Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Carmelo Leaning Toward Leaving the Knicks?

If you’re still hung over (either metaphorically or literally) from the Double OT classic that eliminated the Rangers, here’s a big ol’ glass of pickle juice mixed with Irish Breakfast to get your head squarely back into the twitch-and-spasm-inducing mindset that is this summer’s serialized TV dramedy, “What The Eff Is Melo Going To Do?”

With apologies to the marketing wizards at TNT, the disembodied psionic entity we know as Woj just dropped some BOOM.

New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony is leaning toward leaving in pursuit of immediate championship contention, and awaits the Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets to clear the necessary salary-cap space to sign him in free agency, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

And…

Anthony’s meeting with Knicks officials on Friday night had little impact on his state of mind, league sources said, because there remain too many uncertainties about how quickly president Phil Jackson can reshape the team into a championship contender.

Plus…

Chicago and Houston front-office executives are working diligently on contingencies to clear the space to sign Anthony outright – or engage sign-and-trade scenarios with New York, sources said.

“His heart is in New York,” one source familiar with Anthony’s thinking told Yahoo Sports, “but he wants a chance to win now.”

Okay. Couple of thoughts here. If you’re of the opinion that the ‘Bockers/Phil need to undertake an actual rebuilding process, and that regardless of Melo’s otherworldly scoring talents, signing him to a max contract dooms the team to a series of 2nd Round exits at best, this is “good” news. Getting some picks, prospects and expiring deals from either the Meat Packers or the Lactose Intolerants (Houston has a law forbidding the sale of Limburger cheese on Sundays. Really) is a nice way to jump start the process.

If, however, you think that Melo can be the centerpiece of a contender, and that like Dirk in ’11 or AI in ’01 (or heck, a slightly better version of the 2012-13 team), it’s just a question of putting the right pieces around him, this is less fun.

I’ve been in both camps at various moments this season, and honestly, I’m still flip-flopping like a McCain. Gut response? I do think Melo’s out of here, even if Dolan walked up with an actual wheelbarrow of sweet cable currency and dumped it in his lap. There’s no actual information that I’m basing this on, mind you, just my trusty gut/intuition/vibes, mang. If I had to bet, I’d say he’s in Texas; a state that has no income tax. Quite the carrot to offset any salary loss, n’est pas?

Anyhoo, we’ll have plenty of time in the days and weeks to come to fuss and parse the tea leaves and read more rumors and gossip about the rumors and (ugh) scorching #HotTakes about how Melo’s selfish and/or greedy (even if he takes less money to leave, yes, still selfish/greedy), or ‘lacks the guts to stay in New York”/is a girly she-man, and…yeah. I think the thought of reading all of that gave me a headache far worse than any leftover Blueshirts sadz.

85 comments on “Carmelo Leaning Toward Leaving the Knicks?

  1. JK47

    Sign-and-trade to the Bulls for Carlos Boozer and assets makes the most sense to me. The Knicks do the Bulls a huge favor by taking on the last year of Carlos Boozer’s contract and giftwrapping Melo for them, and in return the Bulls send assets to NYK– maybe the Bobcats’ 2014 first-rounder (15th overall) and the rights to the guy I really want, Nikola Mirotic. The Knicks would still be terrible in 2014-2015 and of course own their own pick in the 2015 draft, so heading into the 2015-2016 season– the one we’re all waiting for– you’d have a core of Mirotic, the 2014 pick and the 2015 pick plus all of the terrible Bargs/Stat/Boozer contracts coming off the books.

    Mirotic is no sure thing, but he’d be the equivalent of a lottery pick, and I like his game a lot.

  2. swiftandabundant

    Its a weird feeling thinking that Melo might leave. On the one hand I’m like “F this guy.” He forced a trade here where we gave up a lot to get him and basically put us in “win now” mode for 3 seasons, forced out (kind of) Lin when we were gift wrapped a promising young PG. Gave us one fun season last year and then the second things get tough he leaves us so he can “go to a contender?” Honestly screw Melo if he leaves. He’s a selfish player and person for doing us dirty like this.

    But on the other hand, its maybe a blessing in disguise. He’s 30 yrs old. A great player but a true super star max player worth close to 20 million a year when he’s 35? I don’t think so. him leaving allows us to really get younger with a sign and trade for assets and start the rebuild now. If we sign and trade him now we might get a high draft pick or two in this draft and could also look to move Chandler on draft night, could probably include Felton in a Melo or Chandler trade and clear him off the books now. We’d be not good next year but at least we’d be young and then when STAT and Bargnani are off the books, which could be by the trade deadline, we’d truly be able to reset and start over with another draft pick next year as well, maybe even a lottery pick. Fisher would have no pressure next year at all and we could move past the Melodrama. Because as fun as last year was, it was only fun at the beginning of the year, the end of the year and the first 3 games of the Boston series. The whole time Melo has been here its been Melodrama. We had a depleted team when he got here. The next year we struggled, then he didn’t like Linsanity or Dantoni and then we got spanked by Miami in the playoffs. And this year sucked. The Melo as a Knick legacy will not be a good one and a lot of it is squarely on his shoulders. He’s the one who didn’t like Dantoni even though Woodson ran the same offense basically. He didn’t like Lin even though we needed a PG.

  3. sugarslim5

    So many accusations against Melo, so little fact.

    Well anyway if he does leave we should stay away from 30 point scorers; it hasn’t worked.

    Seriously, the Knicks have to decide whether to start over or keep going. It’s too bad they won’t go after a PG like Jrue Holiday. A move like that would work with or without Melo, but it doesn’t fit with Phil’s system. It makes it difficult to convince him to stay, since the PG spot is an obvious hole.

    Still Parsons can pass and Lin could be a triangle PG, but STATs body has to hold up. We’ll see what happens.

  4. mokers

    Around Anthony and the NBA, there’s some doubt about whether Jackson truly wants to keep him on a five-year, $120 million-plus extension, or simply is giving the appearance for public relations’ sake.

    If $120 million is the starting point, I think Carmelo is gone. If his three priorities are winning, making money and staying in new york, he can only pick two. Take a discount and help NY win by giving them spending flexibility, sign a max (not that Jackson would do it) and cripple NYs cap making it hard to improve the team, or find a find a good team that can pay you and try to win there.

    I would still prefer Melo takes a Paul Pierce-ish type deal, but if the Knicks don’t get a discount, do a sign and trade and get back some assets. Trade Chandler for some more picks.

  5. ephus

    Very nice post. The article makes it clear that Carmelo Anthony is not buying what Phil Jackson has been selling.

    I am pretty certain that Phil Jackson’s pitch to Carmelo Anthony has been, “We cannot ask you to play harder. We can teach you to play smarter. Your skills, properly used in the Triangle, will allow us to compete immediately.”

    My take from this article is that Carmelo Anthony does not have faith in Phil’s gospel. He does not trust that the Knicks’ current roster could have achieved more success if Woodson had taken some of the load off of Carmelo’s shoulders.

    Woj’s story also makes it clear that Carmelo is not interested in giving a steep discount off of the $24 million he could make in 2015-16 in order to give the Knicks he salary cap space to sign additional help next summer.

    There are five major grains of salt for this story:

    1. Does Woj have a real source? I trust that Woj is a good reporter who has a strong source within Carmelo Anthony/CAA camp. I think he is faithfully reporting what he has been told.

    2. Why is the source leaking to Woj? It’s possible that Woj has such a great relationship with his source that the source gave a candid assessment with no ulterior motive [other than currying favor with a reporter]. I think it is more likely that the source was leaking as part of a strategy. It may not be a candid, or even authorized, leak.

    3. Is Carmelo Anthony testing Dolan’s resolve? I cannot dismiss the possibility that Carmelo Anthony came out of his meeting with Jackson/Fisher/Dolan like Sollozzo after the meeting with Don Corleone and Sonny. Anthony may believe (based upon his prior experience during the Nuggets trade) that Dolan is “hot for the deal”. He may be telling the Knicks he would rather be traded than stay for what they are offering because he believes that Dolan will take control of the negotiations and offer the 5 year/129 million max deal. (continued . . . )

  6. Max

    Great, great news…

    He is a great offensive talent and that’s all. In no way you could build a team around him.
    The trade gutted us years ago, it’s time for the front office to admit that and finally go on…
    Sign and trade with Chicago, get a mix of Boozer (expiring), Butler, Gibson, Snell and first round picks, or try something similar with Houston (but no Lin please!!!!) and finally rebuild around a solid basketball culture.

  7. swiftandabundant

    Just curious. Why no Lin? He would be an expiring as well and sorry but Lin is a team player. he’s also a better PG than Felton and a decent combo guard for the Triangle. His turnovers have gone down since he left the Knicks. For one yr with the chance to resign at a reasonable salary I would not mind having Linsanity 2.0 with tempered expectations for a year. He may not be a super star or even star but he is a good teammate and a good “culture” guy.

  8. ephus

    4. Does Carmelo Anthony back down if Dolan shows resolve? It’s easy for Carmelo Anthony to authorize a leak that he would rather play for a contender in Chicago or Houston than stay in New York under the current plan. I do not know if he will actually be willing to take second tier status in a second tier city. No insult to Chicago or Houston, but those are regional centers. New York is the international hub for finance, fashion, entertainment and glamor.

    5. Does Carmelo Anthony actually understand what Chicago/Houston are offering? The Chicago roster will have to undergo a major overhaul to bring in Carmelo. Deleting Boozer, either by trade or amnesty, is not nearly enough to clear space for an attractive offer. If Gibson, Augustin, Dunleavy and/or Butler are not part of the Bulls, is Melo willing to roll the dice on Derrick Rose (and his knee) and Noah? In Houston, the problem comes if the Rockets cannot trade Lin without a sweetener. Would Philadelphia (or Utah) be willing to take Lin/Asik and send back no salary (probably a future second round pick)? If not, does Jones or Houston’s first round pick get the trade done? Would Carmelo be willing to scale back his salary so that the Rockets do not have to dump Lin?

    I have no idea how this going to turn out. I am just saying that even if we get solid reporting by strong journalists with well-placed sources, we may not be any closer to knowing how this is going to turn out.

  9. ephus

    I would love to know Phil Jackson’s candid assessment of Jeremy Lin as a Triangle point guard.

    Positives:
    1. Good size.
    2. Very intelligent.
    3. Good penetration.

    Negatives.
    1. Poor quickness, especially on defense.
    2. Middling shot from outside.

    If Jackson decided that Lin was a good fit, I would pay A LOT of $$$ to watch Jackson attempt to convince Dolan to allow Lin to come back for his poison-pill year.

  10. Zanzibar

    Why is the source leaking to Woj? I think it is more likely that the source was leaking as part of a strategy.

    Agree. Draft picks figure heavily in any team looking to free up cap space to sign Melo outright or trade for Melo. For example, Houston would likely have to include its 25th pick in the draft to unload Lin’s contract to free up cap space to sign Melo outright. They might want to strike a deal before the draft to allow a team willing to make the Lin deal to identify the player so Houston could then make the deal after July 1st. Houston to Melo on July 1st: we are able to sign you directly as free agent. Similarly the Heat could set up a deal using their draft pick to free up more cap space to sign Melo outright. And Chicago will offer us 3 1st round draft picks (their 2 2014 1st rounders and the King’s 2015 pick) in exchange for Melo so they do not have to pay Boozer. It is in Melo’s interest therefore to alert these teams that he’s leaving NYK.

  11. JK47

    Melo just isn’t the kind of once-in-a-generation player you should move heaven and earth to hold onto. We gave up too much for him, but that is a sunk cost now. If he doesn’t want to really help the team by opting in or taking a pretty steep discount, we’re better off without him, even if no assets come back in return.

  12. Max

    No Lin for me because:

    I could not stand another round of Linsanity (2 SI covers? Come on!);
    The poison pill, he’s REALLY overpaid next year;
    Dolan;
    JR Smith (maybe we could send him out of town too with his friend Melo?);
    Not enough outside shooting for the triangle and a liability on defense.

  13. nicos

    Lin coming back would be a big distraction that the Knicks don’t need. I’d also question an assessment of him as a high IQ guy- he’s certainly smart IRL but it really hasn’t manifested itself on the basketball court where his decision making has been very questionable (assist to turnover ratio worse than 2:1 for his career).

  14. Robert Silverman Post author

    ephus — some interesting points on the timing of the leaks. Yes, this could be a move on the part of Melo to drag Dolan into the negotiations (again). I kind of do take Melo at his word that this isn’t about the money, and I don’t think Melo’s negotiating via the media.

    But it’s definitely a possibility.

  15. MSA

    If Melo is really leaving, I just hope he will do us the same favor he did the Nuggets.

    Gut the hell out of his next team.

  16. SwagTruth

    Phil’s successful teams have generally been:

    Smart 3-point shooting PG (Paxson, Fisher, Harper)
    Scoring wing (MJ, Kobe)
    Defensive wing who can hit the open shot (Fox, Pippen)
    Post operator big man (Gasol, Grant, Shaq)
    Interior defense big man (Rodman, Green, Cartwright)

    Our Knicks:
    Smart 3-point shooting PG (none)
    Scoring wing (Melo)
    Defensive wing (Shumpert has potential here)
    Post operator big man (none)
    Interior defense big man (Chandler)

    If Melo leaves, we could get:
    Smart 3-point shooting PG (none but Lin/Hinrich? may be an upgrade)
    Scoring wing (JR Smith, downgrade)
    Defensive wing (Shumpert/Butler?, wash)
    Post operator big man (Boozer/Asik, upgrade)
    Interior defense (Chandler, wash)

    I like the latter.

  17. flossy

    Would Carmelo be willing to scale back his salary so that the Rockets do not have to dump Lin?

    I literally laughed out loud at this. In the waiting room of a doctor’s office no less.

  18. ephus

    Unlike others, I do not feel as if Carmelo Anthony owes the Knicks anything. He played hard while he was here. After his first full season, he excised the pouting at the offensive end after turnovers and no-calls. He played through injury. While he did not reach the success we all would have wished, it was never for a lack of effort.

    The best things that Carmelo can do to give the Knicks leverage are (1) make it known that he has multiple possible destinations and (2) indicate that he cares about getting max salary. If Chicago and Houston have to bid against each other (and team ??? that has the cap room to sign Melo already), the Knicks should be able to get something in a sign and trade. If he wants max salary, Chicago and Houston can get ther more easily by sign and trade, because Melo’s salary can be up to $500k plus 125% of the outgoing salaries.

    I have no idea how this going to conclude.

  19. ephus

    I literally laughed out loud at this. In the waiting room of a doctor’s office no less.

    Glad I could help Flossy. I’ll be here all week. Try the veal. Don’t forget to tip your waitress.

  20. Dan Panorama

    There are a lot of reasons the Knicks were terrible last year — JR’s disaster, Shump’s step backwards, Felton’s collapse, Woodson’s coaching — Melo was the least of them. Most importantly to me, he always looked like he cared. Those rebound numbers didn’t come from mailing it in.

    Most of this board was calling for a full rebuild all year and I think people feel a little more ambivalent about it now that Phil Jackson’s here and there’s at least a little hope that he and Melo might accomplish something with a 2015 retool. But think the rebuild is still probably the fairest outcome for the Knicks and Melo alike — It sounds like we’re not offering him much more money than the rest, so that advantage is out, and our long term plan is that maybe, just maybe, we’ll be a real playoff team in year 2 of his contract.

    He’ll get dumped on if he leaves, but Melo really owes us nothing. He played his hardest only to sit and watch competent, low-drama franchises make the ECF and WCF. You have to imagine he’s asking himself why the Knicks never have that same competence and unity of purpose. I’m hoping Phil Jackson changes the culture to something closer to the NBA elite, but he’s just starting out in a new role and there’s no guarantee it will work out. I bear no ill will to Melo if he leaves, especially if we get at least a modest haul back for the rebuild. Boozer/Mirotic/pick or Asik/Lin/pick is all good by me.

  21. Cock Jowles Has Predicted the Last Three Knicks Seasons

    I hope he comes back just so Vegas posts some absurd over/under again so I can make some money.

    The Knicks will never win a thing with Carmelo under max contract.

  22. yellowboy90

    Is there anything the Clippers could do to make a big 4 in LA to possibly beat Riley to the punch?

  23. flossy

    Does he “owe” the Knicks anything? I don’t know about that, but I think bailing on the team now would speak volumes about his character.

    Let’s not forget that a) he forced a roster-gutting trade here out of a combination of greed and impatience, dressed up in a bunch of ridiculous “I’m coming home!” pageantry, b) he was at least indirectly responsible for MSG being taken over by the CAA ‘brain trust’ that gave us Andrea Bargnani and Chris Smith and ushered Jeremy Lin out the door, c) at one point he basically quit on the team until Mike D’Antoni was forced to resign, and then later stuck by the obviously floundering Mike Woodson well past the point of no return.

    So yeah, for the most part (D’Antoni episode aside) he’s given great effort on the court, but the circumstances of his arrival and the bone-headed way that Dolan and CAA have sought to cater to his whims have just been awful for the franchise. Now that we’ve got a team president who isn’t going to kiss his ass, I guess “coming home” and leading the Knicks to the promised land is less important than getting as much dough as possible, preferably on a team already stacked with talent. Okay, fine. That’s his prerogative, but I still think less of him because of it.

    So no, Melo doesn’t “owe” the Knicks anything, but the opposite is also true. Unless you think that a gunner on the wrong side of 30 deserves to be the league’s highest paid player after leading the team to six whole playoff wins in four years.

  24. JK47

    I’d really love to see Ray Felton and JR Smith playing in other uniforms next year. Felton can’t play and is an eyesore to watch, and JR has some game but he’s not worth the douchiness.

    Maybe there’s some way to move Chandler to somebody that could use him, and make that team take Felton and/or JR.

  25. er

    Flossy, i am actually shocked at your post. Like for real.

    Let’s not forget that a) he forced a roster-gutting trade here out of a combination of greed and impatience, dressed up in a bunch of ridiculous “I’m coming home!” pageantry,

    — I did not know Melo was the Knick GM and Worked for Knick marketing.

    Some call it “greed” some call it a bidness decision. you feel slighted so its “greed” to you

    b) he was at least indirectly responsible for MSG being taken over by the CAA ‘brain trust’ that gave us Andrea Bargnani and Chris Smith and ushered Jeremy Lin out the door.

    —Once again , Front office Melo?

    at one point he basically quit on the team until Mike D’Antoni was forced to resign, and then later stuck by the obviously floundering Mike Woodson well past the point of no return.

    —-Dantoni hated Melo….he just couldnt do him like Nate Robinson because he was the best player. …. But Melo…..yes melo dogged it as Dantoni tried to make him persona non grata on the court and asked to trade him for D will. (LOL if this happened)

    guess “coming home” and leading the Knicks to the promised land is less important than getting as much dough as possible, preferably on a team already stacked with talent. Okay, fineThat’s his prerogative, but I still think less of him because of it.

    –Funniest part of post to me.

    So no, Melo doesn’t “owe” the Knicks anything, but the opposite is also true. Unless you think that a gunner on the wrong side of 30 deserves to be the league’s highest paid player after leading the team to six whole playoff wins in four years.

    —yep what great shape the Knicks were in before the big bad gunner came. and it was 7 wins if we want to be factual.

  26. Thomas B.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=k2ar896
    Fixes everything for everybody.

    Jackson becomes the starting point. Shump and Chandler help the defense. Melo and Durant won’t get in each other’s way. Thunder keep Heat, Bulls, and Rockets out of the arms race. And they want Perkins gone. This is a win now move. That squad could take the West, and possibly beat the Heat.

    Nobody will complain about the shoot first Westbrook in NYC since who would he pass to? Makes for an exciting back court with THJ. Fisher knows Westbrook. Expiring contracts with Stat, Bargs, and Perkins. This is a rebuild around Westbrook while clearing cap space and securing talent move.

    It’s not super crazy.

  27. flossy

    Yeah, the trade here was motivated by greed and impatience. He wasn’t willing to wait for free agency and risk giving up a few million dollars over the lifetime of his next contract in the new CBA. So instead of doing the smart thing, and just coming here as a free agent, he made sure he got his money ASAP and in the process the Knicks ended up losing virtually all of their trade assets. I don’t care about Melo making money, I care about the Knicks winning basketball games, and unfortunately he chose the former and the expense of the latter.

    As for “Melo or front office,” it amounts to the same thing. MSG became infected by CAA the minute Melo got here. The stupid decisions that resulted from that (Chris Smith! Andrea Bargnani!) are many, and they would not have happened if catering to Melo’s entourage wasn’t made top priority by our idiot owner. Remember, Barngani only happened because Melo said he wanted more scoring and Bargs was a CAA client.

    Oh and by the way, D’Antoni didn’t try to make Melo “persona non grata” on the court. He started off the season basically playing Melo as point forward and putting the ball in his hands more than ever. Turns out Melo kind of sucked in that role, but it didn’t matter because Jeremy Lin came out of nowhere and the spread pick and roll offense started working to perfection… until Melo came back and basically refused to participate. Of course, it had nothing to do with his actual role in the offense, because when Woodson replaced D’Antoni midway through the season he didn’t change a goddamn thing about the playbook, but all of a sudden Melo played along. But sure, let’s just say that it should be optional for the guy getting paid $20 mil/year to give effort or not, depending on how he feels about the coach. That’s the way a winning basketball team should be run.

    Look back on the Melo era. It’s resulted in a fat load of nothing. Who the hell cares if he leaves?

  28. JK47

    Flossy and er, you’re both right.

    It’s true nobody put a gun to James Dolan’s head and forced him to make a series of ill-conceived moves in an effort to have his own “Big 3″ just like the shiny, exciting “Big 3″ in Miami. At some point, somebody in the front office could have had the good sense to say NO to Melo rather than to fall over themselves trying to kiss his ass. At the end of the day, the Knicks’ shittiness is James Dolan’s fault, not Melo’s.

    But, at the same time, Melo sure did take advantage of Dolan’s stupidity to get what was best for himself and his CAA cronies. And that’s where Flossy is right– Melo’s character is not something to really look up to and admire. He has to have it all– the 30+ usage, the max contract, the coach he wants, the teammates his agency represents… And if all those things don’t add up to a winning team, he’s going to walk and try to “get his” somewhere else. As a Knick he hasn’t just been a guy who showed up and played basketball, he’s been a constant source of controversy and backdoor intrigue.

    And it’s not like he brings some sort of otherworldly game to the table. He’s not a bad player, but there is no way he could ever be the best player on a championship team. He’s just not a good enough two way player.

  29. er

    I have said it since 2012 i cant wait til he leaves…….dead serious. Its too much about him. Knick fans attribute more to him than i have ever seen one player and its tiresome.

    1)He Fires coaches
    2)hes a “me” guy
    3)Hated Lin the golden boy
    4)isnt Lebron
    5)Selfish
    6)Greedy
    and the list goes on

    Knicks and Melo need a clean break. Lets see this Youth. However, i dont see anyone coming here now that melo is gone. Knick fans might think he sucks but his peers sure dont. We will see

  30. hoolahoop

    Just watch San Antonio play, and unless you’re a firm believer in iso-ball, the idea of building a serious contender around Melo becomes abundantly clear. Square peg in a round hole.

    Anyway, he’s gone, and the sun will rise tomorrow.

  31. d-mar

    I would never ever argue that Melo is a better basketball player than Kevin Durant, but if you substituted Durant for Melo over the last 3 seasons, how different would our seasons have been? They still lose to Boston in 2011 (maybe in 5 instead of 4) they still lose to Miami in 2012 (again, maybe in 6 instead of 5) and they probably still lose to Indiana in 2013. And this season, with the putrid level of basketball played by Felton, Shumpert, JR, et al., maybe they sneak into the 8th seed with Durant.

    What exactly has he done to inspire the vindictiveness on this board? Do what every other single player in the NBA would have done and not risk free agency with no CBA in place? Not pass the ball more to deadeye shooters like Landry Fields and Ray Felton?

    Melo is a flawed player, but he is not the reason for the Knicks falling short over the last 3-4 seasons.

  32. JK47

    WP48 says Durant was about 10 wins better than Melo last year. Win Shares says Durant was 9 wins better. So let’s say the mythical Durant-for-Melo swap gives the Knicks an extra 9.5 wins. That puts the Knicks right around Toronto’s win total, which would mean if Durant was here they would be challenging for the #3 seed, even with the rest of the crap on the roster producing the same way.

    Pretty big difference.

  33. lavor postell

    I actually like Melo as a player but anybody that thinks he hasn’t had his hand either directly or indirectly in the personnel moves this franchise has made since his arrival. CAA has more or less called the shots with the Chris Smith signing and the Bargnani trade and subsequent removal of Grunwald (who I’m not exactly a big cheerleader for) as the proverbial smoking gun. The fact that all this was basically done at the behest of Melo’s advisors and CAA cronies at least makes Melo somewhat culpable in the state of the franchise.

    Remember even when we traded for Melo he didn’t want to give the Knicks complete leverage so that he wouldn’t be perceived as the bad guy so he basically came out and said while he wanted to be a Knick, the biggest priority was inking the max extension before the CBA expired that summer so he would be willing to go to the Nets. The guy was worried that Denver wouldn’t trade him to the Knicks, when their only other option was to let him walk that summer for nothing and when he was sitting on this royal flush he folded. So we gave Denver everything they wanted, Melo got his max extension under the guise of “coming home” and everything was hunky dory as long as we were a marginal contender.

    Seriously if this guy was all about winning championships and wanted to restore the Knicks then why the fuck is he leaving when we actually seem to have management that isn’t concerned with their clients but in actually serving the franchise. At this point this non-stop drama and rumors that come along with Melo aren’t worth the headache and if we can move him to Chicago or Houston for some package of young players, picks and expiring contracts I’m fine with that. Blow it up and let’s turn the page to the next chapter of this franchise.

  34. er

    Seriously if this guy was all about winning championships and wanted to restore the Knicks then why the fuck is he leaving when we actually seem to have management that isn’t concerned with their clients but in actually serving the franchise.

    —Just turned 30

  35. sugarslim5

    I would never ever argue that Melo is a better basketball player than Kevin Durant, but if you substituted Durant for Melo over the last 3 seasons, how different would our seasons have been? They still lose to Boston in 2011 (maybe in 5 instead of 4) they still lose to Miami in 2012 (again, maybe in 6 instead of 5) and they probably still lose to Indiana in 2013. And this season, with the putrid level of basketball played by Felton, Shumpert, JR, et al., maybe they sneak into the 8th seed with Durant.

    What exactly has he done to inspire the vindictiveness on this board? Do what every other single player in the NBA would have done and not risk free agency with no CBA in place? Not pass the ball more to deadeye shooters like Landry Fields and Ray Felton?

    Melo is a flawed player, but he is not the reason for the Knicks falling short over the last 3-4 seasons.

    A lot of people had that hatred from day one, what your saying comparatively is called logic; but few have that.

    What should really be stated is that maybe many people didn’t believe in Melo because of his past losses and just leave it at that(like Collin Cowherd) but it’s coated in all types of facts of some sort.
    Or maybe people wanted D’antoni’s system to win, even though he’s unlikely to get a championship. Or maybe they wanted Jeremy Lin, even though he’s no longer a star.
    It just seems like Melo was an unwanted marriage or child.

  36. Thomas B.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=kqwru5o

    Houston adds two first round picks. Might as well really rebuild. Buck it up in 2015, Get a high draft pick in 2015, plus Houston’s. Let every expiring contract go and bring in quality free agents to build around the players you drafted in 2015.
    Bold Predictions:
    Dolan will have been forced to sell the team after a relapse leads to a drunken podcast stating that Canadian whiskey would be really popular with Latinos if it had a lower price point.

    THJ will be named defensive player of the week (for the week of July 12-19).

    Newly signed Assistant Coach Brian Scalabrine will be demoted after challenging Shumpert to a game of HORSE that lasts six hours before either makes a basket.

    Thanks to the extra hour of sleep earned at the end of Day Light Savings time, JR Smith will only be 2 hours late for shoot around on November 2, 2014.

    A suspicious fire will occur at MSG following a switch from Swingline staplers to Bostitch.

  37. ephus

    The Rockets could not (and would not) trade Parsons/Asik/Lin for Melo, even without adding two first round picks. They did not exercise their team option on Parsons, so he is a restricted free agent. They have him on a low cap hold (I thought $1.9 million, but others have printed $2.7 million). They are going to fill out their roster and then sign Parsons to something around 4 years/36 million.

    Asik/Lin/Jones/Picks for Melo also would work if Melo got around $20 million for next year. But who knows whether the Knicks would be willing to pay the poison pill year of Lin’s contract.

    Carmelo Anthony may believe that Beverly/Harden/Parsons/Anthony/Howard is a contending lineup, but if he does, he is wrong. That will be an awful defensive team. I will wish Carmelo no ill, but I think that Rockets roster has a firm ceiling at the second round.

  38. JK47

    The Bulls have the best assets to give, so I hope we trade with them, assuming Melo is set on leaving. They have two first-rounders in this year’s draft, #16 and #19, plus the rights to Mirotic, plus their own 2015 draft pick. They also have Jimmy Butler, who seems like he would be perfect as a defensive wing in the triangle.

  39. er

    ephus, i think Parsons would be the 6th man for the rockets. Smith would probably start at the 4

  40. dtrickey

    I think it’s a very interesting situation we find ourselves in. With the signing of Fish as coach there definitely feels like Phil is making some positive steps for some long term success. Early days I know, but that’s the vibe I get.

    So taking that into account, I’m in two minds. On one hand if Melo bolts we can get some expiring deals and assets and re-load. So many have been pulling for a rebuild, and to be honest, it might be a refreshing change of pace for the organisation and the catalyst for the gutting of the team. On the other hand, Melo is the best player (with all his downfalls) this organisation has had since Ewing. He’s got his faults, but lets not be silly; he’s the best we’ve had in a while. I seriously think that a contender could be built around him. We saw in last years 54 win season that a team with the right pieces around him (and a bit of luck on the injury) can be a contender.

    So all in all I think either way the Knicks could be going in the right direction. The only thing I will say is that this dependant on the type of deal Melo takes if he does re-sign. Pretty big variable I know, but I don’t think Phil is about to bet the farm on him. Should be very interesting to see how it plays out.

  41. Cock Jowles Has Predicted the Last Three Knicks Seasons

    Chandler is the best player the Knicks have had since Ewing. Carmelo isn’t even close. Carmelo knows how to take shots in many more ways, but he’s not even close to Chandler in scarcity and value.

    Kidd and Chandler made the 2012-13 team what it was. Sure enough, when Kidd left, so did our wins. When Chandler broke down, so did our wins.

    Carmelo Anthony is not the goddam answer.

  42. lavor postell

    Chandler broke down and we won 14 in a row to close the season while Melo went bonkers, but yeah sure our team just collapsed down the stretch without Chandler. Chandler, Kidd and Melo were all really fucking valuable to our 2012-13 team. None of them would have achieved anything without the contributions of the others.

    @er

    Who is Smith? Greg Smith? The Bulls signed him after the Rockets waived him during the season.

    http://www.blogabull.com/2014/4/14/5613778/bulls-waive-tornike-shengelia-sign-greg-smith

  43. BigBlueAL

    All you guys who want Melo to leave and are all excited for a proper rebuild to happen, have fun watching this team next season. I sure as hell am not looking forward watching a shitty team learning how to play in the triangle. The worst part is they will probably be like the other shitty Knick teams prior to Melo coming here and be bad but not bad enough to get a Top 3 pick. They will win 30 games and get like the 7th or 8th pick. Then they will go into free-agency in 2015 with nothing really in place to build on and will be forced to spend money on FA’s who arent really worth it. Then it will be hopefully they can sign Durant in 2016 (lol). Cant wait.

    Unlike many here Im not excited about a rebuild, Im terrified about one to be honest. Its not anywhere near a sure thing. I have faith in Phil and Fisher but not sure if I have faith in them having to start 100% over and build a team from scratch. Mainly I dont know if Dolan will allow that, you think he brought Phil here to suck for a couple of years to maybe become decent again in 3 years??

    If Melo leaves and this team cant improve much next off-season and they suck again in 2015-16 you watch Dolan will force Phil out of here after just 2 years. Then God knows what will happen then.

  44. lavor postell

    I think I’d be a lot more worried about a rebuild if we weren’t in the Eastern Conference

  45. JK47

    The Knicks will have hella cap space after the 2014-2015 season though, and if they play their cards right they might be able to get some good long-term assets for him. Tons of cap space plus some players on rookie contracts– that’s a good foundation to build something lasting. I’d rather do that than build around Melo entering his decline phase.

  46. JK47

    And as far as the idea that Dolan would fire Phil– look how loyal the guy was to Isiah Thomas.

  47. lavor postell

    Donnie Walsh was forced on him by Stern. Either way depending on Dolan to remain stable really sucks. Hopefully Phil Jackson is the Knicks version of Glen Sather for Dolan.

  48. GoNyGoNYGo

    I’m of the opinion that Carmelo Anthony is leaving the Knicks and that the true first test of Phil Jackson is going to be what he gets for Melo in a sign and trade. IMO, the Knicks must get a 1st and a starter. Boozer+the 16th would do it for me. We all know that Chandler does not fit a triangle offense (or any offense for that matter) so trading his expiring contract for a pick would be a coup. This is a good draft. I can deal with change if we get some good young parts back.

  49. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

    Carlos Boozer? Soon-to-be-33-year-old Carlos Boozer? Soon-to-be-33-year-old Carlos Boozer with a .456 eFG% in 2000+ minutes last season?

    Yeah, I think he might be the best yield for a guy that most pundits and front office guys think is an All-NBA talent.

  50. Donnie Walsh

    If Anthony wants to play and contend in NY, he needs to settle on a decending salary that averages about $12 mil. Some of the teams out there can afford to pay him a lot more and still get good value out of him in the $18-$20 range. But there is simply no way that the Knicks can field a competitive team over the next 4 years if they pay him that.

    Even with $30 mil to shop with in 2015, it’s not enough. The only way that a team that gives 90% of it’s cap to 3 players works is if the team gets significant production out of it’s rookie contracts. But the Knicks can’t get significant value out of their rookie contracts because they won’t have any. (By the time Anthony’s theoretical extension expires, the Knicks are on track to have had only one 1st rounder… So that 2015 pick had better be pretty damn great real damn fast).

  51. hoolahoop

    A lot of people had that hatred from day one, what your saying comparatively is called logic; but few have that.

    It’s not hatred. It’s understanding that Melo’s style is the antithesis of what the Spurs and Heat strive to do. To me, if Melo had the right mentality and approach to the game, he may be even better than Durant and Lebron. He’s that talented. But his (selfish?)(untrusting?) “iso” style, gets you to the first, maybe the second round of the playoffs.
    Now Melo’s on the path to be a journeyman, always looking for a team to suit his godly talent. If he doesn’t succeed at his next stop, his fans will continue to blame it on teammates, and his detractors who see the common thread of Melo falling short of his aspirations, is Melo himself.

  52. Donnie Walsh

    Melo was an unwanted marriage or child

    Even if this was true, he’s had four seasons to get fans to love him. And unlike an “unwanted kid” it shouldn’t be in the fans to love him. It should be on him to win them over. But the product he’s been the centerpiece of has been mediocre at best, and there simply hasn’t been much to love.

  53. JK47

    Carlos Boozer does have some value: if the Knicks are hell bent on tanking and getting a lottery pick, a Boozer-Bargnani front court with Ray Felton at the point is a really good head start on some ping pong balls.

  54. er

    Even if this was true, he’s had four seasons to get fans to love him. And unlike an “unwanted kid” it shouldn’t be in the fans to love him. It should be on him to win them over. But the product he’s been the centerpiece of has been mediocre at best, and there simply hasn’t been much to love.

    –Kevin Loves teams have been mediocre, Lamarcus Aldridge, on and on. Teams have nothing to do with it

  55. yellowboy90

    Do people really think Amar’e will let the Knicks tank in a contract year? Amar’e wants one last check

  56. Farfa

    Are we really all that concerned about Melo leaving? Didn’t we notice that Melo didn’t move the needle here in NY (probably not his fault, but that’s the truth)? Look, if Melo was the All-NBA 2nd team some of you think, we wouldn’t have missed the playoffs this year. Yes, we had super bad coaching. Chandler quit before half-season. Bargnani played. But no superstar in his prime would have let his team miss the playoff while giving absolutely zero fucks about it.

    Melo is a wonderful basketball player, but he’s not what Dolan and a good portion of Knicks fandom thought: he’s not a game-changer if he needs to be a franchise player. Make him play second fiddle (or make him a leader – which he’s not, and this is not a diss on him, some people have it and some don’t) and he’ll be a force of nature.

    So, let him go if he doesn’t want to stay at around 70mln/4yrs. It’s the East, guys. Field a semi-competent team and you can go the playoff, pronto!

  57. baubo

    Rockets fan here. I have visited this site at times to read your post-game reports, which I personally find to be some of the most amusing things on the net. First time poster here though to share my thoughts on at least the Rockets view of the Melo situation.

    First of all, let me just say this. The Rockets are NOT going to trade Chandler Parsons. Now, as a logical NBA fan I’m more than willing to give up Parsons if it’s necessary to get a player of Melo’s caliber. But the Rockets don’t believe they need to do so. And it would make no sense for Melo to push for this if his wish is to win. So I think ultimately if Melo chooses Houston as his destination, the Rockets will not give up Parsons in any deal. Their owner is willing to spend and go into the tax. Giving Parsons $10+mil/yr is not an issue.

    So a few things from how the Rockets look at this whole deal.

    1. They have openly talked about creating cap room. Garcia has said he will opt out. So ignore his salary if you’re going by Shamsports. The Rockets theoretically will be able to create ~$18mil by trading Asik for nothing, and Lin along with Donatas Motiejunas and their 1st round pick for nothing. Perhaps a little more is necessary for Lin’s contract. But that will be a future pick.

    2. I think the Knicks position for Melo has been greatly hindered by their wish for him to take a discount. As you can see, the Rockets cannot create the $22.5mil necessary to give Melo his theoretical max. And quite frankly for a long time that was what I felt prevented him from coming to the Rockets. But if NY wants him to take less, and add to the fact that Houston has no state income tax, and suddenly the numbers don’t look too differently.

    3. The Rockets incentive to do a deal with the Knicks in a S&T basically boils down to how much they value this year’s MLE, and how much Melo values his max contract. The Rockets at the bare minimum needs to get rid of Motiejunas or Terrence Jones, along with this year’s 1st round pick and whatever asset they can get for Asik, to create the $18mil capspace above. So that’s easily the starting point in any S&T trade discussions. They’ll either give NY Asik or trade him for an expiring contract along with a pick to give to NY. They’ll give Lin’s contract, which is a negative, along with this year’s 1st round pick and Motiejunas or Jones to make up for that. And they’ll give up further assets to maintain their MLE. Which comes either in the form of next year’s 1st rounder and/or NY’s own 2nd rounders. I think more or less this is what the Rockets will offer.

    Whether Phil thinks this is worth it for the Knicks or not, I don’t know. But if Phil plays hardball, then the Rockets offer to Melo in the end will likely be $18mil starting salary in a no-income tax state, Harden, Howard, Parsons, Beverley, Jones, Canaan, Daniels, and this year’s 2nd round picks and minimum guys.

  58. Z-man

    “Chandler is the best player the Knicks have had since Ewing. Carmelo isn’t even close. Carmelo knows how to take shots in many more ways, but he’s not even close to Chandler in scarcity and value.

    Kidd and Chandler made the 2012-13 team what it was. Sure enough, when Kidd left, so did our wins. When Chandler broke down, so did our wins.”

    This is silly.

  59. Z-man

    On a recent thread, Jowles said this:
    “I’m not saying that Chandler can take 50 shots a game in the paint. I’m saying that if he’s that effective on the attempts you do take, it should be a priority to run those attempts as often as possible.

    The “maximized low volume” theory is tenuous at best, and I don’t see any evidence for it.

    If Player A is excellent at Shot Type X, design your offense to yield more of Type X.”

    Yet not a single team or coach of the many that Chandler has played for has been able to figure this out for Chandler. He maxed out at 9 fga/36 in his second year, and has not averaged over 7 fga/36 since. Even in Dallas’s championship year, during the playoffs, he averaged less than 6fga/36.

    Chandler’s “greatness” is supposed to be in his defense and rebounding. Yet in last year’s 2nd round, Hibbert shit all over Chandler and wiped his ass with Chandler’s jersey.

    Birdman is essentially doing at the league minimum what Chandler is getting paid $14 mill to do. Talk about overvalued!

    And why does Chandler get a pass for being injured when Melo has often been playing through injury? How was the Knicks record in games that Melo sat out? The main reason Chandler-related reason we sucked when Chandler was out was Woodson’s insistence on playing Bargnani in his place rather that Aldrich (or anybody else.) Imagine if Melo went down for 2 months and was replaced by Anthony Bennett at 38 mpg and 32 usg%…

    There are a lot of things Melo can be criticized for, but not being as good as Chandler? Please. He’s been a huge disappointment, way more than Melo.

    Btw, this year, Melo led the league in minutes played per game, posted a TS% of .56 at a usage% of 32, and posted career or near-career numbers in several other categories, like DReb%. He was worth every penny we paid him this year, by any objective measure.

  60. ess-dog

    If Melo’s priority is winning at all costs, then he should go to Houston to play with Harden/Parsons/Howard. As long as he gets around 20 mil, I don’t think he’ll care about getting as much as possible.
    Also, a defensive center like Asik is the best player the Knicks could get back. I also think Lin would be extremely effective in the Triangle. A Lin/TH2/Shump/Amare/Asik lineup would be decent, could at least challenge Toronto, lol. The guard defense would be weak, but we’d have 2 shot blockers, good D on the wing, great passing, and ok 3 pt shooting. Throw in Montejunas and a draft pick or two, and you’re doing ok.

  61. ess-dog

    But I should add that if we keep Melo and Amare/Chandler are healthy, we could be pretty good if we just add a decent pg.
    Hell, a healthy Pablo/Shump/Melo/Amare/Chandler lineup ain’t bad if you can get above average back ups for Pablo, Amare, and Chandler (the old guys.)

  62. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

    Chandler’s “greatness” is supposed to be in his defense and rebounding. Yet in last year’s 2nd round, Hibbert shit all over Chandler and wiped his ass with Chandler’s jersey.

    Oh, thanks for making that case. QED, guys. I’m going home.

    (And because Birdman was a steal at league minimum, Chandler’s overrated? C’mon. You’re smarter than this.)

    Let me reiterate this: YOU DON’T HAVE TO SCORE A LOT OF POINTS TO BE A HIGHLY VALUABLE BASKETBALL PLAYER.

  63. er

    The pendulum has swung so far with advanced stats that anyone whose best quality is “scoring” is looked down upon. Literally have any other top trait and you are seen as a better player than the one who can score alot lol. Very interesting, kinda like the size doesnt matter motion of the ocean arguement

  64. flossy

    If you don’t score a lot of points, and you can’t shut down your man in a critical playoff series, and your team has shown the ability to go on 10+ game win streaks without you, and you’re being paid nearly $15,000,000/season, then yeah you might be overrated.

  65. Z-man

    @73 brilliant response.

    I did a search on C’s who played reasonable minutes and had WS48 of .160+. Chandler was at the top in ws48 but at the very bottom of the pile in fga/36 every year he was on the list. Amazing how you can jack up your ws48 (wp48) by passing the buck to hide your ineptitude, just like you can jack up your PER by taking lots of shots.

  66. johnno

    Wow. Such vitriol in this thread. What’s it going to be like if Melo signs somewhere else for like 12 million a year and the Knicks get nothing in return? (Although, if it’s the Heat, I’ll probably join in…)

  67. DRed

    It’s interesting to think back on last offseason, when people laughed at the idea we’d miss Jason Kidd and Steve Novak’s production. And then we were much worse, and people still laugh at the idea.

  68. DRed

    Amazing how you can jack up your ws48 (wp48) by passing the buck to hide your ineptitude, just like you can jack up your PER by taking lots of shots.

    Missing lots of shots is much worse than not taking lots of shots.

  69. sugarslim5

    It’s interesting to think back on last offseason, when people laughed at the idea we’d miss Jason Kidd and Steve Novak’s production. And then we were much worse, and people still laugh at the idea.

    Jason Kidd himself denied this at one point this season. I only deny what doesn’t have very clear proof.

  70. Z-man

    “Missing lots of shots is much worse than not taking lots of shots.”

    On the average, the best team in the league (SA) missed 42 out of 83 shots per game this year. If they had cut back to 40 shots but missed only 10, they might have gone 82-0! Those missed shots are killing them!

  71. Z-man

    Jason Kidd’s biggest contribution was that he wasn’t Felton. Novak’s biggest contribution was that he wasn’t Bargnani. Neither had anything to do with Melo or Chandler.

  72. DRed

    Jason Kidd’s biggest contribution was that he wasn’t Felton.

    You know who was Ray Felton 2 years ago? Ray Felton. We didn’t replace Kidd with Felton. We already fucking had Felton.

  73. sugarslim5

    It’s not hatred. It’s understanding that Melo’s style is the antithesis of what the Spurs and Heat strive to do. To me, if Melo had the right mentality and approach to the game, he may be even better than Durant and Lebron. He’s that talented. But his (selfish?)(untrusting?) “iso” style, gets you to the first, maybe the second round of the playoffs.
    Now Melo’s on the path to be a journeyman, always looking for a team to suit his godly talent. If he doesn’t succeed at his next stop, his fans will continue to blame it on teammates, and his detractors who see the common thread of Melo falling short of his aspirations, is Melo himself.

    There is most certainlty hatred from many members on this board. You can’t spew out so many accusations in such a negative tone without having hatred.

    Carmelo Anthony is not a basketball squad, he’s an individual, so he can’t achieve what a whole squad does. His style of play is not meant to be selfish, it’s a natural development that can’t be completely changed(especially without his game taking a hit). This fact is the same as looking different from someone else. Everyone has a unique fingerprint or handwriting style, some people are left handed.

    Didn’t the Knicks fall apart the first 2 years Carmelo was in the playoffs? And in his 3rd year, how much help did he really have? A couple of average scorers and unathletic PG’s? I’d be more willing to believe you if this weren’t true.

  74. flossy

    Didn’t the Knicks fall apart the first 2 years Carmelo was in the playoffs? And in his 3rd year, how much help did he really have? A couple of average scorers and unathletic PG’s? I’d be more willing to believe you if this weren’t true.

    Personally, I’m tired of hearing the whining about how Melo has never had any help, because his presence hasn’t seemed to move the needle very much anyway. The super-max contract that he wants would make him literally the highest paid player in the NBA. Someone making that kind of scratch should be the kind of elite two-way player who makes his teammates measurably better. The fact is the Melo is fundamentally meant to be the 2nd or 3rd banana on a team that’s already stacked (which, I guess to his credit, he’s starting to realize?) but he acts like, and demands to be paid like, generational talents like LeBron or Kobe in his prime.

  75. Donnie Walsh

    The “vitriol” isn’t really hatred, and it’s not really directed at Anthony. It is frustration because everything that the critics of the 2011 trade said would happen, has.

    Anthony has done little to “prove the detractors wrong”. He still can, of course, but not from Houston, Chicago, or Miami. If he leaves, he deserves the vitriol (and so, of course, does Dolan).

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