Many Lakers fans have dreamed that Carmelo Anthony would be a Los Angeles Laker next season. According to Carmelo, all it will ever be is a dream.
Last week, in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers,” Anthony said, “I’m not going nowhere.”
Financially it makes sense for Anthony to stay with the New York Knicks. He can, and most likely will, opt out of the final year of his current contract next summer. Anthony could re-sign in February but will make more money by opting out of his contract.
The Knicks will be able to offer Anthony a max deal worth 5 years and 129 million. A potential suitor, such as the Lakers, would only be able to offer Anthony 4 years and 96 million under the collective bargaining agreement.
Anthony seems to be up to the challenge of ending the Knicks 41-year championship drought. “That is one of the reasons why I wanted to come here to New York, just so I could take on those pressures and those challenges,” Anthony said. “A lot of people do not like to deal with the pressure. A lot of people do not know how to deal with the challenges they face. To me, it is everyday life.”
In addition to the financial benefits, Anthony and his family are comfortable in New York. Anthony and his wife, LaLa, are both from New York. They also have numerous marketing opportunities and connections available to them in New York. If Anthony were to sign with another team, they could potentially be passing up some of these opportunities.
Most importantly, Anthony is the face of the franchise. Carmelo forced a trade from the Nuggets in 2011 in what is now called the “Melodrama”. The Knicks mortgaged their cap flexibility to trade for Anthony, making him the undisputed leader of the team.
Since the trade, Anthony and the Knicks have not enjoyed as much postseason success as they would have liked. The Knicks have lost in the first round twice. Last year, the Knicks won their first division title in 19 years, but lost to Indiana in the second round of the playoffs.
The success of this year’s Knicks team could play a big part in Anthony deciding to re-sign with the Knicks. Because many teams in the Eastern Conference have improved, the Knicks may be in danger of dropping from the 2nd seed they secured last season.
The Knicks have a chance to compete for a title this year, but how they can compete in the future is also important to Anthony. In 2015 the contracts of Tyson Chandler, A’mare Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani expire. This would leave the Knicks with enough cap space so that they could pair a second star with Anthony. The opportunity to build a team around himself could be enticing to Anthony, but that is two seasons away.
A lot can happen between now and next summer. Anthony could decide the Knicks have reached their peak. Will Anthony conclude he has a better chance to compete for a title elsewhere? Perhaps Anthony chooses to play with Kobe Bryant before Bryant retires.
Anthony says there is nothing to worry about. He probably will re-sign with the Knicks next summer, but until he does, nothing is official.