Carmelo Anthony deserves all of the attention he is getting this offseason during NBA Free Agency. He has yet in his career been able to make his own decision and select what team he wants to play for. For him to be recruited by the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, and the New York Knicks show how much he is valued in today’s game.
Now that he has pretty much finished his visits for this off-season he will now think long and hard to make the decision on where he wants to play for at least the next few years. The final decision will more than likely be staying in New York and build a winner there. The negatives are there of course, if he does decide to stay, including: Knicks are in rebuilding mode and are in no position to compete in the near future, team doesn’t have much cap room, rookie head coach in Derek Fisher, who has no actual coaching experience, etc. The list can go on and on, but New York is still his most likely destination.
If he leaves New York he has a better chance at winning titles, that is not arguable, but by staying Anthony can finish what he has started in New York and build a winner around him. Unlike LeBron James, Anthony is on a higher marketable team than when he was in Cleveland so it is easier to convince potential free agents to come there and play with him. The new President of the New York Knicks Phil Jackson has already shown in his short tenure so far that he is ready for business, and that businesses’ agenda is to build a winner around his star Carmelo Anthony in a championship-starving city.
Just like there are risks for him staying in New York there are big risks if he signs for the other teams he is being pursued by as well. If he signs in Chicago, the biggest risk will be Derrick Rose obviously. Rose is coming off of back-to-back injuries to both of his knees, which is capable of limiting his performance. If Rose doesn’t come back healthy which is what Chicago is desperately hoping for, the Bulls aren’t going to contend with just Anthony and Joakim Noah.
The Rockets probably sit in one of the best positions to provide Anthony with a winner now. The main issue is they compete in the Western Conference, which he will have very difficult roads throughout the playoffs. Also, getting Anthony means they basically let restricted free agent Chandler Parsons go, which will hurt their already limited depth on their team. Everything sounds good, but having only Dwight Howard, James Harden, and Anthony isn’t exactly going to give you a winner, especially when you have so many tough teams to make it past in the playoffs.
There will be a temptation for Anthony, but he wants to be the man. If he leaves to any other team that has been reportedly pursuing him, he will not be the star anymore. In Chicago, all talks would be about Rose’s health, in Los Angeles all talk would be centered around Kobe Bryant, and in Houston Howard and Harden of course. In New York, that is his franchise, basically, Phil has made that very clear. Besides, the Knicks can offer the most years and money for Anthony than any other team so that couldn’t hurt. There hasn’t been a NBA Championship in New York since 1973 and with Phil’s vision and Anthony’s commitment the sky is the limit.
Why not trust a man whose vision has helped Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Shaquille O’Neal. Let Jackson work his magic and show him how to go from incredible individual talent to title winner. At the end of the day Anthony wants to win. Anthony does care deeply about his legacy and missing the postseason for the first time this past season hurt him tremendously. If he does decide to stay, it will put the Knicks in a tough position and will put them in a position where unless they pull the trigger on some trades they won’t be able to make many moves until next summer. As mentioned earlier, it will be a risk playing for a first-time head coach will absolutely ZERO coaching experience, but once again having Phil in charge of things will lure other talent to go to New York in the future as well.