Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks sent a letter to the team by FedEx opting out of his option year of his contract passing on the $23 Million yearly salary. He wants to explore his value in the free agency market. The Knicks have the ability to resign Carmelo to a 5 year $129 Million deal having an advantage on every other team because of the collective bargaining agreement cap limiting the contract offered by other teams to 4 years and $96 Million. Carmelo has expressed interest in staying and signing for less if the team commits to adding better players making them a playoff caliber team.
Where would Carmelo go if he decides to leave the Knicks?
Carmelo has four teams actively and publicly vying for his services and most of the teams would be offering the maximum contract allowed of $96 million over 4 years so it would have to do with depth of talent or change in location for Carmelo Anthony personal benefit to leave the New York Knicks. The teams besides Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks pursuing Carmelo are the Houston Rockets, the Chicago Bulls, the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Odds Carmelo joins the Houston Rockets
Long-shot in my opinion. Carmelo isn’t going to like playing in Texas. Houston is a similar team to the New York Knicks and adding Carmelo would just deduct from their chemistry. Houston doesn’t need a guy who wants to shoot he ball everytime down he court and disregard defense. He won’t make Houston stronger, just more dysfunctional. He would be better off staying in New York and asking the larger and longer contract. Odds he signs with the Rockets is 15-1.
Odds Carmelo joins the Miami Heat
The Miami Heat saw that Dwayne Wade is losing steps and Chris Bosh isn’t the answer. With Lebron James entering free agency, Carmelo will focus on what Lebron does before he commits. Lebron is younger and a better player than Carmelo so the watch won’t be on Lebron’s wallet but rather the question of staying in Miami or leaving. Personally, I see Lebron staying as Miami is his home and his wife and children have a strong base there. No reason to uproot from sunny Florida for some miserable weather, and play for a North or West based team. Lebron has his rings so no necessity for the Championship win anymore. Carmelo MIGHT consider Miami if Lebron stays. If Miami added some three point shooters with Carmelo and Lebron’s ability to drive the paint, they would be a tough combination to defend if there was true chemistry and communication between the two players. Odds he signs with Miami is 5-1.
Odds Carmelo joins the Chicago Bulls
Joakim Noah and the Bulls have been courting Carmelo since the All-Star break and talking about how he would instantly make Chicago a serious contender. BlogaBull has been reporting about this speculative Carmelo landing spot. I definitely don’t see it happening. Yes, Carmelo instantly transforms the team if everything goes as planned on paper. But everyone knows that Derrick Rose NEVER finishes a season. Look at his record over the last three years. In 2011, he played 39 games, in 2012 he did not play for the entire season and in 2013, he played 10 games. This can’t be ignored by Carmelo and why in the world would he leave the Knicks for less money and security. Odds he signs with Chicago in my mind is at 10-1.
Odds Carmelo joins the Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles area is where Carmelo makes his home in the off-season. With Donald Sterling selling the Los Angeles Clippers to Microsoft former CEO Steve Ballmer. There is new competition in town to steal he spotlight from the NBAs #1 franchise. It’s time for the Lakers to make an investment in the fans and give them a reason to support the Lakers over the Clippers who surely will have deep pockets to buy the talent to take them to the next level. I positively see Carmelo leaning towards returning to his home state and playing for the Lakers. Would love to see the Lakers make a move and try o get both Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony. That would diffuse the new ownership of the Clippers and keep the Lakers at the top of the list of most valuable NBA franchises. Odds are 2-1 that Carmelo chooses the Lakers.
Odds Carmelo stays with the New York Knicks
I think the odds are very good that Carmelo stays because of the extra year in the contract and the $33 million more over the contract. Carmelo can leverage this free agency period to force Phil Jackson’s hand to make room to add another star player. One thing history has taught us about the 7-time NBA All Star is he likes money and is the total dominating factor behind his motivation. Odds are Even Money that Carmelo stays with the Knicks if they commit to improving their player personnel which shouldn’t be a stretch since owner James Dolan brought GM Phil Jackson to New York to win and compete against the attention given to the Brooklyn Nets.
Sources: ESPN New York, New York Daily News, Blogabull
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