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Report: Carmelo Anthony eyeing Rockets, Bulls if he leaves Knicks

Carmelo-Anthony-Knicks-DefenseNow that the New York Knicks have officially announced the hiring of Phil Jackson, people seem to feel comfortable assuming that Carmelo Anthony is not going anywhere. That simply is not a foregone conclusion.

The Knicks are in bad shape financially. They have very little cap space available heading into next season, and signing Anthony (if and when he opts out of his current deal) plus another top-tier free agent would be an incredibly difficult task. The 2013-2014 Knicks are 27-40 and could miss the playoffs. Would Carmelo stick around simply because Jackson is now pulling the strings?

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, sources with “direct knowledge” of Carmelo’s plans claim his top choices when he becomes a free agent this offseason will be the Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls. Anthony has said he would take a pay cut to remain with the Knicks, but that seems like a lousy idea given the current state of the team.

“He’ll give New York every option,” the source reportedly told Wojnarowski. “But he has options – and he’s going to explore them all.”

The Bulls and Rockets are already much better teams than the Knicks. Joakim Noah has reportedly been recruiting Anthony to come to Chicago, and the Bulls can afford it. The Rockets think they can, too. The prospect of teaming with either Noah and Derrick Rose or Dwight Howard and James Harden is much more intriguing than anything the Knicks can offer.

Phil Jackson is not a magician. He’s won a ton of championships, but you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken s—. It could take the Zen Master a while to get the Knicks back on track, and there’s also a chance that he might prefer to move on without Anthony. At this point, I’d be more surprised to see Anthony in New York next year than I would be to see him elsewhere.

Ex-GM: Carmelo Anthony leaving would do Knicks a favor

Carmelo Anthony KnicksThe New York Knicks seem intent on not losing Carmelo Anthony in free agency, but would re-signing the forward be the best thing for the team?

People fall on both sides of the debate. There are some who feel like ‘Melo’s defense is poor and that he doesn’t share the ball enough offensively, while others see him as an elite scorer and franchise cornerstone. That’s how the Knicks view him, which is why they’re trying so hard to bring him back.

One former NBA GM says ‘Melo leaving would be doing the Knicks a favor.

“I really think if Carmelo left them, he may be doing them a favor,” an ex-GM told Newsday. “They probably don’t see it that way. But in the long run, it’s probably doing them a favor.”

The ex-GM thinks the Knicks would be well situated in 2015 when most of their big contracts are off the books, which would allow them the chance to rebuild.

The Knicks actually did that before and got enough cap space to sign Amar’e Stoudemire and add ‘Melo, but the team has fallen off this season. It’s not just about having extra money, but spending it properly. I’m also part of the camp that believes keeping ‘Melo and building around him is a wise move for the franchise.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

Joakim Noah reportedly recruiting Carmelo Anthony to Bulls

Carmelo AnthonyCarmelo Anthony has done nothing but insist he intends to remain with the New York Knicks if and when he opts out of his current contract at the end of the season. In fact, he even said he would take a pay cut on his new deal to help the team sign top talent in free agency. That isn’t enough to stop Joakim Noah from trying.

According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, a source said Noah was recruiting Anthony to the Chicago Bulls during All-Star weekend in New Orleans.

“I’m told that Joakim said to Melo, ‘Look, you can go to Los Angeles. But if you want to win a ring, if you want your legacy to be about winning, come to Chicago,’” Broussard reported. “Melo, I’m told, said, ‘Look, I’ve been watching you guys. I admire how hard you play. I admire how hungry you are. Oh, and by the way, my son’s favorite player – Derrick Rose.’

“It seems like it intrigued him.”

Broussard noted that Chicago would have to amnesty Carlos Boozer to offer ‘Melo a deal starting at $15 million per year, which is much less than the $22.4 million he is eligible to earn with a max contract. If they trade Mike Dunleavy and his $3 million salary they could offer Anthony around $18 million.

Does Anthony love New York so much that he is willing to take a pay cut to remain there, or was his point that he is willing to take less money anywhere to improve his chances of winning a championship? Assuming Rose comes back healthy, the Bulls look much closer to a championship team than the Knicks do. They certainly have the coaching advantage with Tom Thibodeau.

From an endorsement standpoint, Carmelo could earn just as much in Chicago as New York. The Knicks are 22-40 and are likely going to miss the playoffs. The Bulls remain fourth in the Eastern Conference despite not having their best player. I think we all know what Jim Boeheim would tell Anthony to do.

Metta World Peace: Carmelo Anthony needs to be more like Kobe Bryant

Carmelo AnthonyMetta World Peace was waived by the New York Knicks on Monday after appearing in just 29 games. In his short time in New York, World Peace had a first-hand look at one of the biggest disasters in the NBA.

The Knicks, who many thought had a chance to be one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference, are 21-36 and rapidly sliding out of playoff contention. Carmelo Anthony has not been able to prevent New York from losing nine of its last 11 games. If he was more like Kobe Bryant, World Peace thinks ‘Melo would have a better shot.

“Kobe doesn’t give a (bleep), he just wants to win,” Metta told the NY Daily News. “Melo needs to be more demanding and he needs to see results. The only difference between him and Kobe is that Kobe saw results. When Kobe said something people did that (stuff). Carmelo has no choice but to make it his personality because he’s a great player. There are not too many guys like him.”

Anthony, who can opt out of his contract at the end of the season, has done his best to not be a distraction. He has said all the right things publicly and refused to blame head coach Mike Woodson for the team’s struggles. World Peace described him as a great teammate, but he has a point about Anthony’s leadership skills.

Talent wise, Carmelo is probably one of the top 10 players in the NBA. If he carried himself like Kobe or LeBron James, the Knicks might play with more passion. They need that and then some.

Carmelo Anthony checks out woman sitting courtside

The New York Knicks are in the middle of yet another losing streak, but at least the eye candy is good. The Knicks lost to the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night to lower their record 20-33. As Carmelo Anthony was leaving the court following the 98-93 loss, he gave a fan a long, creepy look.

Carmelo-Anthony-checks-out-fan

Maybe that was Anthony’s way of shooting her a dirty look? Perhaps the woman was a Grizzlies fan and said something derogatory. Carmelo is a married man, after all. And we all know married men are blind.

H/T Beyond the Buzzer

Carmelo Anthony would take pay cut to help Knicks sign free agents

Carmelo Anthony military

Carmelo Anthony can opt out of his current contract with the New York Knicks at the end of the season, and many people have speculated that he will leave for another team. Not only have ‘Melo and his wife said that he isn’t going anywhere, but ‘Melo now says that he would even go so far as to take a pay cut to help the team sign other free agents.

“Without a doubt,” Anthony said Friday when asked if he would take less to give the Knicks more financial flexibility. “Any opportunity I have to build that up in New York, I’d do it. I told people all the time, always say, ‘If it takes me taking a pay cut, I’ll be the first one on [Knicks owner] Mr. [James] Dolan’s steps saying take my money and let’s build something strong over here.’”

Anthony also reiterated that he would not leave the Knicks.

“I’ve never been a guy that comes into a situation, when it’s not going well, to leave,” Anthony said. “That’s not my personality.”

That’s a great attitude from ‘Melo, and it’s cool that he’s acting like an unselfish leader of the team. The problem is that the Knicks have many financial problems and him taking a pay cut wouldn’t even really help. They still owe Amare Stoudemire $23.4 million, Andrea Bargnani $11.5 million and Tyson Chandler $14.6 million. They’re a mess.

If ‘Melo sticks to his word — and it certainly seems like he will — he’ll probably end up rotting away in New York the rest of his career, to the disappointment of his college coach Jim Boeheim.

Jim Boeheim tells Carmelo Anthony it’s OK to leave the Knicks

Carmelo-Anthony-Knicks-DefenseSyracuse head coach Jim Boeheim is one of Carmelo Anthony’s biggest fans. That probably has a little something to do with the fact that the two won an NCAA championship together in 2003. On Wednesday, Boeheim appeared on “Jim Rome on Showtime” and offered some advice for Carmelo on his impending free agency.

Basically, Boeheim told his former player not to be afraid to leave the New York Knicks.

“What I’d tell him is what I would tell any NBA great player,” Boeheim said, via Eye on Basketball. “If you’re a great player in the NBA, for you to be recognized as a great player you have to win a championship. It’s as simple as that. And I think you have to put yourself in the best position possible to win a championship. LeBron James did it. … And it’s changed the image of LeBron forever.

“I think you have to be in a place that you have a chance to win a championship. I think Carmelo loves New York, but I would tell him, ‘Let’s try to get some place where you can win this thing.’”

Anthony will likely opt out of his current deal with the Knicks at the end of the season, though he could still sign another contract with New York. He said he does not intend to leave the Knicks back in September, but the team is currently falling out of playoff contention and the future of head coach Mike Woodson is very much uncertain.

I’m with Boeheim. If the Knicks can’t find a way (or the cap space) to assemble a championship around Carmelo, he needs a change of scenery. It may be best for everyone at this point.