Jan 13, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) reacts after hitting a three-point shot against the Phoenix Suns during the first quarter of a game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks: Melodrama 2.0 winners?

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Carmelo Anthony took less money than he could and is back with the New York Knicks. Mission accomplished New York. Congratulations.

On July 12, a day after LeBron James set the 2014 free agency wheels in motion, Carmelo Anthony agreed to a five-year, $123 million deal with the New York Knicks. This is less than the original projected maximumum amount of $129 million which Carmelo was supposed to sign for with the Knicks.

The Knicks won Melodrama 2.0, is this a good thing?

Short term, no.

The team’s salary for the 2014-15 season is close to $79 million, so their hands are tied for any big moves for the moment. Unless, obviously, Phil Jackson‘s able to unload Amar’e Stoudemire‘s or Andrea Bargnani‘s contract, which is highly unlikely.

The team will also have to bear with another season of arguably the deadliest trio in the NBA in Stoudemire, Bargnani and J. R. Smith.

Long term, yes.

Once the team unloads Stoudemire’s and Bargnani’s contracts for good once the 2014-15 season is over, the Knicks, led by Jackson, coach Derek Fisher, and Carmelo Anthony, will try to better learn from past mistakes and spend their money wisely on young rather than old talent.

The Knicks have to retool/rebuild once the next season comes to an end. The Knicks have a ton of cap space after this season, with only $15 million under the belt for the 2015-16 season and $7 million for the season after that. The Knicks could be orchestrating a huge run, along the Los Angeles Lakers, at scoring virtuoso Kevin Durant.

Durant, barring an NBA championship in any of his next two seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder, is likely to try his winning chances elsewhere (à la LeBron James to Miami and Carmelo Anthony to New York). Falling short of the NBA Finals (and of course, a title) in six of his seven seasons as a pro and playing in the top-heavy Western Conference might be two of the biggest reasons which ultimately decide the Washington native’s future.

With LeBron James joining a young and heavily talented team up in Cleveland, Paul Pierce, one of the purest scorers in the league, joining the fan-favorite Washington Wizards, and the Indiana Pacers doing what they can to reinforce an already talented and strong core, even with Carmelo, the Knicks’ winning chances are not great.

But they’re bound to get better.

With possible runs at Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in consecutive seasons, and the chance to develop 34th pick in the 2014 draft, Cleanthony Early, (even though it’s highly unlikely) the Knicks could be looking at a Westbrook/Durant, Early and Anthony core in 2016-17.

A scary scene indeed.

So no, winning Melodrama 2.0 is definitely not a good thing for the 2014-15 season. But it’s a great thing for the team’s future.

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Tags: Carmelo Anthony NBA Free Agency New York Knicks

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