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Report: Knicks ‘quietly confident’ about retaining Carmelo Anthony in free agency

Jun 28, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

Washington Wizards v New York Knicks Washington Wizards v New York Knicks

Carmelo Anthony was always going to opt out of the final year of his Knicks contract to become an unrestricted free agent; fire up the Google machine and you’ll find quotes from him stating that before the season even began.

The difference now, of course, is that last year was a dismal one in New York that ended well below the team’s expectations.

Anthony’s future with the Knicks appears to be in far more jeopardy than it was all those months ago, and if winning now is the priority, then the free agent visits he has planned with teams like the Bulls and the Rockets would appear to threaten his chances of re-signing.

New York, however, remains confident that Anthony will stay, in part because of the relationship he’s formed with Phil Jackson.

From Marc Stein of ESPN.com:

The New York Knicks are increasingly optimistic about their chances of re-signing star Carmelo Anthony even as he readies himself to talk to other teams next week, according to sources close to the situation.

Sources told ESPN.com that Knicks officials, while not willing to trumpet it publicly with free agency fast approaching, are quietly confident about their odds of retaining Anthony thanks in part to the idea that new team president Phil Jackson and the high-scoring forward have “connected” to some degree.

In addition to Jackson being in place and initially making some moves that have the franchise headed in a positive direction, there are more than 30 million reasons the Knicks have to be confident of Anthony’s return.

Many have believed all along that money will ultimately be Anthony’s motivating factor, and the extra year he can receive by staying in New York on a max contract gives the Knicks the edge in that regard.

It’s more than likely to take a plan from Jackson that Anthony believes will come to fruition in order for him stay. Because if winning now ends up moving to the top of Anthony’s list of priorities, then he’s essentially already gone.

  1. Mr. Wright 212 - Jun 28, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    Money isn’t the chief factor. But the Knicks have more depth, more flexibility going forward, and MOST importantly, he doesn’t want to uproot Kiyan.

    As I have said all along, he’s going nowhere.

    • casualcommenter - Jun 28, 2014 at 5:36 PM

      Not sure what depth you’re referring to.
      The Knicks have maybe 3 players on their entire roster who could be reasonably described as “proven, above-average NBA defenders.”

      Very hard to win championships without players who can play defense. The Knicks have a tremendous amount of flexibility starting in 2015, but that would require that Carmelo give up another year of his prime on a lost season in 2014.

      • tommy2cat - Jun 29, 2014 at 12:35 AM

        In 2012;13, Knicks were 54-28. In 2014-15, The guys that quit last year are gone. The Knicks will have a stronger roster, a better coach & a better system. The following year, 2015-16, the Knicks will have cap space. The roster is already talent-laden & Phil probably isn’t done, yet.

        C – Dalembert/(Gasol)
        PF – Stoudemire/Bargnani
        SF – Melo/Early
        SG – JR Smith/Shumpert/Hardaway Jr.
        PG – Calderon/Prignoni/Larkin

        Melo is from NYC. His family lives in NYC. He plays in The Garden 41 x’s/year. Melo is not a mercenary. He realizes that, for him, the pinnacle of success would be to win a championship in his home town & to be the leader of that team. His team, his City, his championship.

        The fact that he’ll get more money to stay is almost laughably irrelevant. The team president is a direct connection to the team’s last championship. He wants to pass the torch to Melo & Melo will accept the challenge.

        His team, his City, his championship.

        Later…

      • lmoneyfresh - Jun 29, 2014 at 6:56 PM

        You just listed 1 washed up center (and 1 hypothetical washed up center), 2 PFs that can’t stay on the court and probably 5 of those 6 guards that the Knicks have tried to trade or are ineffective/overpaid. None of those players bring back Melo.

  2. roanboon - Jun 28, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    Silver, like his predecessor Stern, knows that if the New York market doesn’t get rings, it will need a marketable superstar to maximize the lucritive NBA revenues coming from that region. I think Melo will likely stay in New York, at least while mid-market teams are winning (Miami, Indiana, San Antonio, Oklahoma City).

  3. drewzducks - Jun 28, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    Bosh and Wade just opted out. You heard it here first !

    • therealhtj - Jun 28, 2014 at 4:27 PM

      Would the Knicks also be quietly relieved if he left?

  4. bigwii - Jun 28, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    Melo loves NY, it’s his home, and it’s where he grew up. He’s a loyal guy, people don’t give him enough credit. The Knicks might be on to something, Phil and Fisher seem like a good duo learn from the best if you’re Fisher.

    They have some young players that have potential like Shump, Hardaway, Early and Greek Freak 2. Calderon is a very underrated point guard, and they can win some games this year. Money to spend next year with a young core around Melo. Sounds good to me, and more money. They won’t win the ring this year, but in the East they can be competitive.

    By the way I’m a Celtics fan.

  5. elcapitanfiscal - Jun 28, 2014 at 5:15 PM

    Money talks.

  6. ProBasketballPundit - Jun 28, 2014 at 5:34 PM

    And I’m ‘quietly confident’ that Tupac is opening for Elvis at Madison Square Garden tonight.

    • jimeejohnson - Jun 28, 2014 at 7:12 PM

      I see what you’re trying to do.

  7. saint1997 - Jun 28, 2014 at 7:43 PM

    Anthony deserves some recognition for actually being one of the humblest superstars. He’s not doing this to feed his ego – he’s weighing his options as a person as to where he wants to play and that’s fair enough. The whole report about him wanting the ‘Dwight’ treatment? I’ve said it time and time again – he never actually said it! It was a source in Carmelo’s camp, what on earth does that even mean?

  8. whalesarenotmammals - Jun 28, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    It’s very simple … If he wants to have a legitimate chance to win an NBA Championship he will leave. The New York Knicks are a mediocre at best team with him and awful without him.

  9. doclolly - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:36 PM

    I don’t get why everybody keeps throwing around Oh the Knicks have 30 million reasons why Carmelo will come back….. Phil Jackson has basically said he’s not giving him a max contract and in past couple of interviews kept calling carmelo out on how he said he would take less money to win, so its pretty clear he has no intention on giving top dollar.

    • tommy2cat - Jun 29, 2014 at 12:42 AM

      It’s not about the money. Melo’s from NYC. He wants to bring a championship home and be the primary reason for that achievement. A championship in any other city (with all due respect) would pale in comparison to Melo because of his origins & roots in the community.

      Basically, if he thinks Phil can get him to within shooting range lol of a championship, he’ll stay.

  10. campcouch - Jun 28, 2014 at 11:40 PM

    Quiet confidence turns into loud rage quickly. If he’s going to take less money,why not do it on a team who could contend or at least make the playoffs. The bottom of the East improved with the draft so that 7th and 8th seed will be harder to get. No need to suffer because of some misguided sense of loyalty,ask LeBron and Dwight Howard. Shoot,I’m pretty sure Carmelo spent most of his childhood in Maryland and Virgina anyways. Last I checked Syracuse wasn’t in NYC,so I feel pretty safe saying that his heart won’t break much if he signed elsewhere.

  11. Mr. Wright 212 - Jun 29, 2014 at 1:15 AM

    $34 million reasons why, plus tradeable assets and a full mid level exception of nearly $7M annually to sign and trade for other players…

  12. nokoolaidcowboy - Jun 29, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    Lebron “quietly” stole Carmelo’s thunder. Any team with big money would rather make a play for the best player in the NBA.

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