Hey Pippen Peoples, tell me if you’ve heard one of these NBA rumors? Carmelo Anthony is considering opting out of his contract to join the Chicago Bulls. I’ve heard that one right along with other teams as well. Well Pippen Peoples, the time is getting close…thank god! Nine days and counting and the NBA rumors will become fact. Carmelo Anthony will have officially made his decision to opt the final year of his current deal to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2014.
Well the word around the campfire is that the decision is already been made up. According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, is considering leaving the New York Knicks for either the Houston Rockets or the Chicago Bulls. Carmelo Anthony, a seven time All-Star is currently looking to play for a championship contender. As a side bar why does players speak such nonsense? It’s not like players opt out of their deals to play for Milwaukee. That’s like Magic Johnson saying back in 1982 I’m going to leave the Los Angeles Lakers to join the San Diego Clippers. I feel with World B. Free we can lead this city to a championship. Sounds ridiculous don’t it? If you have paid attention to Carmelo’s career, it is. Denver was a perennial playoff team in a tough Western Conference. Up until last year the New York Knicks were making strides. For this article, let’s put down the stats and look at the player and the sacrifices these two franchises will have to make.
Let’s get this out-of-the-way first. Carmelo Anthony was in no danger of opting in for one more year. Sure Knicks team president Phil Jackson wants Anthony to wait one more year. That’s his job! Phil Jackson is supposed to lock down assets as soon as possible to make plans for next season going forward. Carmelo is smart to opt out of his contract for a couple of reasons…
1) Carmelo Anthony is at the halfway point of his career and he knows this is his last shot at a max contract in his career.
2) It’s better to lock up that security now. Something could happen injury wise and then he wouldn’t be worth a dime. If you need an example Pippen Peoples, you don’t have to look no further than your bench at Derrick Rose. If that is not a cautionary tale, I don’t know what is.
Plus the man has earned the right to look around and see what he wants to do. Who doesn’t like their ego stroked a little. It’s like getting an interview at a nice company and you know they want to hire you at a good salary. I don’t know about you guys but in my 20 year career in television, I always loved the attention. I only wish the money was the same as Anthony’s.
Now here’s the situation. Carmelo Anthony’s playing situation will be up for debate until July. Expect it and know there will be 5,000 different rumors in a given day. This past week, ESPN reported that the Miami Heat were making plans to make a run at Carmelo. The “Big Three” were willing to opt out of their contracts and take less money to clear cap space for Carmelo’s contract. So understand this is going to get crazy.
As stated before, the Chicago Bulls and the Houston Rockets are the leaders in the clubhouse (as of today), but both teams are going to have to make a lot of moves to sign this guy without crippling the team to obtain further assets. Let’s start with your Chicago Bulls.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski… If the Chicago Bulls are going to make a run at Carmelo Anthony, they first must amnesty Carlos Boozer, then unload Taj Gibson and another player. My guess is the player would be Mike Dunleavy.
If the Houston Rockets are to make a run at Carmelo Anthony, they have to first make the contracts of Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik disappear. If they can do that, the Rockets will have made major headway to sign Anthony to a max contract. If you are a Bulls fan, that is not a good look (more on that later.) Because of the fact that both of these players are going into the final years of their contracts that are set expire, the New York Knicks would be more willing to deal with the Rockets in sign and trade scenarios that could accomplish signing Carmelo Anthony to the max deal of four years at over 90 million dollars. The Rockets get Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks get cap space to make a run at Kevin Durant in 2016. (Oh you thought the Derek Fisher head coaching gig was all about the triangle offense? Nope.)
I know for a fact Omer Asik will help Carmelo Anthony pack in New York just to get out of Houston. He’ll fill the U-Haul with super unleaded gas just to make sure he has a smooth ride to Houston. He’s wanted out ever since Dwight Howard came to town and took his starting spot.
As for Jeremy Lin, The Knicks can try to recapture “LinSanity” to cover up the fact that the Knicks will stink up the NBA if Carmelo Anthony leaves.
If I’m looking at deal at first glance, I would believe that Houston would be a better situation than Chicago. First off there is a lot more stability in Houston these days in the front office with Daryl Morey handling the GM duties. He has a definite plan in place and is executing it to meet the goal of building a winner. It seemed to work bringing James Harden and Dwight Howard in. Oh by the way, according to Wojanarowski, Howard AND Harden are ready to recruit Anthony as the third star to make a super team to make a run for the championship.
How about Kevin McHale? He is a player’s coach which will fit quite nicely with Carmelo Anthony’s, umm let me be nice here…mercurial attitude.
Like I said before, put down the stats for a second. Let’s talk finances. Can the Bulls deal with giving Carmelo a max deal that is if they can and is it worth getting rid of yet another player in Taj Gibson that fits into head coach Tom Thibodeau’s system? Couple that with the balky knees of both Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose, does that strike you as a team that is ahead of Houston in the championship chase? If you need more scenarios if the Bulls do sign Anthony will the Bulls have any cap space left to build around Rose, Noah and Anthony? Oh that’s right, the Bulls always have Mike James on speed dial.
You all can chalk this up as a Knick fan praying that he stays but let me tell you something. Carmelo Anthony is not the easiest guy to deal with. He comes with baggage. Do you really think Carmelo is going to grin and bear those marathon practice sessions like Joakim Noah? If you do get at me around January and tell me what happens. Thibodeau is a task master that has certain demands that he will not compromise. Carmelo has had weak coaches since he left Denver that let him do what he wanted. George Karl tried to coach him and they butted heads constantly.
If Carmelo Anthony is as good as everyone says, why is he so quick to leave? Doug Collins said something during the NBA Finals coverage that made sense. Superstars don’t leave to play with other players. Other players come to play with superstars. Keep that in mind.
Finally Pippen Peoples, I will leave you with this. The New York Knicks can still give him a nine figure deal, something no other team can give him. Based on a player that loves the spotlight and being the guaranteed No.1 option, I still think the man stays. He’s just hasn’t got to the level in his career that he knows how to sacrifice his game to make either of these teams better.