo Anthony is the top free agent on the market this summer that’s expected to change teams, and it’ll come down to the Dallas Mavericks, Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets and New York Knicks. Here’s the Mavs’ pitch for the reigning scoring champ.
It’s been an anxious couple of weeks, but July 1 is finally here. You’re a free agent. You finally have the opportunity to choose where you want to spend the next chapter of your career; one that will truly determine where you rank among the greats to ever play. It should be an exciting time for you.
That being said, you have a huge decision to make. You could either stay in New York, take the extra $30 million and spend the rest of your career as a Knick, or you can make the right choice. You can get out of New York, get away from a franchise that knows nothing but dysfunction and go for that championship you rightfully deserve.
That championship isn’t coming with New York, Chicago, Houston or (heaven forbid) Los Angeles.
Your best chance to win your first championship is in Dallas with the Mavericks.
Make no mistake about it. You have some likable destinations to choose from. Chicago is the kind of suburban city you’re looking for, being a shorter commute to your current home of New York. Los Angeles is what it is, and nothing else needs to be said there. Houston? It’s not that bad of a city.
But let’s be blunt: You’re 30 years old and have only been out of the first round a handful of times in your NBA career, with only one trip to the conference finals. The city should be the furthest thing from your mind when choosing the next franchise you want to play with.
Even though we can assure you that Tyson Chandler won’t have a problem selling you on the city of Dallas.
But from a basketball standpoint, if you’re more concerned about winning, there’s no doubt that the Mavs can give you what you need to win right now more than the other franchises you’re set to meet.
Let’s start with Chicago. The Bulls have been considered the front runners for your services. There’s no reason to speculate otherwise. They have a great head coach in Tom Thibodeau, and two young stars in Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose. Plus, you’re in the Eastern Conference, where you have a better chance to get to the NBA Finals.
But while the Bulls have been nothing short of stellar under Thibodeau, they’re about to field a team with a Derrick Rose who has had knee surgeries, on both knees, in the last two years. Remember A’mare Stoudemire? Almost the exact same situation. What if D-Rose goes down again? You really think Noah is going to be the aide you in need in scoring? And who else do you have on that roster that can score? The Bulls will need to trade Taj Gibson to clear enough space to get you a respectable contract.
Doug McDermott? A rookie will be your No. 2 scoring option?
As great of an option Chicago is, they don’t have enough resources that can carry you through an 82-game season, plus a run in the playoffs.
How about Houston? Oh, sure. It looks great on paper playing with James Harden and Dwight Howard. That would be a Big Three that rivals Miami’s. But when it comes time to being the one who needs to put the team on his back, who’s it going to be? This situation isn’t like Miami. LeBron James was given the keys because Dwyane Wade couldn’t carry the Heat anymore. You, Harden and Howard are superstars who need the ball. Are you that confident that Harden or Howard would be OK with that?
Plus, the ego-meter would be off the chart.
And who can the Rockets promise to surround you with? If you go to Houston, Chandler Parsons is gone. They’re trying to trade Jeremy Lin. Who’s left? Patrick Beverley? You need more than Dwight Howard and an inconsistent James Harden to get you a championship.
The Knicks? I don’t need to tell you what you already know. Carmelo, keep this in mind: They turned Tyson Chandler into Jose Calderon, and Phil Jackson expects that to be the move that keeps you in New York. You want to go back to New York? Fine, but you better hope that Kevin Durant will team with you in 2016. If not, you’ll live the rest of your life in misery.
The Lakers? You’re not winning in L.A.
And then there are the Dallas Mavericks.
Mark Cuban is right. The Mavs can’t offer you a max contract. They could, but even you wouldn’t press a team to give you a max deal if it meant better things for the future.
Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson made the trade for Tyson Chandler to show you how serious they are about putting a championship team together in Dallas once again. Tyson may be older and may not be the same player since the 2011 championship run, but at least he gives Dallas the best chance to win those low-scoring games.
It’s not like the low-scoring games would be needed with you in the lineup.
In Dallas, the Mavs can offer you a team that can not only make a deep playoff run this year, but a championship run. You have Tyson in the middle, an evolved Monta Ellis who can take his game to greater heights, and of course, Dirk Nowitzki. You fill any point guard in that lineup (maybe Devin Harris), and you have a starting five that would be one of the best in the league.
Rick Carlisle is one of the best coaches in the league. Most would say he’s the second best right behind Gregg Popovich. Remember the first round of the playoffs? The Mavs were the only team to take the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs to seven games. If not for DeJuan Blair‘s kick and the Game 1 collapse, Dallas could’ve won that series. And maybe they would’ve been in the NBA Finals. Think about what Carlisle and the Mavs could do with you in the rotation.
Most importantly, coming to Dallas means this is your team. Dirk has been more than willing to take a step back and let someone else run the show. Dirk doesn’t have many years left. But he’s still an All-Star who can score 22 points per game. This would be your team for the next 5-7 years, and Dirk would be more than happy to defer to you as he nears the end of his career.
And if you’re wondering about the future, they’ve got that covered, too. In 2015, how about getting someone like Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge or Marc Gasol? And the Mavs can even re-sign Tyson, have him come off the bench and get some other key pieces. Do you want to play with Rajon Rondo and another center instead? Dallas could make that happen for you, too.
The Western Conference is a crapshoot. Any team can win. That also includes the Dallas Mavericks. They’re as good as any team in the West. You coming to Dallas puts the Mavs as, at worst, the third-best team in the West behind Oklahoma City and San Antonio. Even though you’re on the third-best team, who’s to say you can’t be there in June competing for an NBA title?
Teams like Houston and Chicago can offer you the same prospects on winning, but what have they done lately? After winning the title in 2011, there were a couple of down years for the Mavs. Dallas remained patient, even after striking out on Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Deron Williams. Even when the Mavs finished 41-41 in 2012-13, when Dirk was injured, the Mavs barely missed out on the playoffs. That was a team that featured O.J. Mayo and Darren Collison, a year that most would like to forget.
Bottom line: Although this team isn’t the Mavs of years past, they still contend, and they’re still in the thick of things. Adding you to the mix puts them back at the top again.
So when you sit down with the Mavs’ contingent on Wednesday, after meeting with Chicago and Houston, realize who you’re meeting with. Carmelo, you’re meeting with a group that’s committed to winning, and bringing championships to a city that deserves it. You have the chance to turn Dallas into the next dynasty in the NBA. It’s your team.
And hopefully, you make the right choice.