DeMarre Carroll has bounced around a bit to begin his NBA career, now playing for his fifth team in his sixth professional season.
But he seems to have found a home with the Atlanta Hawks.
Carroll has started all but one game since joining the Hawks in advance of last season, and is a key member of a team that has over-achieved to win 60 games and will finish the year at the top of the Eastern Conference standings.
Atlanta would probably like to do what it can to keep Carroll in the fold, but he’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer, trying to get his first high-dollar, long-term deal secured. That means he won’t be ruling out any potential suitors at this early stage of things, which, of course, includes the New York Knicks.
“Most definitely,’’ Carroll said when asked if the Knicks would be a high consideration.“When guys talk about playing in certain places — they talk about Madison Square Garden and Staples Center. Those two places. New York has a lot to offer but at the end of the season, I’ll let my agent do that. We’ll keep our options and hopefully it will work out for the best.’’
This should not come across as shocking or controversial that Carroll would comment on a specific team or city in advance of free agency, while he’s still under contract with the Hawks. It isn’t breaking news that players covet the ability to play in large markets like New York or Los Angeles, or even smaller but more attractive ones like Miami.
The reality is that Carroll would have answered similarly if he was asked about Sacramento or Minnesota, which are among the league’s least desirable cities. As a free agent looking to maximize his earning potential, there isn’t a single option worth ruling out until the negotiations have begun in earnest.