Will Anthony Choose to Stay with Knicks or Test Free Agency?

Carmelo Anthony has been in the playoffs all 10 years of his career, but his playoff record is a paltry 23-42. In 10 playoff appearances, his teams have only won three series. Part of this is due to playing a majority of his career in the more difficult Western Conference with the Denver Nuggets (yes, he played somewhere else first) but Anthony always loved the Knicks. He grew up idolizing Bernard King. But now? The nostalgia has worn off. His once beloved Knicks are a trainwreck. So, with his free agent status looming, the question is: Why would he ever re-sign with the Knicks?

Anthony is arguably the most complete scorer in the NBA. He is 29 years old, right in the middle of his prime and poised to win a championship. After last season, Anthony probably did not expect to have to make a decision about which team may be better suited for him next year. Last season, Anthony won the scoring title and helped the Knicks win their first playoff series since 2000 (when they had Patrick Ewing). No one could have seen this coming.  

The Knicks are once again a joke. They have a coach who is certain to be fired this summer, a point guard who was arrested on felony gun charges, and a slew of failed contracts and transactions. Anthony has been vocal about his disappointment for a while now. He told ESPN.com after the Bulls game on March 1 that he was frustrated and that he keeps “saying we’ve got to figure it out, figure it out, but it’s time now where we should have it down pat right now.”

If Carmelo was thinking strictly basketball, he would get out of New York and go to Chicago. He would have a great coach in Tom Thibodeau who manages to win no matter who the Bulls trade or lose to injury, and most importantly a group of players (including Derrick Rose) that complement him well and can make him better. He won’t need to play 40 minutes every game.

Fortunately for the Knicks, he probably isn’t thinking strictly basketball. Carmelo knows that he can get 30 million dollars more from the Knicks than he can from any other team. The Knicks hope that Carmelo will wait on them. The Knicks want to make free agent offers to other star players in the summer of 2015 to Kevin Love and or Kyrie Irving. It is a thin pitch. They would basically be telling Anthony: take a lot of money, commit to us, and hope, even though we have given you no reason to.

Anthony is a star no matter where he plays. Lebron James was sick of coming up short and decided he wanted to go somewhere he knew he would have a chance to win every year. That started a trend. Now Carmelo has choice. Option 1: He leaves for the Bulls, Lakers or one of his many other suitors. Option 2: He stays and tries to create something special with the Knicks.

What he should do? Go to the Bulls. He’ll have multiple teammates around him that can make him better and help him win his elusive championship.

What he will do? Stay with the Knicks. It’s five years, $129 million. You can’t really blame him.