NBA free agency will begin this Sunday and Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and Kemba Walker are the names everyone is looking out for. But a former star in the league is looking to improve his own name in a particular city.
Carmelo Anthony, according to Ian Bagley, is considering a return to the New York Knicks. Anthony spent six and a half productive but turbulent seasons in New York. While he provided excellent production, his play didn’t translate to postseason glory. In turn, an ugly divorce out of the Big Apple ensued.
Given the history between Anthony and his former franchise, it’s surprising that the 10-time All-Star is considering going back to New York. But what would the Knicks gain in this situation if they elected to entertain Anthony’s proposition? Generally speaking, not much, but it could definitely work out if all the stars align.
Anthony is currently a 35-year-old free agent. He hasn’t played in an NBA game since his ill-fated attempt to be a Houston Rocket was deemed unfit in early November. Anthony’s game was always built around the midrange. The Rockets and the NBA game itself has adjusted to life on the three-point line. Anthony, like many other players over the years, became the odd-man out of the league’s transition.
So if the New York Knicks are looking to compete, what good will Anthony be for them if he doesn’t fit the league’s skillset?
Anthony returning will only make sense in two scenarios. The first will be as a complementary piece to another max player or two. The Knicks are currently attempting to sign two superstars to max contracts. The players they have in mind? Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
While Carmelo Anthony isn’t the player he once was due to age, he still could be talented enough to be a reliable scoring option on the floor. However, unless Anthony has matured with time, this experiment can either work for or against the Knicks.
The second and more reasonable option would be for mentorship. If the Knicks fail to land Durant or Irving, then they will be back at square one. Currently, the Knicks have a young, but talented roster: Rookie R.J. Barrett, Dennis Smith Jr., and Kevin Knox are likely their future. Bringing Anthony onto the fold will give the team a veteran presence, similarly to Kevin Garnett’s role with the Minnesota Timberwolves in the last two seasons of his career.
But just as with the first scenario, it will come down to maturity for Anthony. Anthony will not be the face of New York as he was in decades prior. If he’s willing to come back, it’s going to be in a reduced role while providing veteran leadership in the locker room.
But maybe he’s ready after all. The split with New York was ugly for Anthony, and bad blood was on both sides. However, if Anthony is ready to move on, New York should welcome him back with open arms. Time heals and reveals all.
Apparently, it’s shown that Carmelo Anthony is ready to move on from his past transgressions and accept his status as former All-Star for the greater good of a franchise he enjoyed some of his best years with.