Should the New York Knicks Trade Carmelo Anthony?
| By Moke Hamilton
If you ask Tyson Chandler, Carmelo Anthony isn’t heading anywhere.
“The one thing that I know is he is locked [in], and he is a Knick,” Chandler said. “He showed that. When times were rough, he went out of his way to make sure that every guy was okay and that everyone understood we’re in it together. If we’re going to sink or go down, we’re going to go down together. At the end of the day, we’re going fight together and I appreciate that.”
Yet still, the overall inconsistent play from his team has left Anthony, at times, exhibiting a demeanor awfully reminiscent of Dwight Howard’s in the months preceding his departure from Hollywood.
The prospect of Anthony fleeing as a free agent is one that would give any Knick-lover nightmares. The franchise must decide whether to keep Anthony and risk losing him for nothing via free agency or find a team Anthony would be willing to re-sign with and proactively trade him for assets.
To a man, Anthony’s current teammates still believe he can be the top player on a championship team, and the “franchise player” tag is one that has grown synonymous with the small forward.
“Carmelo means a lot to this team,” Raymond Felton said when asked about the Knicks retaining Anthony. “He’s our number one scorer and he’s our franchise player. That says enough right there. He’s one of our leaders out there on the court and he’s the main guy we run our offense through.”
“He’s very important,” Kenyon Martin said. “He’s one of the most important, if not the most important, people on the team.”
When asked if the team ever thinks about Anthony’s pending free agency, Martin exploded.
“Hell no, we don’t think about no shit like that, man,” Martin said. “During the course of the game, if someone is thinking about something like that, then they’re in the wrong place. No. Why would we think about that? That’s shit that [media] come up with. Ain’t nobody got time to be thinking about that shit, we got lives and family and other shit going on. Nobody got time to be thinking about that shit.”
Privately, the belief in the New York front office is that Anthony is far from the problem. As a franchise, the Knicks are certain that they can build around him and are confident that the comfort-level he has in New York and the team’s ability to outbid any competitor in free agency will be enough to retain him.
That belief is likely to keep Anthony in New York past the deadline. In the end, it may keep him in New York for the remainder of his career.
Read the rest of this piece by downloading the magazine here. Hamilton breaks down how LeBron James’ ‘Decision’ changed how teams deal with superstars, how Carmelo Anthony could be New York’s Dirk Nowitzki and much more.