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Report: Carmelo Anthony wants to stay a Knick, but if he leaves likes Bulls, Lakers, Clippers

Jan 2, 2014, 4:26 PM EDT

carmelo Antnony Getty Images

I still think come the start of next season Carmelo Anthony will slip on New York Knicks warm-ups before he takes the court pregame. When presented with all his options, he will stay in New York and trust management to build a team around him.

Still, there is louder and louder talk he is looking to bolt this summer because Anthony wants to win a title and doesn’t see a path to that in New York. Plus he has seen the organization and fans turn on Stephon Marbury and doesn’t want to walk in those shoes.

Which led to this interesting note from Marc Berman of the New York Post.

Anthony wants to play for a winner, but desperately wants to play in a big market because of his business ventures — his Jordan Brand sneaker line, his PowerCoco energy drink, his watch deal.

That is why New York, Los Angeles, where he has a home, and even Chicago are on his short list, according to a source. The source said the Clippers — with buddy Chris Paul — are more attractive than the Lakers, though the purple-and-gold have cap space and the Clips don’t.

Let’s run through those three teams one-by-one.

Los Angeles Clippers: L.A. wants to bring in Carmelo Anthony so he can take the ball out of Chris Paul’s hands? Does Doc Rivers think the Clippers need to run more isolation sets? Does Doc think Anthony will provide the defensive consistency along the front like the Clippers need? No, no and no. The only reason has any chance of happening is Chris Paul and Anthony are good friends and CP3 could push for it — and he’s gotten whatever he pushed for in recent years (especially before he signed his new deal last summer). However Anthony is better at the four than the three and the Clippers are set at the four — Blake Griffin is much younger, puts up numbers and more importantly is the heart of the Clippers marketing efforts. They are not moving Griffin, he’s worth far too much to them. Yes, you could play Anthony at the three but to make a trade that works financially without Griffin you end up gutting what depth the Clippers have. Los Angeles needs to make moves with this roster, but Anthony is just not the kind of help they need.

Los Angeles Lakers: They have the cap space to go get him with just a minor roster move (or Steve Nash retiring), and this would certainly signal the Lakers were done with Mike D’Antoni because nobody wants to see a sequel to that movie. (Which is why some Lakers fans may want this to happen.) An Anthony/Kobe Bryant team would sell a whole lot of tickets but how many games would it really win? There are instant defensive questions when you play Bryant and Anthony together, plus the rest of the roster would have to be assembled on the cheap with those two huge contracts — Anthony and Kobe couldn’t lift that kind roster past the second round (if even that far). Finally, the Lakers are looking for the future face of the franchise post Kobe and ‘Melo turns 30 this May. Is he the future?

Chicago Bulls: If this happens, please let me be in the room when Gar Forman tells Tom Thibodeau he replaced his beloved, versatile, hard defending Luol Deng with Anthony. I’d expect Thibodeau to go “Scanners.” The Bulls are looking for another shot creator to pair with Derrick Rose but I’m not sure Anthony fits the mold of guys they are looking for.

  1. saint1997 - Jan 2, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    I don’t like the implications in this article. I mean we all know Kurt doesn’t like Melo and the Knicks, but even though you’re a blogger you can keep some balance. Melo’s defence has improved in the last couple of years and he does work hard, he’s just genuinely not that defensively talented or athletic. As for the isolation sets, last year Melo led the league in scoring with his lowest % of iso sets – he doesn’t need them, he does it when the offense sucks

  2. Gordon - Jan 2, 2014 at 4:55 PM

    When you select your team based solely on non-basketball reasons, this is what you get.

    Having said that, the Bulls situation would be best. He’d be replacing Boozer, who has been their no-defense Power Forward the last few years.

    • philtration - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:54 PM

      You are correct.
      Why would he be taking Deng’s role?
      Boozer sucks on defense and can’t score like Anthony so I would be more than happy to see them make that change.

    • maracineanu16 - Jan 3, 2014 at 2:16 AM

      You’re right – from those three teams this trade makes sense only for the Bulls – by replacing Booz’ and not Lu”

  3. RavenzGunnerz - Jan 2, 2014 at 5:05 PM

    Thibs and Anthony? Talk about opposite poles…

    Thibs doesn’t mind winning a game at 65-64 Final score.
    Anthony does not play the D that will ensure such a score.

    No way, no how. Bottom line, this guy is just a bench player. Who will come in to keep the lead or to keep the score close. Not championship material.

    • asimonetti88 - Jan 2, 2014 at 6:03 PM

      Melo’s reputation has understandably taken a hit the last few years, but he is not a “bench guy”. He can still score with the best of them. He may not be efficient, and he may not be a championship player as you say, but he is not a bench player.

      • genericcommenter - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:46 PM

        I was surprised when I looked it up, but he’s top 50 All-Time in PER, and #7, #4 the past 2 seasons. So he’s even pretty efficient. He’s a good starting player.

    • money2long - Jan 2, 2014 at 8:37 PM

      no matter how much anyone may dislike carmelo, and we know there are those that do, how can anyone thumb up someone who just said he is bench player material ? i just don’t get that. im just disappointed that there are basketball people who believe this. im stupefied.

  4. chargerdillon - Jan 2, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    The Bulls play great defense, Melo would be a perfect fit because he compliments the team with what they don’t do which is score points.

    As a Lakers fan I really hope he goes anywhere but the Lakers.

    I’ll take the bunch of nobodys the Lakers currently have over a Has-been-who-never-will-be

    • 00maltliquor - Jan 3, 2014 at 12:08 AM


  5. antistratfordian - Jan 2, 2014 at 5:54 PM

    A Cp3, Melo, Griffin combo should be a dream come true for Doc Rivers. Forget about depth – having a genuine “Big 3” is more important than depth. They can worry about depth later. And a defensive coach like Rivers or Thibs probably wouldn’t be so concerned about Melo’s defensive reputation – both of them are bound to think they can turn anyone into a solid defender – or that they can still create a good defense even with defensive liabilities in the lineup – like they did with Ray Allen, or like Thibs did with Rose. Or, at the very least, that they should try when it comes to incorporating that much firepower.

    And when you join a team with a player like CP3 you do so with the understanding that he runs the show. So I doubt you will be seeing much ball-stopping iso from Melo if he joined the Clippers. Or, at least, a gradual reduction over time as they learned how to win with eachother. But the primary motivation for Melo’s regular isolations in New York wouldn’t be as influential on the Clippers. You just can’t play that way for long when you’re alongside guys like CP3 and Griffin – powerful checks and balances. Anthony would get plenty of good looks with less effort playing with Chris Paul and Griffin anyway – he can get his Team USA game on.

    And while Anthony is better at the four for the Knicks, that doesn’t mean he’d be better there for every team. Plus, there is really no need to make the distinction between four and three anymore with certain players – and that’s even more so with Melo on the Clippers if Griffin keeps taking and making jumpers. There are no rules regarding this if you have versatile players. You can do whatever you want as long as it works.

    • therealhtj - Jan 2, 2014 at 6:04 PM

      Still requires a sign-n-trade, likely centered around Jordan. Trade Jordan, Reddick, and some other Jetsam-Flotsam to overpay Melo by 30%? I don’t think you can build a team like that. Not saying they wouldn’t be a potential powerhouse, just saying the realities of the cap won’t let you field a big three that has you in the luxury tax before you even field 1 other player.

      It worked in Miami because they were willing to give up a couple of bucks. CP3 took a full max extension, as did Griffin. Melo is NOT looking to give anyone a break and Donald Sterling ain’t paying him the supermax contract he’s looking for again.

      Only way any of these teams should take him on is at a discount – around 20mil/yr for 4 years sounds fair. The only one willing to pay his overinflated salary is the Knicks which is why he likely stays there.

    • money2long - Jan 2, 2014 at 8:39 PM

      congrats. you just made sense.

      • 00maltliquor - Jan 3, 2014 at 12:17 AM

        He does from time to time. It’s actually amazing considering the other 80% of his post seem to be a big joke. But I’ll give it to him, when he’s on, he’s on.

  6. bhunter1995 - Jan 2, 2014 at 6:10 PM

    If Melo wants championships, he needs to play with a player who is dominant in the low post on offense. In the same way that Kobe had Shaq, and then Pau, and Bynum. There aren’t many teams who can offer that, he should consider the Kings, or the Timberwolves. He would never play for a small market team though and that is why he won’t win a championship until he is on his way out, where he might get a job as a scoring bench player.

    He will always be an on ball dominant wing player, he needs a guy who can get you 20 a night on the block so that he can dump it inside. Other wing players on his team will always suffer statistically he is the second best isolation player in the NBA but you don’t win chips with hero ball you need a second option on the block for those possessions where Melo can’t do it alone, and don’t tell me Amare counts as a low post presence, he has always been a faceup big man who was doing the Blake Griffin routine before Blake was in the NBA.

    • aboogy123456 - Jan 2, 2014 at 6:38 PM

      I feel like Melo would be great as the power forward on a team, and could play inside very well. He played a lot off the ball when he was on Team USA and he was very efficient and successful. I guess what I mean is that I think he will thrive with any of these teams.

      • somekat - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:50 AM

        It’s easier to play the 4 when you have the best 1, 2, and 3 in the world on the floor with you, being guarded by 3 random guys from Panama, than it is when you are in the NBA.

        He would score at will at the 4, but he scores at will now. He would get abused in the paint defensively, which would only cause him to give even less effort on defense than he does now

  7. k1211 - Jan 2, 2014 at 6:42 PM

    Why does a Loser want to play for a Winner, I wouldn’t want this guy on my team if he played for the league minimum, there is a reason he has been the face of all the teams he played on they all were mediocre or crappy for the most part

  8. alfiemonstaa - Jan 2, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    If he’s smart. He’ll partner with someone to go to the mavericks where dirk will be on a cheaper contract and where they have cap space!

    • somekat - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:52 AM

      if he’s “smart”, he’ll go to a team built around a past his prime superstar, that would be awful defensively? I think you and I may have different definitions of the word “smart”

  9. thomaskouns - Jan 2, 2014 at 7:01 PM

    The Lakers thought every free agent would flock to them.

    Carmelo put the Lakers on that list because he had to but why would he leave his current non-playoff team to go play with 36 year old injury plagued Kobe (who will likely rip him in the media) and nobody else who can’t make the playoffs either this year or last.

    Lakers days of getting top-tier free agents aren’t what they used to be.

    • money2long - Jan 2, 2014 at 8:42 PM

      you do realize every team in any sport has up and down times. i find it odd that because people see LAL as having a hard last couple seasons that they will never experience winning for infinity. shaking my head…

      • dred1889 - Jan 2, 2014 at 9:19 PM

        He probably wasn’t watching when the Lakers had Smush Parker and Chris Mihm starting

    • money2long - Jan 4, 2014 at 12:31 PM


    • danfrommv - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:35 PM

      LAL still have the “LA” draw, but the FA looking for championships won’t look there over the next several years, and the CBA really prevents rich teams from outbidding poor ones (as it was designed to do). The LAL will have a down decade, and then maybe they can rebuild and become a contender again

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

    No – No!!! Melo stay away from the Clippers…

    • cruzan80 - Jan 2, 2014 at 9:12 PM

      The one major problem the Clippers have is that fact that there isn’t anyone on that team who can score consistently in the half court….so of course they shouldn’t go after arguably the best scorer in the entire league.

  11. sportsfan18 - Jan 2, 2014 at 8:33 PM

    If Melo doesn’t sign for that $30 extra million, La La will demand 50% of their assets in divorce PLUS the $30 million her soon to be ex-hubby gave away, plus interest, plus emotional pain and suffering he caused her by signing elsewhere for $30 million less!

    Then Melo will make a crack about feedin his family and La La will interrupt him and say no no Melo, your family will be with me and your money so you don’t need to feed anyone.

    Judge, did you hear that? He’s making a crack about needing and spending MORE money, talking about feeding folks who won’t be living with.

    See WHY you have to give me the money?

    (yes judge, that’s your share. ssh)

  12. chiraider - Jan 2, 2014 at 8:36 PM

    I’d welcome Melo here in Chicago with open arms. He would be a perfect fit. We already have a “beloved, versatile, hard defender” in Jimmy Butler. There is plenty of defense even without Luol, what we desperately need (and have needed for years), is a guy that can create his own shot and put up 20+ pts a game to open things up. Couple that with Mirotic coming over from Europe and that could mean a future lineup of Melo, Mirotic, Rose, Butler, and Noah….but I can’t get my hopes up. Bulls mgmt always consistently disappoints and can never seem to reel in a player of Melo’s caliber.

    • money2long - Jan 2, 2014 at 8:50 PM

      this makes more sense than what kurt wrote. no offense.

  13. genericcommenter - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:54 PM

    Last season he led the NBA in scoring per game and was 4th in PER. He gets to the line a lot and shoots fairly well there. Decent rebounder. He has weaknesses but also elite strengths. People act like the dude is just some volume shooter who doesn’t do anything.

    • jimeejohnson - Jan 3, 2014 at 2:30 PM

      People you refer to = pea brain haters

  14. 00maltliquor - Jan 3, 2014 at 12:02 AM

    Of all those teams mentioned, Chi Town seems the best fit. But only because they need another scorer in the worst kind of way. The rest of the roster can pick up the defensive slack.

    Clippers makes zero sense unless all you want to do is sell tickets. And the Lakers…gracias, pero no gracias.

  15. marcusfitzhugh - Jan 3, 2014 at 2:21 AM

    So many Melo haters (except the guy who said “bench player, he’s on the pipe), yet everyone wants Melo on their club. Chicago, Lakers, Clips, Mavericks, Kings, Twolves, Heat….. Newsflash Melo LIKES NY. There’s a reason it’s called THE CITY. On top of that, there’s the $30M he’d have to agree to walk away from. Melo’s not leaving $30M, so it’s sign and trade AT BEST.

    Now, who wants to gut their club and get up close and personal with CAPPED OUT? Oh wait, that’s right, as soon as team-X guts their club, they’ve lost Melo’s attention. Why? Who wants to play for a loser in West Bum rather than NY? PLUS the owner, Jimmy Dolan, LIKES MELO. Melo sells tickets, so whatever Melo wants, management and the owner tries to give him. Melo is represented by CCA, so CCA gets special treatment. JR Smith is represented by CCA. JR’s brother who got $490K to play a third of a season in D-League is represented by CCA. So is coach Mike Woodson (think he’s getting fired without Melo’s say so?), future GM Allan Houston, and director of player personnel Mark Warkentien. But if you really want to play that game, who are the suitors? Sactown? Aside from Melo not wanting to go to that cow town, what are they going to look like after they ship DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay, Isaiah Thomas, and whoever else it takes to even the salary swap? (Dolan would take Isaiah based on his name and to spite the fans) Sactown is 10-21 today. After the pillaging, they’ll go 20-62. T-Wolves? Send over Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio, that will equal out the salaries. Clips? Wave goodbye to CP3. You Clip fans do know that CP3 WANTS to play in NY, right? Yeah, that’s what it’s going to take to see Anthony play a home game in some other city. And the Lakers, please. What do they have to trade? Pau? LOL that ain’t happening, but hey, you can dream.

    “I came to New York for a reason,” Anthony adds. “I’ve been with you all my life, almost to a fault. I wanted to come here and take on the pressures of playing in New York. So one thing I would tell my fans: If you haven’t heard it from me, then it ain’t true.”
    – Carmelo Anthony

  16. nokoolaidcowboy - Jan 3, 2014 at 10:05 AM

    LA will be high on his list. He came to NY partly because they thought it would help Lala’s career. It hasn’t.

    • 00maltliquor - Jan 3, 2014 at 11:35 AM

      What you talking about, she has a reality show.

      • nokoolaidcowboy - Jan 3, 2014 at 12:52 PM

        You call that a career? A show? She wants to be an actress. That’s a long way around to Hollywood IMO.

      • 00maltliquor - Jan 3, 2014 at 3:37 PM

        Well, it’s a start. You gotta start somewhere.

  17. bkallday52 - Jan 3, 2014 at 10:53 PM

    say what you want about melo … but Doc Rivers will give up alot of players for melo in a trade. The nba is a star driven league. You would be foolish to think they wouldnt want to develop a big 3 of Paul Melo and Griffin . Melo could fit in on both teams. Bulls could use him bad because theyre offense stinks and they will not win a title or get to one with Loul Deng being their 3 man. Sorry . Hes good but theres a reason chicago doesnt want to extend his contract for his asking price. Chicago needs another elite offensive player which deng isnt

  18. lhollis74 - Jan 6, 2014 at 12:38 AM

    Cowboy, you are partially correct, they did believe it would help her career. And you’re wrong because it has actually helped her career, she was simply a radio personality pre-NY. She is now host of a spoof reality show(not real, means she’s acting). How is that not an improvement!? Secondly, don’t hate on Melo because he actually cares about his wife being successful in her ventures as well as his own and factoring that dynamic into his decisions.

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