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Top Free Agent Options Developing for New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony

January 3rd, 2014 at 3:31 PM
By Matt Agne

One thing New York Knicks fans have to accept is that until Carmelo Anthony either opts-in to the final year of his contract or signs his next deal there will be rumors about his future. Now a list of top landing spots has emerged should he decide to leave New York.

'Carmelo Anthony' photo (c) 2012, Paul Lowry - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Lets just say what it is. Carmelo Anthony is a very skilled basketball player. He may or may not be the kind of player you'd ideally like to build your franchise around but he's certainly one of the better players in the world.

When you realize how hard it is for teams to get their hands on a player of Anthony's stature you understand why the New York Knicks were willing to give up so much to get him. You also realize why every NBA team would line up for the chance to add him as a free agent.

Clearly salary is an issue. Not all teams can afford to pay him top price to join their franchise. That narrows down his possible landing spots. However, if money wasn't an issue you know he'd be fielding calls from every team in the NBA.

However, money is an issue and so if Anthony decides he's be willing to leave over $30 million on the table by leaving the Knicks he'll surely be looking for as much money as possible from his next team. That limits his options.

'Stephon Marbury' photo (c) 2007, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

That being said, Marc Berman of The New York Post reports Anthony fears becoming the next Stephon Marbury and could leave money on the table if it means winning.

“He saw Marbury get heckled by some fans on Christmas,’’ one source told The Post. “He doesn’t want to be the next Marbury. He’s very sensitive.”

Anthony proved that sensitivity Tuesday when a fan heckled him on Twitter after he promoted the release of his new shoe , writing Anthony should care more about winning a title and it’s “disappointing” rooting for him.

Uncharacteristically, Anthony responded, “I didn’t ask for your glazed donut face ass to root for me anyway!!!!” The tweet was later deleted.

Anthony doesn’t want to be a poster boy if the Knicks spiral into a losing era, and it could influence his thinking when he makes his decision come July. Though still undecided, there’s part of him that may want to bail if he thinks the Knicks’ ship completely sinks. He does not want to be the scapegoat.

Anthony wants to play for a winner, but desperately wants to play in a big market because of his business ventures — his Jordan Brand sneaker line, his PowerCoco energy drink, his watch deal.

That is why New York, Los Angeles, where he has a home, and even Chicago are on his short list, according to a source. The source said the Clippers — with buddy Chris Paul — are more attractive than the Lakers, though the purple-and-gold have cap space and the Clips don’t.

We know from how he forced his way to New York that money is important to Anthony. Now, that could change a bit with his age and need to win for his legacy. However, $30 million is a lot of money for anybody.

The chances are still high that he either forces a trade or re-signs with New York. That being said, he's clearly been frustrated this season and that the bloom has come off the rose for Anthony with the Knicks.

Could Anthony leave? Absolutely. Every player wants to win a championship. Money is good but no top player wants to be known as that guy who doesn't have a ring.

That being said, in another season the Knicks will have a lot of cap space to once again build around Anthony. It really depends on what is important to Anthony. Does he love playing for New York? Is he willing to give up $30 million? Can he bring free agents to New York in 2015? Would he rather join a team like the Los Angeles Clippers and go for a ring now but not necessarily run the team?

There's clearly a lot of questions to be answered between now and Anthony's next contract. However, this list gives us a little more insight on where he might end up should he decide to leave New York.

'Carmelo Anthony' photo (c) 2013, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Tags: Basketball, Carmelo Anthony, NBA, New York, New York Knicks

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