The New York Knicks and Carmelo Anthony have a big decision that will shape the future of the entire Knicks’ franchise.
Anthony can opt out of the final year of his contract and see what’s out there in free agency (the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers, among others, are expected to make a run at Anthony), he can opt in and test the market next year or he can sign a long-term extension with the Knicks.
Although Knicks’ president Phil Jackson has asked Anthony to think about opting in (he has until June 23 rather than June 20 to make that decision) and some believe he may opt in, Nate Duncan of Basketball Insiders thinks it would be in the best interest of the Knicks to sign and trade Anthony to a team like the Bulls.
My plan would be to sign and trade Carmelo unless he were willing to re-sign for a starting salary of $15 million or to opt in for his 2014-15 season. If I could get a package built around the Bulls’ 2 first rounders, Nikola Mirotic (who I would then leave overseas for another year), and maybe a future pick, I would sign and trade Carmelo. Then I would rebuild for 2015, get a high draft pick, and then have almost nobody on the books so I could totally rebuild in the summer of 2015.
That 2015 pick is key. The Knicks owe a 2016 pick swap to the Nuggets, so 2015 is the year to be bad and get a high pick before they can sign free agents that summer
Anthony averaged 27.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game last season and shot 45.2% from the field, 40.2% from beyond the arc and 84.8% from the free throw line.