This pending off-season, Carmelo Anthony, one of the best scorers in the league, will have the choice to opt out of his contract with the New York Knicks. The Knicks (33-43) are currently fighting for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and have picked up their play as of late, but will they be able to make enough noise in the post-season to convince Melo to stay? Lets take a look at the most likely destinations for the 7 time all-star.
If the Bulls were to add a scorer like Carmelo, they would have a near perfect system.
An all-star point guard (when healthy) in Derrick Rose, a defensive specialist in Jimmy Butler, a young and talented power forward in Taj Gibson, Joakim Noah (enough said) and a prolific scorer to feed down the stretch in Carmelo. It seems like a match made in heaven.
Without their (arguably) best player, the Bulls are the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference and a team feared throughout the league. Imagine if they were to have 2 all-stars to add to their roster. Carmelo would instantly add instant offense to a team that sometimes struggles to find the bottom of the net. We’ve seen this nearly identical Bulls team and last years Grizzlies make a push in the playoffs, but ultimately fall to a more superior team.
With Carmelo, the Bulls would become that superior team and contend for a title well into the near future.
A team known for its high paced offense and its ability to put up points in a hurry, it would seem that Anthony would fit in seamlessly.
However, the possible demotion from alpha dog to third-in-command would be less than appealing to the undisputed best player on his team.
Also, Houston has the burden of deciding what to do with Chandler Parsons. As talented and well-rounded as he is, Melo would be an instant upgrade. But it’s up to the rockets if they want Parsons in their future. Is he still developing, or is this the ceiling for the 3rd year small forward? Houston has the option of picking up Parsons’ team option worth nearly $1 million (extremely cheap for someone as skilled as parsons) but he becomes an unrestricted free agent and can choose to leave.
But Houston is in ‘win now’ mode, and with Dwight Howard and James Harden already one of the best tandems in the league, despite this being the first season they’ve played together, signing someone like Carmelo to be a second scoring option on a fast-paced team would nearly guarantee a contender
But why would Melo want to sign with the Heat? With Miami in its 4th Finals appearance in 4 years, and about to obtain the legendary 3-peat, it would seem there would be no more room for Anthony.
However, if the Heat are unable to win a championship this year, we may see an end to the dominant Big Three. 2 of the 3 would likely resign, leaving room for one more large contract. This would put Miami and Houston very close to each other in Carmelo’s mind. 2 big market teams with 2 players already assuming leadership roles that are able to contend for a championship without him, but would greatly benefit from him.
While it’s unlikely the Heat superstars decide to disband, there’s a chance that they do, and Carmelo will be on Pat Riley’s radar if it does.
Los Angeles Lakers
While this would seem like a huge step down from the already disappointing Knicks, this is still a potential landing spot for a few reasons. Melo would be playing for one of the most renowned teams in sports history, something all players dream of.
He would also be playing alongside one of the greatest players of all time, whose game never seems to fade with age. Also, with the Lakers deep in the lottery, there is a high chance they get a pick at number 7 in a draft loaded with potential that can come in right away and be a gamechanger.
Melo would be given the chance to bring respect back to the purple and gold alongside Kobe Bryant and young talent. Also, there is a large possibility that LA brings in a mastermind head coach, that would give Carmelo what he has lacked since his Nugget days with George Karl.
New York Knicks
With the recent addition of Phil Jackson to the front office, Carmelo has openly expressed his interest to returning to New York.
However, with the Knicks well over the salary cap, and no draft picks to help with the future, this would be a questionable decision. If you can’t get better, then you’re going to get worse. The Knicks have taken a huge step back from their success of the 2012-2013 campaign, and Carmelo wants to win a championship. But this is what he’s familiar with, and if he trusts the front office to do its job, he may see more success.
Prediction: Carmelo Anthony will opt out of his contract and sign with the Chicago Bulls
The fit just seems perfect, and even if Derrick Rose’s knees don’t hold up (again), Carmelo would still be in a solid foundation in a big market city contending for a championship.