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Rumor: Carmelo Anthony recruiting Rajon Rondo to come to New York in 2015

Dec 6, 2013, 1:45 PM EDT

New York Knicks v Boston Celtics - Game Two Getty Images

The USA Today has a fantastic feature speaking to Rajon Rondo’s high school coach, Steve Smith (not the player Steve Smith, different guy). It’s well done, you can learn about Rondo as a young player.

Then came this interesting tidbit when Smith was asked if he thought Rondo could bounce all the way back from the ACL tear that ended his season last year and has sidelined him to start this one.

SS: No, I think he should be fine. He took a long time off and he’s rehabbed the right way. Whether he stays in Boston or not who knows. I know, talking to Melo , he’s recruiting Rajon to come to New York. Melo thinks he’ll come, too. You never know about that stuff though. I think either way, Rajon will be fine.

WHAT?!? Carmelo Anthony is already recruiting Rondo to the Knicks?

Let’s make a few comments here.

First, for Anthony to be recruiting guys to New York would mean he plans to stay in New York. That has always been the most likely outcome and was probably the plan this summer when any recruiting was going on — how he feels now that this season is underway is up for debate.

Second, the Knicks should have cap space in 2015 (unless they blow it before then, this is a James Dolan team) and Rondo would be an interesting fit with Carmelo.

Third, if they think Rondo could bolt does Boston have to become more serious about trading him?

Fourth, this kind of thing goes on all the time — players try to talk their buddies and guys they think would fit to coming over to their team. Well, not Derrick Rose but other guys do it. Miami started as a conversation between the players — but in that case it took Pat Riley having the genius to clear out the cap space and the cajones to recruit LeBron James and Chris Bosh. Would Rondo trust New York management the same way?

Fifth is this, via our friend Howard Beck of Bleacher Report:

Finally, the buzz is the Knicks really want to go after Kevin Love in 2015. Just like everyone else.

We’ll see how it plays out. But it looks like ‘Melo is on the recruiting trail for the Knicks.

  1. csbanter - Dec 6, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    Knicks are going to make a big mistake if they re-up with Melo. James Dolan doesn’t operate like other owners that take the input of its star player seriously. Sure Dolan may listen to Melo for this season because he needs to keep him for the sake of selling tickets. Once Melo is signed he will be required to drink the blue and orange kool-aid of every other Knick.

  2. zickhead - Dec 6, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    I don’t think Rajon is gonna want to play with Melo, any not sure anybody wants to.

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 6, 2013 at 2:21 PM

      zickhead, who wants to plsy with Rondo?

      • deavn - Dec 6, 2013 at 5:40 PM


      • fanofevilempire - Dec 6, 2013 at 6:05 PM

        deavn, can’t you comprehend, nobody wants to play with Rondo!

      • sportsfan18 - Dec 6, 2013 at 7:02 PM

        Evidently Melo does!

    • mickeyxmoody - Dec 6, 2013 at 2:28 PM

      pass first PG + shoot first PF.
      it could work.

    • cruzan80 - Dec 6, 2013 at 2:31 PM

      And you base that off what? What example do we have of a star player who had an option to get paid & play with Melo but choose elsewhere……?

  3. azarkhan - Dec 6, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    Anthony only takes 24% of the Knicks shots now. Obviously he needs a point guard who can get him the ball more.

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 6, 2013 at 2:23 PM

      azarkhan the rubbishcan, don’t be a zick head!

      • deavn - Dec 6, 2013 at 5:41 PM

        go away.

      • sportsfan18 - Dec 6, 2013 at 7:10 PM

        hey pretend evil

        last yr MeHog/MeBrick actually took MORE than 25% of the Knicks shots in the games he played. He averaged over 27% of their shots in the games he played last season.

        AND he since he only played in 67 of the 82 games, he only took 22.26 of the teams entire season total.

  4. jolink653 - Dec 6, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Both Chandler and Amare come off the books in 2015, so if the Knicks want to go all in then and make a play for both Love and Rondo, they could theoretically make it happen if they get creative with their cap space. Maybe Melo would be willing to take a little less to leave some room for the other two offers. I’m sure that wont happen though, because Dolan is a disgrace as an owner and us Knicks fans aren’t allowed to be happy

    • Kevin S. - Dec 6, 2013 at 6:26 PM

      If the Knicks were somehow able to completely clear their 2015 books except for Melo on a max extension, assuming a $65 million cap, they’d be under $600,000 short of having max room for Rondo and Love when accounting for the empty roster cap holds. That’s workable. The problem is the Knicks are due to have JR Smith’s $6.4 million player option, Ray Felton’s $4 million player option, Pablo Prigioni’s $290,000 partial guarantee, Tim Hardaway Jr’s $1.3 million team option that they’ll have to pick up this summer and the cap hold for their first-round pick on the books that summer as well. Anything they can’t move eats into what they can offer Love and Rondo. Prigioni probably doesn’t matter – just waive him. Hardaway could be given away if necessary. Some team would probably be willing to rent their cap space by taking Felton off the Knicks’ hands if they throw in their pick (this couldn’t be formalized until after the draft). And then I guess you waive JR Smith and stretch his cap hit over three seasons. Basically, Rondo and Love would have to be willing to take $3 million less per season between the two of them to join a team that would have Melo, whatever the Knicks could get for the Room Mid-Level Exception and minimum-salaried players. When Bosh, LeBron and Wade took less money, they were still able to get six years and Bird-level raises because of sign-and-trades, but that can’t happen anymore, and they were able to leave enough money to sign Haslem and Miller. Knicks couldn’t bring in anybody nearly as talented to supplement their big three without Rondo and/or Love making serious salary concessions. It’s possible the Knicks land all three, but it strikes me as exceedingly unlikely.

  5. legend30 - Dec 6, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    Knicks are going to end up signing Melo with a max-contract. In 2015, they’ll sign Arron Afflalo to a 4-year $48 million contract. And the icing on the cake they’ll sign DeAndre Jordan to a 4-year $60 million contract. The Knicks big three in 2015: Carmelo, Afflalo, and Jordan.

    • sportsfan18 - Dec 7, 2013 at 1:50 PM

      that would total about $52.8 million for just those 3 players. I know it’s a season and a half a way but that is a LARGE part of a teams salary cap.

      for reference, LeBron, D Wade and Bosh combined earned “only” $43.2 million in their first yr together.

      2nd yr combined they earned about $47.7 million

      last yr combined they earned $52.5 million

      this season combined they are earning about $56.7 million

      D Wade made slightly less than both LeBron and Bosh each of these seasons. Bosh has made the same amount each season with the Heat that LeBron has.

      Would Melo take slightly LESS than TWO other stars to join up with him?

      Knicks were screwed the moment they first traded for Melo and they will be until they rid themselves of him.

  6. ryanrockzzz - Dec 6, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    As a Sixers fan I would love for the Knicks to waste money pairing up Melo’ with Rondo. Please, yes, and where to I sign. Rondo can just pass Anthony the ball on every play and let him shoot. And on the plays where Anthony is too tired to shoot, Rondo can shoot and miss.

  7. myakno - Dec 6, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    Man, melo needs a player/team that can boss him around. He needs like a “gangster” player to control him. If every possession is melo launching, then the Knicks wont get very far. Infact, will never make the finals that way. So melo would fit good on the memphis grizzlies, since Conley, allen, and z-bow will have more control on the court, and the team would be much more persistent on the offensive and defensive side. Detroit is another team that can have control of him. He needs like a ben Wallace or a garnet to make him play team ball. Either the knicks coach steps up and changes the offense of the knicks and includes everyone in the offensive side, or have melo play with a “older” leader.

  8. themagicfanguy - Dec 6, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    Interesting fit? One of the best ball handlers in the league joining forces with two of the biggest ball hogs in the league? I guess that would be interesting.

    I like Rondo, but could you imagine a locker room with him, Melo, and JR? YUCK.

  9. jammer73 - Dec 6, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    That’s all New York needs is another punk to add to the roster.

  10. sportsfan18 - Dec 6, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    Why would the Knicks want Rondo if they still have Melo?

    Melo is only the 201st ranked player in the NBA all time right now in career true shooting percentage (you know, 2 pt shots, 3 pt shots and free throws). Durant is 25th as a frame of reference. Kobe is 131st right now.

    J.R. Smith was in the top 250 when the season began but he’s been stinking it up so he dropped off of basketball reference dot com’s list of the top 250 all time true shooting percentage leaders.

    However, J.R.’s career true shooting percentage is .538%.

    Rondo’s is only .514%

    So Melo is an inefficient volume scorer. J.R. is too. Even if J.R. leaves, Rondo is worse as a shooter overall.

    The Knicks only get so many shots a game. Last season they averaged 81.6 shots a game and Melo took 22.2 of them. J.R. took over 15 a game.

    Thankfully Rondo has only averaged a bit under 10 shots a game (he did have Pierce, KG and Ray Allen with him for yrs so he shouldn’t have been shooting and that’s how he got a lot of his assists too).

    The Knicks need a Kyle Korver type of player/shooter, not another guy who is a poor shooter overall.

    Melo and J.R. last yr took 45% of the Knicks shots per game and that’s not a good recipe for any team.

  11. brento1499 - Dec 6, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    NY would be making a huge mistake by building their team of the future around carmelo rather than amare. amare is a more effective as well as efficient player when he’s on the court. just compare their respective PER’s if you don’t believe me

    • mrcbx02 - Dec 7, 2013 at 10:51 AM

      You are either a retard or just plain stupid. Ethier way I’m certain you have not watched a Knick game in 2 seasons if you think they can build something around Amare. He’s washed up. Cant play for more than 12 minutes a night without season ending injuries. Melo is a better scorer, passer, rebounder and defender. I don’t get why people comment on issues they know absolutely nothing about.

      • sportsfan18 - Dec 7, 2013 at 2:02 PM

        mrcbx02, you’re only half right and as YOU said, please don’t comment on issues you know absolutely nothing about.

        first, the part you were right about. Amare’s knees are shot and he can’t play very long. even though he plays well when he’s out there, he can’t be one to lead or build a team around due to his physical ailments.

        as for Melo rebounding better than him? well for the last two seasons (as you mentioned watching a Knicks game during the last two seasons) Amare has out rebounded Melo per 36 min’s of court time.

        yes, amare doesn’t play long but the stat per 36 min’s of court time is great to compare all players in all areas as it equals up the stats for those who play 38 min’s a night to those who play 12 min’s a night.

        2 seasons ago
        Amare 8.6 boards per 36 min’s of court time
        Melo 6.6 boards per 36 min’s of court time

        last season
        Amare 7.7 boards per 36 min’s of court time
        Melo 6.7 boards per 36 min’s of court time

        And for the time Amare is on the court, he is FAR more efficient than Melo.

        Amare’s true shooting percentage dwarfs Melo’s, both in the past 2 seasons and for their careers.

        Amare’s career true shooting percentage is .596% and Melo’s is .545%.

        Amare is currently tied for 19th place ALL TIME on the list of true shooting percentage leaders.

        Melo is currently in 201st place on this same list.

        Amare’s career PER is 22.1 and his PER for last season was 22.1

        Melo’s career PER is the same as Chris Bosh’s, they are both at 20.8

        But again, Amare’s knees mean no team may build around him. he simply can’t play enough to come close to warranting his salary, but that was the Knicks fault.

  12. xli2006 - Dec 6, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    Make sure you keep us posted on the 2015 Knicks considering its still 2013.

    Since the 2013 Knicks have already used up a years worth of coverage/articles/”updates” just 2 months into the season might as well carry that over to other years too.

    Report: Melo opting out.

    Report: Melo not happy with Woodson.

    Report: Melo wants Kevin Love.

    Report: Melo staying and now recruiting Rondo.

    Here’s a “report” for you: Knicks are 5-13 and not built to make much noise in a watered down East.

    Why does a team 8 games under .500 take up about 1/4 of the entire articles you write??? (See: PBT’s coverage of the 2012-13 Lakers).

  13. jimeejohnson - Dec 7, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    Note to Melo: don’t try and use the local clam chowder as a selling point. It doesn’t hold a candle to the chowdah in Bahstin!

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