Apparently it’s the year of “let’s hear your thoughts on Carmelo Anthony’s free agency”.
First LaLa, Anthony’s wife, had her two cents on how things will/can play out come the summer time. Now Chris Paul, Clippers guard and one of Anthony’s best friends in the league, has thrown in his opinion on the situation during the All-Star weekend.
“I know he loves it there. His family loves it there. Most of all, he loves to play basketball there. Whatever he does, I’ll support him 110 percent.” (The New York Post)
Paul’s sentiments, in a way, reflect what LaLa had to say about Anthony’s impending free agency, saying that the 2003 draftee will remain in New York. Looking at the available options for Anthony, Los Angeles and Chicago come to mind, and the reputation that precedes Anthony, one can’t possibly see Melo leaving the city that’ll embrace him if the Knicks are winning and losing nor can you see him leaving a max that’ll be close to the Joe Johnson range of contracts (the infamous six-year, $119 million contract to be exact).
But of course, as he is supposed to do to keep away those who question his motives in regards to choosing money over the chance to compete for a championship, Anthony said he’d be willing to take a pay cut this summer, making it easier for New York to surround him with more talent.
“As far as the money, it don’t really matter to me. If I go somewhere else, I get paid. If I stay in New York, I get paid. As far as the money goes, it’s not my concern. My concern is to be able to compete on a high level, a championship level, coming in this last stretch of my career. I want to compete at that level.” (CBS Sports)
If Carmelo had this same type of thought on the last year of his deal in Denver, the Knicks may not be in the situation they are in now. Yes the Knicks would still have Amar’e under contract, but they’d have a combination of star power plus young talent, possibly a Timofey Mozgov, Danilo Gallinari or Wilson Chandler, to surround Anthony with. But his greed and need to get the max that’s given to players a team has the bird rights to forced the Knicks to ship out the young talent as they were afraid Anthony would look elsewhere come free agency.
Like Lala, Paul’s word means nothing as Anthony holds the keys to his future, but it’s never a bad time to hear an opinion from someone close to the subject at hand.