Carmelo Anthony likely gave New York Knick fans minor heart attacks during his interview with Rafi Kohan and The New York Observer:
I want to be a free agent. I think everybody in the NBA dreams to be a free agent at least one time in their career. It’s like you have an evaluation period, you know. It’s like if I’m in the gym and I have all the coaches, all the owners, all the GMs come into the gym and just evaluate everything I do. So yes, I want that experience.
New York fans should not panic just yet, since ‘Melo has made it clear that he loves being a Knick. However, Melo’s franchise is in deep financial trouble for the next two seasons, since they will be paying Amar’e $21.6 million in 2013/14, and $23.4 million in 2014/15. Tyson Chandler and Andrea Bargnani will both be making over $10 million each season for the next two seasons as well.
Despite the lack of cap space, the Knicks roster is definitely deep enough for a solid run in the playoffs. The Knicks have a talented core of players which include: Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, J.R. Smith, Andrea Bargnani, Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert, Kenyon Martin, and Ron Artest.
If ‘Melo does decide to walk away from the Madison Square Garden, he has an interesting list of franchises to pick from. One potential destination is the Cleveland Cavaliers. Teaming up Anthony alongside Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Andrew Bynum, Tristan Thompson and Anthony Bennett would immediately make the Cavaliers one of the most dangerous teams in the league. Another team ‘Melo could join is the Heat, since Miami’s Big 3 will enter the free agency market as well. Assuming ‘Melo takes his talents to South Beach, he would make an extremely deadly duo with either LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and/or Chris Bosh. ‘Melo could also join the Washington Wizards and his close friend John Wall. A trio of Wall/Beal/Anthony alongside Nene and Okafor would make the Wizards arguably better than they’ve ever been. Last but not least, the Los Angeles Lakers are a realistic option for Carmelo Anthony. Assuming Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol take minor pay cuts, the Lakers could afford to sign another excellent player along with ‘Melo.
Will ‘Melo take his talents to South Beach, join Wall in Washington, end the drought in Los Angeles, or remain a Knickerbocker? Only time will tell.