Despite being one of the top five league leaders in scoring this season in the NBA, this season can still be summed up as a disappointment for Carmelo Anthony, as well as the Knicks as a whole. Not only did the Knicks not live up to the hype the media was giving them at the start of the season, but they did not even make it to the postseason, ending the regular season with a 37-45 record and ninth seed. This is the first time in Anthony’s career that he did not make it to the postseason. Even after fighting back to becoming the eighth seed in what can be described as an unintimidating Eastern Conference, they didn’t have enough in them to hold on that eighth seed, and failed to make it to the 2014 NBA Playoffs. This was a huge decline from the previous year, where they ended the season as the second seed in the East with a 54-28 record; that year they also made it to the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs before being knocked out by the Indiana Pacers.
The upcoming 2014-2015 NBA season for the New York Knicks is not looking too promising as well, as they are still in search for a coach, and a great one at that. New York’s hopes of hiring Steve Kerr as a head coach were crushed a few days ago when he agreed to sign with the Golden State Warriors as a head coach there. Even though New York now has Phil Jackson in office, there is still a lot to be done for the Knicks to become contenders for a championship. New York Knicks without a doubt contains one of the most talented rosters in NBA currently, but many analysts state that the Knicks’ chemistry is what is holding them back from being the force they were back in the 2012-2013 season. And so the question arises; will Carmelo Anthony resign with the Knicks this season, or will he leave the team to better his hopes of winning his first NBA championship?
Well, the answer to this question all depends on what Carmelo values most: money or success? If Carmelo decision’s derives on what will get him the most money, than expect him to remain a member of the Knicks roster. But if Carmelo truly wants to win a championship, than he’ll definitely set his eyes on taking his offensive prominence elsewhere.
There have been talks of competent teams such as the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks being interested in acquiring Anthony, but the one team that has seemed to have the biggest buzz in acquiring Carmelo is the Chicago Bulls. Though this trade may sound like more than the Chicago budget can handle right now, this is an acquirement that Chicago has been persistent to see go through. Chicago All-Star Center and 2014 Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah approached Anthony during the All-Star Weekend and tried to convince him to look into joining the Bulls roster when his free agency hits in the offseason, and Anthony told Noah that his son’s favorite NBA player was Derrick Rose, the currently injured, but former MVP and All-Star Guard for the Chicago Bulls. But still, Anthony never gave Joakim a definitive answer. In order for the Bulls to acquire Anthony, they would have to free up some cap space, which Chicago might do by amnestying their starting Power Forward Carlos Boozer. But even amnestying or trading Boozer would still not present enough cap space to acquire Anthony; so if Chicago really wants to acquire Anthony, they will have to make some risky cuts to their roster. Carmelo Anthony joining the Bulls would introduce something to the Bulls that they needed for the last few months, especially during the postseason when they fell to the Washington Wizards in five games in the first round; that being offensive prominence. Ever since Rose fell to his second injury and Luol Deng was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago has been struggling on offense, even though their defense was rated first in the entire league. With the acquirement of Anthony, the Bulls could pose a huge threat to the entire league, especially with a returning Derrick Rose and a greatly improved Joakim Noah with his great passing, especially from the post. Carmelo Anthony is not a great defensive player, but being on a great defensive team like the Chicago Bulls while also having one of the greatest coaches in the league like Tom Thibodeau might give him an incentive to step up his defense. But like I said previously, if Carmelo is really in it for the love of the game and passion to succeed, than he will have to sacrifice taking a pay cut whether he go to the Bulls, Rockets, or Mavericks.
Carmelo’s time in the NBA is ticking as his 30th birthday lies less than two weeks away, and his decision this summer will be one of the biggest decisions in his NBA career. Any decision Carmelo makes will come with both pros and cons, but there are certain cons that can be too overwhelming for any player in the league. Carmelo Anthony is much too talented to retire without winning a championship, and his decision this summer will be the catalyst to that feat if it turns out to be the right one.