It is way more fun to speculate about where Carmelo Anthony is going to land than to say he stays put. It’s far more fun to ride the “what did Anthony say today?” roller coaster.
However, the conventional wisdom is he stays a New York Knick.
Yes, he stands a better chance of winning a ring if he were to jump ship to whatever your fantasy destination is — Chicago, Miami, etc. However, if he wants to win that way next season he likely has to leave better than $7 million a year — north of $30 million guaranteed over the course of the deal — on the table. The Knicks can offer the max of nearly $22 million and no other contender is expected to be in that ballpark (most are in the $14 million range).
If you just said to yourself “he’s already made $135 million in salary alone he’d leave it” I would suggest you’ve never had to leave $30 million on the table before. It’s not that simple. Especially since this is likely his last max deal.
Knicks legend and broadcast color commentator Walt “Clyde” Frazier thinks Anthony stays put. That’s what he told The Big Lead (in an interview primarily focused on his fashion choices):
“I think he’s coming back. Where’s he going to go? People said Chicago. I don’t think that’s a good fit for him. They’re more of a team. They don’t want one guy dominating the scoring. I don’t think that’s a good fit for Melo. LA? You never know if he has aspirations for Hollywood. You never know with different players. Those would be the only two teams I’d think he’d consider. I think he’ll stay in New York.
“After 2015 (the Knicks) have a lot of money. Amar’e (Stoudemire) is off. (Andrea) Bargnani, I think, is off. (Anthony’s) a good businessman. People tell me that. The other thing is money. He’ll leave a lot of money on the table leaving New York. People say he has a lot of money but so does Bill Gates. Everybody still wants to make money. You can’t make enough money. To walk away from $20-30 million to leave New York to go someplace else? When he considers everything he’s going to stay with the Knicks.”
I think Frazier is right. You never know how things will ultimately shake out, but in the end I bet Anthony chooses the market he pushed hard to get to, I bet he chooses going down a Knicks legend rather than chasing a ring.
Plus, I bet he chooses the millions of dollars.