Carmelo Anthony has officially terminated his contract with the Knicks and will become a free agent on July 1st, according to league sources. Anthony had until Monday to exercise the Early Termination Option in his contract.
Carmelo has stated his desire to remain in New York over the years, but has reportedly been leaning towards leaving recently, and it appears that Chicago, Houston, Dallas, and Miami are the most likely destinations for the former scoring champion.
Anthony has said since the beginning of the season that he planned on opting out, so this should not come as a surprise, despite the fact that Knicks President Phil Jackson had attempted to convince him to opt in for one more year. Now, it is up to Phil and the front office to try to sell Melo on staying for the long term.
Knicks star Carmelo Anthony has a small tear in the labrum of his right shoulder and will miss the final two games of the season, the team announced.
Anthony played through a more serious shoulder injury in the playoffs last year, but with the Knicks already eliminated, there is no reason for him to take any chances. Carmelo made the choice to skip surgery last summer, but it remains to be seen what he will do this time. This is not the same shoulder Anthony injured last year. Melo will be re-evaluated in about a month.
Carmelo’s injury came at the worst possible time for the Knicks, costing them at least one and probably two games last week as the Knicks were eliminated from playoff contention. After struggling against the Wizards and Heat, Anthony looked pretty good against the Raptors and Bulls, but again, now that an MRI has revealed a tear in his shoulder, it is smart of him to just call it a season. We can only hope that we haven’t seen the last of Carmelo Anthony in a Knicks uniform.
ESPN is reporting that legendary coach and former Knick Phil Jackson is leaning towards accepting the position of President of Basketball Operations for the New York Knicks. Jackson, who won 2 championships as a player with the Knicks and 11 championships as the coach of the Bulls and Lakers, had reportedly met with the Knicks’ front office recently to discuss a return to the game. The Daily News had been reporting that Jackson was uninterested in coaching but willing to consider a front-office role. Jackson had reportedly expressed that his acceptance of the job would be largely conditional on Knicks Owner James Dolan’s willingness to give him major control of basketball decisions, and an assurance that Carmelo Anthony would re-sign with the team this summer. It is not known whether Jackson was given either of these things, and Stephen A. Smith’s reports should always be taken with a grain of salt, but with multiple outlets reporting recently that Jackson was seriously considering a return, it seems very possible that the “Zen Master” will indeed join the Knicks’ Front Office in the near future.
Carmelo Anthony has been named the Eastern Conference Player of The Month for January, the NBA announced. Anthony led the East with 28.7 points per game, including a 62 point performance against the Bobcats that set the Knicks’ single-game record. Melo’s squad went 10-6 in January, and his solid play was a big reason why. Kevin Durant, of course, won the award in the West.
Carmelo Anthony has an opt-out clause which gives him the option to terminate his contract after this season. On Wednesday, Melo indicated that he has every intention of using it.
“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.” — Carmelo Anthony
So should Knicks fans panic? No. It makes sense for Carmelo to opt out. Even if he plans on staying, he would make more money by opting out and signing a new deal than he would be simply playing under his old contract. In fact, depending on what happens with Kobe Bryant’s contract next summer, Carmelo could become the highest paid player in the NBA.
Melo might leave. He probably won’t. He has indicated that he would like to stay and the team has indicated that they will make it their number one priority to keep him. But Carmelo has every right to explore his options, and that is exactly what he is doing.