Knicks color commentator/former great Walt Frazier openly wondered whether Carmelo Anthony would request a trade from the Knicks.
Here’s another point of view.
Arron Afflalo has worked out with Carmelo Anthony in Las Vegas and New York, and he believes the Knicks superstar is optimistic about the upcoming season.
“From our conversations, yeah,” Afflalo said Wednesday at a Knicks basketball camp. “I don’t like speaking for somebody. But from our conversations and the way he’s working in the gym, I would say so.
“He’s very committed. He seems very, very, very hungry to succeed. And we’ll see. It’ll be here shortly.”
I think Frazier is thinking a step ahead of Afflalo, who is probably correct in his own right.
It’s not difficult to see Melo – 31, overcoming injury issues, highly paid – no longer fitting with the rebuilding Knicks. But it’d also be a leap for Melo to give up at this point.
The Knicks – with Robin Lopez, Arron Afflalo, Kyle O’Quinn, Kevin Seraphin, Derrick Williams, Kristaps Porzingis and Jerian Grant – should be better than last season. There are reasons for Melo to be optimistic.
But the current bar is 17 wins. Melo’s expectations could very well rise more quickly than the Knicks can keep up. If that happens, I doubt Afflalo – or any teammate – will be the first person Melo tells about his change of heart.
Afflalo surely knows Melo well after playing together with the Nuggets, and I trust Afflalo to read Melo’s emotions. Whether Afflalo would accurately relay them to the public if they were negative is another story. Either way, if Melo loses faith in the Knicks, I doubt Afflalo breaks the news.
It remains perfectly reasonable to analyze the Knicks’ and Melo’s projected arcs and realize they might not overlap for long. But if Melo is this excited about the upcoming season, that makes it more likely he and the Knicks remain on the same page.