Carmelo Anthony has a few decisions to make in the very near future. Will he remain in New York and sign a long term deal with the Knicks or will he move on to the next chapter of his career? Melo has certainly cashed in on the business side of things, big time contracts in addition to his endorsement deals off the court. So is the next move another big contract and to be set for life (as if he isn’t already), or find a team where he can routinely compete for a championship? The decision would seem to be easy for most after the Knicks did so well last year finishing second in the Eastern Conference with a 54-28 record; to finishing this season with not even 40 wins under their belt, resulting in Melo missing the opportunity to play in the postseason for the first time in several seasons. The time has come to make a decision, this Knick team has not been good all year while showing signs of dysfunction throughout the year.
The best option for Anthony would probably be for him to cut ties with his hometown team and seek out the situation that gives him the best chance of winning a championship. There is a team out there is looking for a big time scorer to help their horrific offense in the Chicago Bulls. Chicago plays championship level defense, but lacks a scorer of Melo’s caliber and would make for a great fit. Assuming there is a healthy Derrick Rose (who may not come back as the same player he once was), one of the NBA’s best big men in Joakim Noah (having his best season as a NBA player career wise) who also has ties to Melo in NY from their AAU days, the addition of Melo would form a triple threat there. Chicago would just have to figure out is the bench, every year the Bulls figure out ways to put that second unit together. Retain DJ Augustine as the backup point guard, try hard to keep Taj Gibson although it would be tough with Melo’s pay grade. There is this “thing” out about Carmelo Anthony’s lack of desire on the defensive end which would make him a poor fit for a defense first team. To that line of thinking, Melo has played under Bulls Head Coach Tom Thibodeau on team USA several times. That argument is a cop out for him not going to Chicago, both starts in Chicago play defense (Rose & Noah) and if they didn’t, they wouldn’t be on the floor in the fourth quarter. Carmelo would have to take less money if he decided the Bulls are his best option, but that shouldn’t be a problem if “winning” is the ultimate goal.
The Los Angeles Lakers seem to be another team mentioned in the Melo Sweepstakes, but LA may not be an attractive place for Free Agents with the way Jimmy Buss is currently running that franchise. Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony sharing the floor at the same time for the same team sounds great, but that means someone has to take a step back in shot attempts. To make things even more interesting, former Laker Head Coach Phil Jackson was hired as president of the New York Knicks not too long ago. While he’s not pacing the sidelines, the Knicks inherited a great basketball mind in the organization now things may be looking up after a while.
Carmelo Anthony, do you sign another deal in NY with the hopes that the great Phil Jackson can turn this franchise around within the next two years or do you make your move to sign with a contender pronto? Melo must know that his window for championships will be closing soon. Seven players from that 2003 draft class have found a way to get themselves a ring and only three of them were in the top 5 picks (L. James 2, C. Bosh 2, D. Wade 3). The other four players were not even drafted in the top 25 (L. Walton 2, J. Jones 2, Matt Bonner 1, K. Perkins 1). Players may not say it publicly, but don’t believe for one second this is not something Melo is thinking about. This offseason decision will show what Carmelo really wants out of his NBA career, the almighty dollar dollar bill or what all NBA players want most: a championship ring and the chance to build a legacy.