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NBA 2013-14: Where does Carmelo Anthony’s future lie?

Yash Matange
FEATURED WRITER
Feature
1.42K   //    04 Jan 2014, 22:46 IST

Carmelo Anthony

Nobody saw this coming, not even Carmelo Anthony.

A 9-21 record in the season, bad basketball, crumbling chemistry and little hopes of improvement the summer of 2014 seems to be the worst in recent times for the New York Knicks.

Since the New Year, New York fans have spent more time talking about Anthony’s future than the predictable Knicks losses. When he does opt out of the final year of his contract, something he admits he already plans on doing, his summer will be on the line just as much as the franchise.

As we looks around, Anthony will find there are no greener pastures than his in the league. The team he searches for needs to big market to support his business ventures and needs to be a winner. Now taking those conditions into considerations which teams should pursue this summer?

The answer: None.

No matter how much he doesn’t like it here, there is no better place for the reigning scoring champion to set camp.

Why? How?

Let’s eliminate the Philadelphia 76ers, Charlotte Bobcats, Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz before we have talks of any other conditions Anthony might have. Although all these teams might have the financial capacity to have a go at him in the summer, these teams in most probability might not be considered by Anthony simply because they do not have a big market for his big business ventures to flourish.

Dallas Mavericks fall out of the picture after their committed 15.5 million dollars in 2014-15 to Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon. Unless Dirk Nowitzki agrees to a huge pay cut, the team would be in no position to resign Nowitzki and go after a max free agent.

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Even if all of the current mega superstars with the Miami Heat decide to part their own ways, highly unlikely, still they would not be a viable option for Anthony’s future.

During trade talks, if they were to take place, Detroit would be a great fit for the Anthony, the player but not so much for Anthony, the metropolitan. On the flip side, even during trade talks, the Pitons would not be entertaining any kind of swap for Anthony where they have to give up any player from their huge frontline. So they are out.

In his own shortlist, Anthony named the Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers as the teams he seems most interested in having talks this summer.

Can all these teams really offer what Anthony wishes?

Los Angeles Lakers

A very tempting destination, no doubt, but the Lakers are in no position to go for Anthony and with their most recent contract extension with superstar Kobe Bryant they would have to disown all their current free agents in order to offer Anthony a max deal.

It might just be possible given the brotherly love and chemistry that Anthony shares with Bryant. Letting go of Steve Nash and a few smart roster back-ups to support the superstar duo could really get things rolling in Hollywood.

He wants to play for a winner and the Lakers would be nothing close to a contender even if they were to have Anthony alongside an aging superstar in Bryant. But after seeing what a failure Dwight Howard’s experiment was, Anthony would and should seriously consider his thoughts about settling with the purple and gold.

Chicago Bulls

An ideal and more preferable team if money was no option. A big market but there is an equally sized problem. The team lacks the cap space to offer the 6 time All-Star.

With the committed contracts that the Bulls have for the 2014-15 season, a shop in the coming off-season is highly unlikely.

The only way there is a realistic chance of Anthony part of the Bulls roster is if there is a trade which once again is highly unlikely.

The Bulls still have a contract with Derrick Rose for the next two seasons after this one and considering his age and the funds at hand they would want to build a championship contending team around only one superstar.

Among his favourites that leaves with the Clippers

Los Angeles Clippers

Is a Chris Paul-Carmelo Anthony-Blake Griffin trio possible?

Chris Paul is the best point guard in the league and for Anthony the Clippers are the best fit, keeping in mind his shortlist and business dreams.

But before you dream of the big three mentioned above, there is once again the problem of cap space. The Clippers have up to 71 million dollars in guaranteed salaries heading into 2014-15 with very little chances of going under. Waiting another year for cap room to clear is not an option for Anthony as the Clippers have another 56.7 million dollars to account for in 2015-16.

The question arises again is a trade possible?

The New York Knicks have done a lot to get Anthony is the first place. They went into the luxury tax by quite a big number. They are currently the second highest paid roster in the league and there is no way the franchise is dealing their superstar for nothing.

All of you talking about a Clippers-Knicks trade, I have news for you the Clippers have nothing to offer the Knicks. When I say nothing, I mean it.

The Clippers neither have a first round draft pick till 2017 available to trade and nor do they have contracts which will might equal Melo’s value and get the New York franchise thinking.

Sadly the truth

To put the painful truth for Carmelo Anthony in short: Stuck with the Knicks

It is how it is. Chances are Anthony will accept a 30 million dollar offer put on the table by the Knicks but that’s about it.

Aged 29 in a league where no matter how bad his current state of things are there are no options left out there for Carmelo Anthony to consider.

He is stuck with the Knicks.

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