Welcome back to another article written by Post Up. As we have mentioned previously, we are a little out of reach from the playoffs and discussing that yet, so therefore we have looked to the off-season as our source of writing material. For the past few articles, we have been writing about draft prospects and the draft system itself. Today, we will look at another aspect of the off-season and that is free agency. We will be looking at Carmelo and the situation he is in and which choice he should make, so let us dive into this already!
Option 1: New York Knicks
Before I continue on with this article I want to make something extremely clear for certain individuals out there. No, I am not writing about Carmelo because there is a possibility that he will come to the Chicago Bulls. I am writing about Carmelo because right now he is the biggest name that could become a free agent this summer (let’s be honest, LeBron is not going anywhere) and he has not given his decision yet on where he will go. I will also like to say that anything I write is 100% unbiased and I will not be swayed one way or another because of my team affiliations.
Okay? Good. Now that we have that settled, let us actually dive into Carmelo’s options should he chose to terminate his contract this summer. Before, we examine the teams he has to choose from, we must realize this is all hypothetical because he still has to terminate his contract. Will he terminate his contract?
Personally, I think he will. Regardless of the outcome of this summer, I believe we will see Carmelo terminate his contract and fish before making his decision. Carmelo will have an interview with nearly every team in the league this summer but there are only two truth options for him:
Stay in New York, or head to the Windy City. “OH MY GOSH YOU BIASED PRICK!” HEY! Remember what I said in the opening of this article? Wait before you judge, okay? Good.
So first let us look at why Carmelo should and would stay in New York.
For beginners, his family loves New York. His wife has said numerous times in interviews, especially this season, that the Anthony’s love the Big Apple and would hate to move from there.
Another reason why Carmelo would stay is that he does not want to become a villain. I am sure that in the back of his mind he does not want to do what LeBron did with “The Decision” and therefore the best way to avoid that is to stay put.
Another big reason that he would stay in New York is for the money. Regardless of where he goes this summer, the fact of the matter is he will be taking a big pay cut compared to what he would get in New York. Due to loyalty clauses, resigning with the team, etc. he would easily be making Kobe money next year if he were to stay in New York (by the way that is about $28 mil a year) and would more than likely be the top paid basketball player. Besides the contract money, New York itself is a massive market and he would be getting just as many, if not a few more endorsements over the last big contract he signs.
The other massive piece to this interesting puzzle that could kept Carmelo in New York is what the front office did about 2 months ago in signing Phil Jackson. The reason I say “could” is because I believe the amount of influence Jackson has is what keeps Carmelo in New York. If Jackson takes on a Pat Riley role by helping give pointers to his coach (this goes the other way because Mike Woodson has to take the advice), going to practices every now and then, and building a team to win around Carmelo, Carmelo will stay. The only issue is that Jackson is a bit of a wild card. He has made it very clear he does not want to be apart of practices like Riley, and who knows if he just wants to stay strictly to the front office or help Woodson. Jackson has said Carmelo can go to another level, but that involves coaching the player, again which he does not want to do. Only time will tell but the fact of the matter is that Phil Jackson will play a massive role in what happens with Carmelo this off-season.
Option 2: Chicago Bulls
Carmelo has only one other option other than staying in New York and that is heading to Chicago. The reason his only option is New York is because only LA and Chicago have the money to partially make up for his losses in leaving New York. But, the Lakers made it very clear this season that there is only one name they care about this off-season and that is LeBron, otherwise they are gonna wait for next off-season to do anything big in the market.
That being said, let us look at why Carmelo would and should head to Chicago:
To start off with, his son loves Derrick Rose. He was reported saying to Joakim Noah that his son’s favorite player is Rose (awkward…) and believe it or not, kids and family are important to people like Carmelo so that may play a role this summer.
Another reason to come to Chicago is the Bulls are ready. New York is still three to four years away from being truly back in the contention picture with only having two current pieces in Chandler and Carmelo (and Chandler may already be slipping). The Bulls on the other hand are one scoring presence away from being able to compete with the likes of Indiana and Miami, heck even now without one they are always giving those teams a run for their money. Plus, the other factor is Carmelo is not getting any younger. In three years he will be 33 and may not be holding up like he is now. The Bulls give him the option to compete now and for the next few years, while the Knicks cannot give him that until a few years down the road.
Another factor could be if Rose and Noah openly court Carmelo this summer. This is a big step for both players to take because by courting Carmelo to come to Chicago, Rose will have to leave his comfort zone and actually recruit players. The other big issue is by wanting Carmelo to come to Chicago, they will both be showing that Boozer is not apart of the equation anymore. The Bulls front office has said that only if they get a superstar will they amnesty Boozer, so therefore Boozer would be gone. This is going to be difficult, especially for Noah, because he has very strong and true friendships with every player who has fought with him in that Bulls uniform. The fact of the matter is, recruiting Carmelo will go along way with him and by showing loyalty to someone who they hardly know and throwing someone they do know, like Boozer, to the curb will most likely make Carmelo feel wanted and give him a reason to come to Chicago.
The last major piece to this puzzle is also not a player, but Tom Thibodeau. Phil Jackson stated that Carmelo can still reach another level, and if there is anyone who is more aware of that and knows how to get Carmelo there, it is Thibodeau. Thibodeau has shown these past few seasons that his teams play as teams. They do not look to focus on one player on offense and look to suffocate you as a team on defense. There is a reason that when Rose came back this year he was struggling in the beginning because he is use to chucking up the ball or kicking it out at the last second. Thibodeau in his absence has created a strong team offense that it was not until Rose got hurt again that he was figuring that out. If Carmelo comes in, he will be a better scorer because of this because he will be taking his shots, and better shots. Not only that but if Carmelo buys into the system we could see him become a much better defender. Thibodeau’s system has clearly shown that if you buy in, you will see results especially on defense. It only took Boozer his entire time in Chicago to figure that out but now, this year, he is actually doing average defensive work some nights. Could you imagine if Carmelo was shooting better and playing above average defense? That is a scary thought.
The Verdict: Toss Up
Whatever Carmelo does this off-season, short of a “The Decision,” it will be for the best. If he stays in New York it will be for his family and how they have settled there, and for the money. It will be a few seasons before title competition but, he will only be 33 and could make a decent, last-ditch effort at the title. Plus, he will remain loyal to New York and loyalty is something hard to come by these days.
If he does decide to come to Chicago, it will be because he wants to win. Therefore, we may see the Bulls win in the next few years, barring Carmelo buys in. Carmelo is a very likable figure in the NBA and because of that there is a reason why there is a strong gathering of Knicks fans wanting him to go to Chicago because they want to see him be happy and win, also barring a “The Decision” show. Whatever happens it will be interesting nonetheless, and we wish Carmelo the best of luck. But, regardless of what happens, it looks like a win-win for him no matter what, again barring “The Decision.”
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