At this point, it is almost inevitable that the New York Knicks are going to be stuck with the remainder of Carmelo Anthony’s contract.
After a couple of seasons of expressing interest in trading Anthony along with a long summer involving multiple efforts to negotiate a trade deal with the Houston Rockets, the 10-time All-star still remains in New York. It appears that it will be impossible to get him off the Knicks anytime soon, whether he is interested in leaving or not.
As one of the most passionate and loyal players in the NBA, Anthony has expressed his love for New York and his interest in playing for the Knicks for the rest of his career. This summer, he felt as if he was no longer accepted by his fans and teammates and had finally agreed to be traded in the best interest of the franchise. Executives, players, and fans still stand divided on the issue, although the overwhelming majority believe that it is time for Anthony and the Knicks to move on from one another.
If they are looking to dump his contract for a minimal return, it would not do much for them other than free up their payroll. Since they have been unable to attract a marquee free agent in years, this would not put them in a much different position than they are currently. The Knicks will not be able to score any draft picks from this trade, which should still be their main priority going forward.
Anthony has been the most consistent player that the Knicks have had on their roster in years. They are known as a franchise that shakes things up pretty often, and they do not normally put together a team that can get used to playing with one another for longer than a year or two. Since Anthony has been traded to the Knicks from the Denver Nuggets back in 2011, he is the only player that currently remains on the roster from that point in time.
It is not clear what the Knicks are looking for in this scenario, but they will realize once it is over with that they won’t be seeing another player like Carmelo Anthony for a long time. What he has helped the Knicks accomplish has been unmatched by any player in recent memory, while finally giving them the re-brand that New York has desperately needed since the early 2000’s.
Anthony will likely have a chip on his shoulder going into this season, especially if he is still playing for the Knicks. He has attracted a lot of attention during the offseason for his extensive training techniques and his several pick up games with some of the league’s top talent, where he stood out more than usual. He has spent a lot less time handling business within his personal life in order to put maximum effort into what may be the final stretch of his NBA career.
With his contract finally winding down, he will be looking to make a change that will set the tone for the rest of his career. He is tremendously dissatisfied with falling to number 64 in Sports Illustrated’s NBA player rankings, especially to one player that has yet to play a single game in the league. This season will be about proving his critics wrong once and for all, and it appears that he is more than ready for the challenge.
Despite what has gone right or wrong during Anthony’s tenure with the Knicks, there should still be an appreciation factor for his presence within the organization. Just like most other All-stars in the league, he wants to be a winning player and to bring that culture to New York once again. In 2014, he had the opportunity to leave the Knicks and join another franchise that was more established at the time in order to have a better chance of contending for a championship, but he chose to stay in New York because he wanted to do it there rather than anywhere else. This isn’t a characteristic that you see much in today’s league, so it certainly shouldn’t be taken for granted.
No matter the outcome of the situation, Anthony’s legacy in New York will always be there. Since he only has one more year on his player contract until he is able to opt out and become a free agent, it would be best for the Knicks to ride the last wave and see what he can do this season. Trading him away just for a minimal return and for another team to have him play for them for one year wouldn’t be an exceptional benefit for either party.
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