Carmelo Anthony's upcoming player option for the 2014-15 has become quite the hot topic for discussion recently, though New York Knicks' general manager Glen Grunwald doesn't seem to be all that worried about his star's future in New York.
Frank Isola of the "New York Daily News" tweeted on Tuesday that Grunwald expects Anthony and the Knicks to have a long "partnership" beyond the 2014 season. "Partnership" is an interesting word to use in that situation, but Grunwald's point is made loud and clear regardless of word choice.
Anthony has the choice to opt out of the final year of his contract in less than a year (July 1, 2014), and the Knicks will need to do everything possible to keep him in orange and blue. A successful 2013-14 season could help that cause, and team seems poised to do just that.
With the newest acquisition of Metta World Peace, the Knicks now have legitimate depth at nearly every position. A team with Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert, Tyson Chandler, Andrea Bargnani, J.R. Smith, Amar'e Stoudemire, MWP and Anthony surely seems like, on paper, that it would have a chance to make a run at the Eastern Conference Finals. It remains to be seen if anybody can beat the Miami Heat in a seven-game series, but the Knicks are certainly prepared to make it to the ECF.
If Anthony chooses to stay with the team at that point, then he may have to wait one more season before the Knicks can make serious changes. Stoudemire and Chandler will be free agents at that point, freeing up nearly $38 million in cap space. Factor in Bargnani's expiring contract worth $12 million, and the Knicks would have plenty of cap space to make a splash in free agency.
Anthony could opt out and seek a new contract with the Knicks, or he could simply play out the season and look to re-sign with them after the season. He has plenty of options, though he'll need to think about what is best for himself as well as the team. Anthony wants to win, so if it means re-upping with the Knicks and possibly taking a pay cut, he should do it.
Knicks' fans shouldn't be worried given Grunwald's confidence in the situation, as well as the team's active offseason thus far. The Knicks have made improvements, and Anthony may be tempted to stay solely because of his chance to win. It's a situation to monitor closely moving forward, but it isn't one fans should lose sleep over until the end of next season.
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