“Without a doubt,” was Carmelo Anthony’s response when asked if he would consider taking less money this summer if it meant improving the New York Knicks roster.
Knicks fans everywhere have been worried about their super star’s future with the team when in October the 7-time All Star stated, “I want to be a free agent.” After the team had profound success under Coach Mike Woodson’s first full season as Coach of the Knicks, fans were shocked Carmelo would want to become a free agent. In Woodson’s first full season with the Knicks the team would go on to win their first division title since the famous 93’-94’ season.
With the Knicks on the upswing why would Carmelo Anthony leave?
Yes there are issues in the locker room. Yes there are problems getting players on the same page on defensive schemes. One thing hasn’t changed and that is Carmelo Anthony’s attitude towards bringing a championship to New York. Carmelo voiced earlier this season, “I want to retire in New York.” Carmelo isn’t going anywhere, especially after being public about his willingness to accept a pay cut.
Traditionally in New York, fans are very hesitant to assume, they may see the headline on the newspaper but not the big picture.
Let’s take a step back and look at this situation from Carmelo Anthony’s point of view. Carmelo Anthony has been named to multiple All Star teams, he has been crowned the leagues scoring champion, and has cashed in on the big bucks. There is one thing his career lacks. The man needs a championship ring, and he may take the same route his rival Lebron James took to get that ring.
A pay cut.
The Knicks have been rumored to be courting big names like Rajon Rondo, Chris Paul, and Dwight Howard in the past but were never able to make a big enough push with their lack of cap space. Even with Carmelo Anthony committed to a pay cut this summer don’t expect the Knicks to go after top-notch free agents like Dirk Nowitzki and Pau Gasol. Amare will still get paid a ludicrous $20mil next season while Chandler and Bargnani will also receive a handsome paycheck. Once Amare, Chandler, and Bargnani are off the books following next season, fans can be reassured to know that James Dolan and the Knicks will be open for business with Carmelo Anthony leading their sales pitch to many of the top free agents.
It’s no secret the Knicks have their eyes set upon the free agent class of 2015 and who wouldn’t with names like Rajon Rondo, Kevin Love, Marc Gasol, DeAndre Jordan, LeMarcus Aldridge, and Tony Parker set to hit the open market.
It may be difficult for Knicks fans to swallow but the Knicks current roster will for the most part look very similar to next season’s roster, aside from a possible Iman Shumpert trade. The Knicks are currently in standby mode until Summer 2015. Whether fans like it or not, the Knicks are no more than a low seed in the playoffs for this season and the 2014-15 campaign with their static roster.
At this point, Knicks fans can continue to watch Carmelo Anthony in his prime lead a very average basketball team as the Knicks await Summer 2015 where the franchise is destined to make a splash.