The speculation surrounding Carmelo Anthony’s immediate future with the New York Knicks has run rampant during the 2013-14 NBA season. Conflicting reports have surfaced on a weekly basis on whether he’ll stay in New York or test the free agent waters this summer.
According to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith on First Take on Monday, Anthony is on his way out of New York:
“I was told this last week, I was told this a few days ago, I had it reiterated to me by somebody I trust implicitly yet again this morning, that Carmelo Anthony is gone. He is leaving New York City. There are those like myself who still hold out the possibility that that may not be true because I know that Carmelo Anthony loves his money. I know that he loves playing in New York if they were successful (…) but from what I’m being told, he is gone. And he is gone because he is of the mindset that in order to achieve any modicum of success he would have to sacrifice not just this this year but next year as well.”
With Phil Jackson agreeing to become the president of basketball operations for the Knicks and promising a culture change, many believe the franchise is headed in the right direction.
Unfortunately for Anthony, time is running in terms of contending for a title while still in the prime of his career. Anthony isn’t getting any younger with the star forward set to turn 30 in May and this may be the last chance to join a contender while also signing a lucrative long-term deal.
Obviously, Smith is referring to an unknown “trusted” source and speculating that Anthony is done in New York. Anything can happen between now and July with Jackson having an opportunity to get Anthony to buy into what he plans to do in New York.
If Anthony does elect to opt-out of his contract with the Knicks, the Los Angeles Lakers will be ready and waiting. Although many believe the Lakers will wait until the summer of 2015 to sign big-names like Kevin Love and Kevin Durant in 2016, Kobe Bryant may have forced the hand of GM Mitch Kupchak, meaning that Anthony could be in play if available in July.
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