NBA Rumors: Knicks Would Have Considered Signing Carmelo Anthony If This Happened, Per ‘The Athletic’

Carmelo Anthony of the Houston Rockets is photographed while warming up for a game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Harry How / Getty Images

With more than a month gone by since the start of free agency, Carmelo Anthony is still without a team. However, a new report suggests that the 10-time All-Star might have had a chance to reunite with one of his old teams, had they only been able to land a pair of superstar free agents earlier in the offseason.

Citing a subscriber-only report from Shams Charania of The Athletic, CBS Sports wrote that a number of NBA executives doubt whether Anthony still has it in him to play in the league after last season’s abbreviated 10-game stint with the Houston Rockets. As further noted, two of the teams that were most frequently linked to Anthony after he was deactivated by the Rockets appear to be out of the picture, with the Los Angeles Lakers “unlikely” to use their last remaining roster spot on the veteran forward.

According to Charania’s unnamed league sources, Anthony recently had a chance to return to the New York Knicks, a team he had played for from 2011 to 2017.

“Meanwhile, if the Knicks had acquired two major free agents, such as Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, this summer, the franchise planned to consider bringing back Anthony on a contract.”

Instead of signing with New York as originally rumored, Durant and Irving respectively left the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics to sign with the Brooklyn Nets. The Knicks, meanwhile, also missed out on other superstar free agents and ended up signing forwards Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson, and Marcus Morris, and guards Elfrid Payton, Wayne Ellington, and Reggie Bullock, as noted by ClutchPoints.

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With the Knicks and the Lakers seemingly unlikely to sign Anthony, Charania pointed out that his options might eventually include playing overseas in China or signing with a BIG3 team. However, some of the league executives Charania spoke to believe there’s a possibility Anthony will sign with New York at some point in the future – albeit only to sign a one-day contract with the team so that he can retire as a Knick.

As shown on his Basketball-Reference player page, Carmelo Anthony had a productive run with the Knicks, leading the league in scoring in the 2012-13 season with 28.7 points per game and never averaging less than 21.8 points in six-and-a-half seasons with the team. He has, however, struggled since leaving New York, as he averaged 16.2 points for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2017-18 campaign and 13.4 points during his brief stint with the Rockets last season.