For the Knicks fan who can only stand to be a Knicks fan for 15 minutes per week: So much intrigue is happening now that the Knicks have hung them up for the season. This weekly series is here to help you keep track of it all.
Long on noise, short on signals at this point. Last week, Phil got his man. The focus now immediately shifts to Melo, around whom there is currently more noise than a Midtown traffic jam because of his (presumed) upcoming free agency. This will be the last week before we know whether he will opt-in and stay on the Knicks at least one more year, or opt out and test free agency and all of its suitors.
1. Spurs in 5
The Spurs capped off a dominating series Sunday night by beating the Heat in 5 games to capture title number 5 in the Duncovich era.
What does that mean? The Heat now join the offseason “noise” party, as their Big 3 all have options and decisions to make about their respective futures. The noise began to circulate last week before the Heat’s season was even over, and from now until sometime in July it will be on full blast. Caught up in the middle of it is the name of our hero, Carmelo Anthony. As we learned last week, rumor has it that there have at least been talks among the Big 3 + Melo and related personnel about a potential Big 4.
LeBron said he has not heard that rumor, that “Melo’s got his own decision to make”.
Carmelo also pleaded ignorant about that possibility.
Does anyone believe either of these guys when they say that? But then again, does anyone believe that Melo-to-the-Heat has more than a 1% chance?
2. Leaning Toward Leaving
We’ve heard the rumor mill churning from several teams (below) on Carmelo. But what from his end?
“New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony is leaning toward leaving in pursuit of immediate championship contention, and awaits the Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets to clear the necessary salary-cap space to sign him in free agency, league sources told Yahoo Sports.”
This sounds like just more noise, but it comes from Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski. He’s a source that wouldn’t just float the idea out there for clicks or attention, and he has been right before. This revelation adds a new player to the mix: the Houston Rockets.
There has been no shortage of opinions and angles based on the speculation that Melo is leaving:
- Seth Rosenthal bringing this news item into the Knicks realm at Posting and Toasting.
- According to Harvey Araton, Phil will be unfazed, stay or go:
- Beckley Mason goes as far as to say the better option would be if he did pick up and leave
- Dwight Howard chimed in, singing Carmelo’s praises and saying he “would love to have him”
- Finally, despite all of the above, Melo said his sit down with Phil Jackson and brass was a “great discussion”.
3. Bulls & Mavericks
We learned in early May that Dallas might try to throw its hat in the ring for Melo. On Dallas radio, Dirk Nowitzki said of #7: “we’d love to have him”. The Mavs are openly looking to add pieces, and apparently have the cap room to afford a star like Melo. They can’t offer him what the Knicks can financially, but no other team can.
Chicago, meanwhile, is now expected to “exhaust all assets” to lure Anthony to the Second City. They have been an obvious fit and a frontrunner all along in the Carmelo Anthony Sweepstakes.
ESPN’s Chris Broussard names Chicago as the frontrunner to pluck Melo from the East Coast:
4. Decent Options. Any Great Ones?
A David Lee return to MSG?
Stephen A Smith, on ESPN Radio, says he believes the Warriors are willing to trade David Lee & Harrison Barnes to NY for Tyson Chandler. — Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) June 18, 2014
The Knicks also reportedly have interest in newly-crowned champion Patty Mills, backup point guard of the San Antonio Spurs. Mills averaged 10.2 points this past season coming off the bench, with a 17-point, high energy performance in the closeout game against Miami.
Alan Hahn of MSG stressed all season long the importance of upgrading at the point guard position. Mills would certainly be that, considering the high note on which he ended his season, compared to the low note on which Raymond Felton ended his own.
The Knicks simply don’t have much flexibility in terms of cap space and who they could get. Good or bad, any move they make must be viewed through that lens.
5. Amar’e Opts In
STAT had the same options (in for another year/out as a free agent) as Carmelo does. He decided to remain in orange and blue for $23.4 million. He has also recently said that he wants to return “to all-star form” this season.
Amar’e, Metta World Peace, and Jimmy Kimmel:
“What do you call 12 millionaires sitting at home watching the NBA Playoffs? The Lakers…or the Knicks”
Featured Photo Credit: wikimedia Carmelo Anthony