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Former teammate believes Carmelo Anthony will leave Knicks as free agent

Jan 2, 2014, 10:13 AM EDT

New York Knicks v Miami Heat Getty Images

Carmelo Anthony is expected to opt out of the final year of a contract that would pay him more than $23 million next season, in order to secure a long-term deal at or near the max that would further secure his financial future.

The question, of course, is whether or not that next deal will be with the Knicks.

Speculation will continue right up until the moment Anthony makes his free agent decision once the season is finished, and with the Knicks struggling mightily, it’s only natural that the rumors of his wanting to leave will begin to gain some steam.

Cue the anonymous former teammate of Anthony’s, via Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:

Carmelo Anthony’s former teammate needed just a few seconds to ponder the question and deliver a definitive answer.

“I think he’s leaving. I’ve played with Melo for a long time and he knows he can’t win here. At this stage, all he wants to do is win. That’s why he’ll leave.” …

Anthony’s former teammate, who requested anonymity, echoed the thoughts of several people close to Anthony who believe he’s ready to leave. Still, the Knicks have the ace in the hole; they can offer Anthony approximately $30 million more than any other team under the rules of the collective bargaining agreement. Money still talks in the NBA, and it’s hard to believe Anthony will walk away from a lucrative contract.

It’s not important who said this, but if it matters in terms of how much credence you put into the quote, my guess would be Marcus Camby, who played with Anthony as a member of both the Nuggets and the Knicks and would thus have a relationship with a New York reporter.

It has been a terribly rough year for the Knicks, but so much can happen between now and the end of the season that it’s hard to believe even Anthony himself has made a decision on his future. And after pushing so hard to get to New York in the first place, it would be tough to see him bailing just three and a half seasons in.

Whatever decision is made, the contract piece likely won’t weigh too heavily into it. Anthony will have an estimated $135 million in career earnings (not including endorsements) once this season is finished, so like Dwight Howard last summer, one more year on a deal to stay somewhere he doesn’t want to be — even for $30 million — won’t be worth it when he considers his long-term happiness.

  1. thekingdave - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:27 AM

    So did Chauncey Billups…but way to throw Camby’s name out there and slander him. Real professional.

    • tegan3 - Jan 2, 2014 at 3:17 PM

      So did Kenyon Martin and JR Smith.

  2. jobotjones - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    This whole anonymous source stuff is getting old.

    If you aren’t comfortable with allowing the media to run your name after the quote, then don’t say anything.

  3. hwatt - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    Hey he can come to Chicag-NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

  4. aboogy123456 - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:02 PM

    Whoa I never thought that Carmelo would ever consider leaving NY, after what he did to get there, but now it’s looking like a possibility. Carmelo wants to win now, and until the knicks get away from Amare’s contract it will be very difficult. Maybe I’m just excited because I’m a laker fan and would love to see him in purple and gold.

    • adoombray - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:50 PM

      there will be a report posted later from Camby or whoever refuting it. With anonymous sources, you never really know when the reporter is just trying to get pageviews/clicks.

    • mickeylolich1968 - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:00 PM

      I’m a Celtics fan and I would love to see Carmelo in purple and gold!
      Carmelo is world class talent, no doubt.

      However, I suspect there is something lacking in his heart which will prevent his becoming a big part of a championship team.
      Magic, Kareem, Worthy, Cooper all had it. Dr. J and Moses had it. Bird, Robert Parish, and Dennis Johnson had it.
      Bill Lambier and Joe Dumars had it. Whatever “it” is. Carmelo does not have it.

      On the other hand, it is easy to go on line and accuse a world class talent of having no soul. Plenty of great players did not win a championship until they landed in the right place at the right time.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 2, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      I think the knickerbockers should trade him at the trade deadline and dismantle this
      team in trades with playoff contenders and acquire as many draft picks as possible.
      This team is not going anywhere fast.
      I wonder if a Melo/ Gasol trade would work, Lakers can give Melo an extention and pair him up with Kobe and the Knicks can either cut Gasol and take the salary/ tax benefit or let him walk
      in free agency.

      • adoombray - Jan 2, 2014 at 3:53 PM

        From who exactly? the other half of the eastern conference tanking? the bottom half of the western conference? stop parroting this “stockpile draft pick” thing that everyone seems so obsessed with. it doesn’t work when everyone else is doing the same thing and its a weighted lottery that guarantees you nothing. Make no mistake, guys aren’t lining up to play for James Dolan and maybe New Yorkers should start just being happy that their team regularly makes the playoffs.

    • antistratfordian - Jan 2, 2014 at 4:02 PM

      …only a Lakers fan.

      • aboogy123456 - Jan 2, 2014 at 6:35 PM

        only a lakers fan what?

      • antistratfordian - Jan 2, 2014 at 7:13 PM

        “Maybe I’m just excited because I’m a laker fan…”

        Lakers fans get excited about the oddest things… Ramon Sessions, 40% shooters, inefficient players, Mike D’Antoni…

      • aboogy123456 - Jan 2, 2014 at 7:43 PM

        Yea I’m sure lakers fans were just as excited about Mike D’antoni and Ramon Sessions as they would be about someone like Melo potentially coming there. If you’re gonna hate laker fans, at least make some sense.

      • antistratfordian - Jan 2, 2014 at 7:54 PM

        Heh. What’s the difference? Melo and Kobe together would potentially be more of a disaster – and then when Kobe retires you’re left to build around Melo which is also an undesirable position to be in.

        So, you shouldn’t be excited about any of those things – but Lakers fans were super excited about all of them.

      • 00maltliquor - Jan 2, 2014 at 8:17 PM

        Hey, that Sessions trade was nice! Wish we still had him. Especially now. He’s a damn good backup.

  5. watdoiknow - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    That would be great! The Knicks and Carmelo both deserve this. The Knicks for making such a horrible trade/decision to acquire him, and Carmelo is getting all the karma he deserves by forcing a trade to the knicks. Be careful what you wish for.
    Just goes to show that the grass isn’t always greener, even it the “basketball mecca”. Which begs another question.. how in the H is NY considered the mecca of basketball??? What a joke.

  6. reastnt - Jan 2, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    “At this stage, all he wants to do is win.” – It’s too bad this is such an accepted statement these days. Winning should be their sole focus at every stage of their careers.

    • jcmeyer10 - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:00 PM

      NBA has become:
      1) Make money
      2) Win if possible

      • bougin89 - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:17 PM

        Unfortunately pro sports has been that way for quite a while now.

      • Big Ant TV - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:36 PM

        u hit the nail str8 on this is why i dnt aupport the nba anymore and the nfl is becomiing this way too

      • aboogy123456 - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:44 PM

        When sports becomes your job and the means to provide for your family, then money should be more important than winning.

        it’s not like it’s so honorable to piggyback on good teams just to make winning easy.

      • jcmeyer10 - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:50 PM

        Aboogy. Good point, let me clarify. Carmelo forced a terrible trade just so he could get an extra year and more money. It’s not chump change but it’s close to the absurdity of the Latrell “I gotta feed my family” Sprewell territory.

        I never said the way folks won was honorable either. I am just saying, Bird Rights and how much extra can I get on a max deal has replaced, how many rings can I win.

      • fanofevilempire - Jan 2, 2014 at 3:21 PM

        jcmeyer10,that’s sports in 2014

      • antistratfordian - Jan 2, 2014 at 4:05 PM

        “has become”? When was the last time it wasn’t like that? 1946?

    • sportsfan18 - Jan 2, 2014 at 4:37 PM

      Melo WANTS to win but he does NOT want to do what it takes.

      I’m not a Kobe fan, but he works hard and has always worked hard and he played D when he was younger.

      MJ worked hard, improved his game as the yrs went by and he too played D.

      LBJ works hard on his game, it’s improved in many areas over the years and is reflected in his stats and he plays D too.

      Melo? He’s consistent alright. His D is as poor now as it was when he came into the league.

      Most of Melo’s stats are pretty consistent, a PER of 22 at 22 yrs old and a bit above 24 last year.

      When looking at the other three above, you see many different parts of their game and stats make bigger leaps and they remain consistent.

      Melo DID improve his 3 pt shooting later in his career from his 21, 22, 23 yr old seasons… BUT, his 2 pt FG% dropped A LOT from those earlier seasons to now.

      So with Melo, he improved something but let something else go backwards.

      Yeah, Melo WANTS to win.

      I WANT to win the lottery too.

      • cruzan80 - Jan 2, 2014 at 5:30 PM

        Oh God……& I WANT you to just admit that Melo did your ex-girlfriend.

      • sportsfan18 - Jan 2, 2014 at 5:52 PM

        he couldn’t have, cause you’re on his nuts all the time


  7. mrclutch973 - Jan 2, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    @thekingdave how exactly is this slander? He’s taking a guess (a good one at that) at who could have made the quotes. It was quoted from an author of a popular NY newspaper. Billups played in NY for half a season. Camby had played in NY a lot longer so he has ties to some of the beat writers. Also Billups is in Detroit… How does that make sense? Maybe if they were in town playing the Knicks. Maybe. But no. So chill

  8. edwardemanuelson - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    “Put’cha name on it son!”

  9. aht66 - Jan 2, 2014 at 3:51 PM

    So does JR Smith who’s brother just got waived and might be looking to stir the pot.

  10. 00maltliquor - Jan 2, 2014 at 8:24 PM

    “I think he’s leaving. I’ve played with Melo for a long time and he knows he can’t win here.

    Can’t win HERE.

    This leads me to believe that this is not a former teammate but a current teammate or former teammate that still lives in NY.

  11. 00maltliquor - Jan 2, 2014 at 8:30 PM

    I honestly believed Melo would not leave NY. That’s his town. He did so much to get there.

    But with the way things are shaking out in NY and the future not looking so bright and management/ownership looking like they may never have the answers…….HE GONE!

    Na but for real though, why do I feel like the Lakers are going to be strong in the running? Older player trying to win now. Kobe, much older, needs to win now….

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