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Former GM: Carmelo Anthony leaving in free agency would be ‘doing Knicks a favor’

Mar 9, 2014, 2:00 PM EST

Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks Getty Images

The Knicks have won three straight and the playoffs, especially in the dreadful Eastern Conference, remain within reach. But gaining entry to the postseason and getting crushed by the Heat or the Pacers in the first round wouldn’t begin to take the sting away from what’s been an underachieving season.

What a playoff berth might do, however, is help convince Carmelo Anthony to re-sign in free agency.

Anthony can (and almost certainly will) opt out of the final year of his deal in order to sign a max contract this summer. Whether or not that will be with the Knicks remains to be seen, but at least one former front office executive believes New York might be better off if Anthony chooses to go elsewhere.

From Al Innazzone of Newsday:

“I really think if Carmelo left them, he may be doing them a favor,” said the ex-GM, who has no ties to the Knicks. “They probably don’t see it that way. But in the long run, it’s probably doing them a favor.”

The logic is that it would give the Knicks a chance to rebuild. They’ll have a boatload of cap space in the summer of 2015 — when Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler and Andrea Bargnani are scheduled to come off the books and Rajon Rondo, Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge could hit the open market — and a first-round draft pick.

The problem is, the Knicks just aren’t that patient.

Rebuilding isn’t something the franchise has been willing to do, at least not in the traditional sense. New York is a market that requires a star player in the fold to keep the interest of the general population of the fan base, and even in a down year, Anthony has provided some incredible moments, including his 62-point performance a couple of months back.

New York will happily sign up for Anthony for five more seasons at the maximum contract level, despite it maybe not being the best long-term course of action. But this, too, could be a blessing, as few All-Stars want to be the first to commit to a new situation to see how it might turn out.

With one star in Anthony already in place, it should increase the likelihood of another being willing to join him — without the franchise going through the pain of rebuilding with a largely faceless roster.

  1. nykfanwakemeupin2015 - Mar 9, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    After a complete renovation of the garden its not happening.

    • chicagosports2014 - Mar 9, 2014 at 6:48 PM

      I been telling yall trade everybody, but old man Amare cause he pretty much stuck in NY

    • ghelton03 - Mar 9, 2014 at 9:17 PM

      Are you saying that Melo is staying because of the gym?

  2. adoombray - Mar 9, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    Typical “oh, well, if they just lose forever, they’ll theoretically maybe one day stop losing quicker!” NBA “insider” nonsense.

    Carmelo is not a first banana but insists on being one, and he is as much responsible for the roster as James Dolan is. Remember that Melo could have just sucked it up and signed in New York too. I think a lot of people forget about this but Melo was the first Howard, and just like Howard, and Deron Williams too, the team that dumped the ego ended up getting the best end of the deal.

    So, yeah, I agree, dumping Melo and not letting him handpick the next coach is the right move, because his gobs of points without the wins proves that he is incapable of being a leader and developing his other teammates. He’s not a team player, he’s a shoot first 3/small 4 which are a dime a dozen these days. However, it’s superficial and cliche to say the reasoning is the standard “every team except the two teams playing in the finals should tank” nonsense propagated throughout NBA circles.

    • yournuts - Mar 9, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      I think you should take to aspirin and stop opening your mouth. Melo is great for NY. He is playng Team ball. You need more than Melo to score, and JR Smith is not the answer.

    • psubeerman21 - Mar 9, 2014 at 5:55 PM

      That was one of the most rambling, incoherent pieces of nonsense ever posted to this board. Whatever your disorder, may God have mercy on your soul.

    • chicagosports2014 - Mar 9, 2014 at 6:55 PM

      All NY gotta do is put Amare in a package with Carmelo.

      • sportsnut101 - Mar 9, 2014 at 8:35 PM

        whos trading 40 mil back to them in players please make sense

  3. elcapitanfiscal - Mar 9, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    Any team is better off without melo..

    Seriously though, he may fit well in Chicago if he gets it together just a bit..

  4. andreboy1 - Mar 9, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    I agree. Melo is not a leader and will never be one. He makes his teammates worse and doesn’t have the will to act like a champion. He needs to be a number two where he can just score the ball and let the lead dog be the leader force Carmelo to play D and move the ball.

    • irvfin3 - Mar 9, 2014 at 10:11 PM

      He doesn’t make his teammates worse. He does pass to them when they’re open but they miss the shot. Look at who his teammates are. They’re not consistent. Amar’e is the closest to consistency on the team. He needs to act more like a leader I agree with that.

    • jusdre313 - Mar 10, 2014 at 7:23 AM

      ill agree Melo doesnt give the effort on D.. but its not his fault his team stinks..Upper management in NY needs to be held responsible for putting together such a crappy team around .. every one is quick to blame the player.. what about that GM and owner..

  5. cantonbound13 - Mar 9, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    This person is a former GM for a reason. You can’t compete unless you have 2 all stars on your roster.

  6. padraighansen - Mar 9, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    The Knicks could be worse than the Bucks or Sixers are this year, and still be on national TV weekly & the lead story on ESPN nightly.

  7. coltzfan166 - Mar 9, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    Now we know why he’s a former GM

  8. azarkhan - Mar 9, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    James Dolan selling the team would also being “doing [the] Knicks a favor”, but it’s unlikely either will happen.

  9. shuttaman1990 - Mar 9, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    Laker’s owned.
    All these bloggers taking instagram and selfies….show me where the money at, its in LA. big businness, maybach businness for Melo. Double M G. No chi town happening, Laker town boy.

    Lakers all day.

    • tuberippin - Mar 9, 2014 at 7:56 PM

      The Lakers are in as bad of a position as the Knicks…and New York is the country’s biggest market.

  10. ryanaammess - Mar 9, 2014 at 4:09 PM

    Id try putting a decent team around the guy first. Even last year it was basically him and a bunch of old guys. Keep Hardaway Jr. and let everyone else walk. Use the stretch provision on J.R. just to get him out of your locker room and theyll be back to winning 50 games and getting bounced in the second round every year in no time.

  11. sportsfan18 - Mar 9, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    To all those who know, I’ve been critical of Melo, the Knicks and the Lakers.

    I agree with this G.M. and that’s why I’ve said many times that I want Melo to resign with the Knicks and if they don’t get him, I hope L.A. does…

    Melo isn’t going to win a ring. If he stays in NYC, they’ll be at best mediocre, or less than that like they are this year.

    He makes too much money for what he brings to the court. A volume scorer, an inefficient shooter who plays little D. That is NOT a max player… except in today’s world sadly…

    Please Knicks, FIND a way to keep him…

    • cruzan80 - Mar 9, 2014 at 5:14 PM

      He’ll be Bull in 4 months hater. Get over it.

      • sportsfan18 - Mar 9, 2014 at 6:08 PM

        The Bulls would very WISE to go after Kevin Love a year later.

        Love out rebounds Dwight Howard for their careers. Love easily out rebounded Shaq for their careers (Love 13.6 a game, Shaq 10.9 a game).

        Love shoots BETTER from 3 pt range than Melo for their careers (Love over 36%, Melo at .345%)

        Love passes the ball great for a big man, beautiful full court outlet passes on fast breaks.

        Yeah, Love doesn’t play D but neither does Melo so that’s a wash.

        It would be a mistake for the Bulls to get Melo.

        Oh, Love shoots basically 81% from the foul line so pretty damn good for a big, no need to mention what Dwight or Shaq shot from the line…

        And a couple of summers ago, D Rose, R Westbrook of the Thunder and Love all trained together out in L.A. with a trainer.

        Rose knows Love from this time, his game etc…

      • bjswoosh805 - Mar 9, 2014 at 7:49 PM

        Yes he shud join the BULLS if he wants to win a title, but i think he’s well rooted w/ the Knicks and the city itself by now. He’ll most likely stay with the Knicks.All thanks to his wife, LaLa.

  12. eugenesaxe1 - Mar 9, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    If Phil Jackson signs on, they’ll have no problems getting the FAs to come to town.

    • sportsfan18 - Mar 9, 2014 at 6:10 PM

      in a few yrs. even if melo took ZERO dollars next season, they’re still over the cap.

      they have traded away many 1st round picks for the next 4 yrs or so too.

      it’s gonna take like 3 to 4 yrs to turn this mess around, Phil or no Phil

    • ghelton03 - Mar 9, 2014 at 9:14 PM

      Dreamwork!!!! Players too smart or Jackson fake legend.

  13. kamauthabiti - Mar 9, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    but all of you jerks think that K> Love is just great.

  14. campcouch - Mar 9, 2014 at 7:34 PM

    I wonder how things would have evolved for him in Denver with a good GM?

  15. sportsnut101 - Mar 9, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    he not leaving knicks he dont have to play def he takes any shot he wants no coach to blame him for anything phil jackson gonna punk him like he did gasol in last yr he coached yea right

    knicks have 3 nice players melo hardway jr iman they need pf who can defend n rebound they need pg who can make shots and score a little more

  16. ghelton03 - Mar 9, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    After watching the Knicks for more than 30 years and reading this article, the Knicks have no clue. I hope they hire Jackson. He has no clue either. Hopefully we can lay both myths to a rest.

  17. psly2124 - Mar 9, 2014 at 9:36 PM

    The Knicks need to go out and resign eddy curry to max deal. Dolan is licking his chops to have him along side amare. Maybe even bring mat bury back from china and sign him to a max deal. With both signings the New York press will see multiple championships. And right about how they will build a dynasty with those three cornerstones

  18. padraighansen - Mar 10, 2014 at 7:55 AM

    The Knicks could be worse than the Bucks or Sixers this year, and still be on national TV weekly & the lead strory on ESPN nightly.

  19. hoopslvr - Mar 10, 2014 at 8:25 AM

    This article is a wonderful display of what can be wrong with today’s journalism. Some NAMELESS ex-GM has an opinion and it becomes an article!

  20. alexb1234 - Mar 10, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    why does carmelo anthony get so much hate? The guy is averaging 28 and 8 and the last guy to do that in a season was Shaq but yea Melo leaving the knicks would be doing the KNICKS a favor. This unnamed GM is probably the Bulls GM who is trying to convince him to leave the Knicks.

    • ewyorksockexchange - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:25 AM

      I think his reputation as an offensive black hole (whether true or not) has really hurt his perception in NY, and a lot of the negativity towards Melo’s game has to do with the team around him not being able to get it done. People like to get on his case, but his PER is 7th in the league this year at 24.9, his TS% is .560, he’s shooting 43% from three, and he’s pretty much the only reason the Knicks aren’t in a Sixers/Bucks-like position in the standings. The only knocks I personally have against him are that he still shows no willingness to contribute on D, and a player who has the ball in his hands on almost every possession should be averaging more than 3 assists per game.

    • sportsfan18 - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:28 PM

      because he’s very inefficient. averaging 28 points a game is one thing, it matters how he gets those 28 points a game.

      Melo is taking 22 shots a game to score 28.1 points a game. He is 2nd in the league in scoring.

      Durant is taking 20.5 shots a game to score 31.7 points a game. Uh, that’s MORE points on fewer shots. Durant is leading the league in scoring.

      The 3rd leading scorer in the league is LBJ. LBJ is taking 17.5 shots a game to score 27.1 points a game.

      So, there are the top 3 scorers in the game based on points per game. ONE of them (Melo) is no where near the top in the game at scoring efficiently.

      It would be like a running back in the NFL who gets a 100 yards each game rushing but had to rush the ball like 33 times each game to do it. That is NOTHING special. Give me the back who gets a 100 yards on 20 carries a game.

      Melo is your 33 rush attempts per game to get a 100 yards back… except he plays in the NBA.

      He is a VOLUME scorer. Just like a back in the NFL can get to 100 yards in a game if you give him the ball enough…

      BIG whoop, Melo averages 28 points a game.

      Being a GREAT scorer means scoring efficiently, not just simply compiling points by taking a lot of shots.

    • indy420 - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:33 PM

      He gets the hate because he shoots ALL the time. Look at San Antonio, Indiana, Miami and OKC, top 4 teams and guess what, they pass the ball to get the best shot opportunity. When Melo Learns how to pass the ball he will be a valuable asset to any team. It’s not a shocker that Denver was better when he left and the Knicks would be as well. He has taken 1,340 shots this year, number 2 on that list is JR Smith with 698 shots…..that’s why he gets hate, PASS THE BALL!!!!

  21. csbanter - Mar 10, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    This nameless GM speaks the truth. Why does everyone assume this great free agent class of 2015 is yearning to play in New York. So the prevailing thought is to tank the 2014 season, and hope Love, and Rondo develop a great love affair with New York and the possibility of playing with Carmelo Anthony. Please stop drinking the Blue and Orange fan kool-aid.

  22. ocgunslinger - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    Melo is a top scoring machine. That does not make a champion. You need 7-8 other contributing players as well. Melo does not make those around him better and after all these years if he hasn’t become a franchise leader……guess what? He never will now. Best if he went to another team where he could be a solid #2 player and perhaps make a run in the playoffs.

  23. kanemoney - Mar 10, 2014 at 6:19 PM

    They have four bloated contracts (Melo, Amare, Barnagni, Chandler), so that leaves them with essentially no money for anyone else. On top of that Amare is worth may $20m of the $100m contract he signed, Chandler looks old, and Melo is a true scorer – not a ‘make everyone around them better’ player like Lebron.

    He is much more of a Kobe than a Lebron, which can work. They need the right system and personnel. I think Phil can help a lot here, but they likely can’t do it this year or next, so waiting until 2015 (like many other teams are doing) is a huge dice roll.

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