The NBA Free Agency 2017 will be in full swing come July 1 and one of the most intriguing story lines isn’t even about a free agent. Disgruntled All-Star Carmelo Anthony is reportedly deciding where he wants to play next season. The irony of this all is that he may have no control over it.
Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks has been linked to a number of teams since last year’s trade deadline. His relationship with the recently-fired Knicks GM Phil Jackson has deteriorated after a number of failed trade attempts that left the superstar, his teammates, the team, and the city disillusioned. According to Sporting News, it even came to a point that the Zen Master himself requested for Anthony to waive his no-trade clause so that the Knicks can move him. Alas, none of it came to fruition and the Melo-Saga (some say Melo-drama) continues.
Then came the 2017 NBA draft, Bleacher Report suggests that New York is looking for extra draft picks to find a viable replacement for Anthony. Before his New York exit, Jackson made it clear that he intends to trade Anthony, which is probably one of the possible reasons why the Knicks’ rising star has been disappointed by the front office. Naturally, possible trade scenarios involving Carmelo Anthony spread like wildfire. But still, with Melo not waiving his no-trade-clause, it would be difficult for the Knicks to move him, especially for the price New York is asking.
Phil Jackson on Carmelo Anthony: "We haven't been successful and it might be time for him to find an opportunity somewhere else."— Kristian Winfield (@Krisplashed) June 22, 2017
Most folks believe that Carmelo Anthony is off the hook after New York parted ways with Phil Jackson. Still, Melo seems to be in limbo especially following the not-so-glowing endorsement by his own coach, Jeff Hornacek. According to the New York Post, Hornacek texted Anthony after Jackson’s exit. “We’re busy with these young guys right now, and we’ll be in contact with everybody relatively soon to discuss all that stuff,” said Hornacek. Admit it, it looks like New York is going to try to get younger this season, something Carmelo Anthony will probably not be a part of.
So where does this leave one of the most talented pure scorers the NBA has ever seen? Carmelo Anthony’s close friend Chris Paul opted out of his contract with the Clippers and is heading to the Houston Rockets to play with 2017 NBA MVP runner-up James Harden and play for 2017 Coach of the Year awardee, Mike D’Antoni. The pull to play with multiple All-Stars in their primes, especially if one of them is your close friend would be difficult to resist. The Rockets GM has always been a fan and promises to try and bring in another disgruntled superstar, Indiana’s Paul George, as per SB Nation. If the Rockets pull this off, then they’ll have enough talent to possibly unseat the defending NBA champs, the Golden State Warriors.
Sounds like a match made in heaven if Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, James Harden, and Paul George lined up for the same team, right? Yes, on paper it should work. In reality, this scenario will probably not work. The New York Daily News reported that D’Antoni quit being the Knicks’ head coach following an ultimatum from Carmelo Anthony. Well, maybe they can make it work, and maybe not. And there’s only one way to find out: acquire Anthony by persuading Melo to waive his no-trade-clause or to be bought out of his contract.
According to Slam Online, both Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks have made it known that they want a buyout. However, Anthony’s demand for a buyout has a condition: he would only accept a buyout if he can join the Cleveland Cavaliers to play with another best bud in LeBron James. This scenario takes the Rockets out of the equation. But if this pushes through, it would shake the NBA landscape in a way just like Kevin Durant’s move to the Dubs. A buyout would allow the Cavaliers to retain its core while adding another potent scorer to challenge the Dubs’ firepower.
So the point really is this: Will New York succumb to Carmelo Anthony’s demand for a buyout to go play for the Cavs? Or will the Knicks convince Anthony to waive his no-trade-clause, shift some assets, and try to trade Melo so that the Knicks can get something in return for all their troubles? Well, Melo may have expressed his desire to play for the Cavs, but the Knicks may have other ideas in mind to take Anthony’s choice away from him. The NBA 2017 Free Agency Season has not even begun and fans of the NBA are already claiming that this offseason would be even better than the 2017 NBA Finals with so much drama. It seems a forgone conclusion that Melo will not be a Knick next season. However, whether Carmelo Anthony lands with the Cavs, the Rockets, or any other team, the majority of the NBA fans are in for a blockbuster NBA Free Agency. Sorry Knicks fans.
[Featured Image by Elsa/Getty Images]