The Knicks are last in the NBA’s worst division, and though Carmelo Anthony is certainly not the main culprit for his team’s poor early showing, his play has regressed significantly from last season.
He’s going to become a free agent this summer, but in the meantime, James Dolan’s Knicks are crashing an burning around him.
Time to worry about Melo?
Anthony, Aia Adam Zagoria of TheKnicksBlog:
“Nobody should be worried about me. I’m going to be fine,” Anthony told reporters Monday. “I’m not even thinking about contracts or BS like that. I’ll think about that in the offseason. Right now, my duty is to lead this team to win some basketball games, hopefully to win a championship. That’s my duty. Nobody should be worried about Carmelo Anthony.”
Don’t worry, Melo. I’m not worried about you.
Anthony will definitely be fine. He’s going to get a max contract this summer and choose which team gives it to him. Why would anyone worry about someone in that position?
Oh, right, Knicks management and fans.
I supposed they’re in a different boat. Whether professionally or personally, they have a vested interested in the Knicks succeeding. Conventional wisdom says they should fret about keeping Melo, but I don’t buy that.
Announcement: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $80,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Wednesday night’s games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $9,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Wednesday. Here’s the link.
Melo makes so much money, it’s difficult, under the NBA’s salary-cap rules, to put a championship team around him. That will become even more true with the raise he’ll get next summer. I’m just not convinced he’s good enough to justify the cap space his contract occupies.
Still, the Knicks would be better off keeping him. He’s an excellent player who will, at minimum, help most teams reach the playoffs (which says something about the stew brewing at Madison Square Garden).
It’s just that losing him wouldn’t be completely detrimental. Sure, the Knicks might have to rebuild – or overpay so-so players in a doomed attempt to stay competitive. But if they choose the former route, their upside is even higher than with Melo.
That’s why there’s no reason to worry about him.