Let’s be real here, Carmelo Anthony never was going to walk away from the New York Knicks.
You can email me all the articles you want, tweet me links to what “anonymous sources” have said, or whatever else you feel like, but never, even for one second, did I believe Melo was walking.
Part of this is because I just cannot see Carmelo walking away from a guaranteed $30 million. Another part of it, which mainly discusses how aware the modern day player is of perception and the effect it has on his “brand” was outlined in a recent BOB article which you can find here.
But really it has nothing to do with either of those things. I always truly believed that Carmelo wanted to win in New York – and still does.
Regardless of what I, or anyone else thinks about the subject, the inevitable saga of Carmelo Anthony’s upcoming free agency just got a lot quieter.
I for one am relieved because honestly how many “Carmelo Anthony and Lala were spotted at this or that Beverly Hills nightspot hence he’s playing for the Lakers next year” articles could anyone really stomach before they were driven absolutely insane. I long ago exceeded my limit for such things since during the summer of 2010 I believed every little clue put forth by the Daily News or the NY Post in regards to Lebron coming to play in the Garden. I was sure it was going to happen. So to say I don’t want to deal with that type of situation again would be an understatement.
Even though Melo landing in L.A. has always seemed far-fetched to me, I cannot act like it was an impossible outcome. The Lakers are a storied franchise, with a giant fan-base, who play in one of the greatest cities in the world. So while I didn’t think it would happen, it was far from unrealistic.
While the door is still not completely, 100% closed on the Melo to L.A. situation, it is as close to being slammed shut as you can possible get. In fact, unless Steve Nash decides to cut the Lakers a big break by retiring (not likely) then that door is closed. And all of this is due to the fact that the Lakers gave the 35 year old Kobe Bryant a two year extension worth $48 million.
Here’s a breakdown of what this extension does to the Lakers plans moving forward: From Grantlands’s Zach Lowe
The deal also kills the Lakers’ dreamy goals of bringing two max-level stars to team with Bryant this summer. The Lakers could have, at most, about $21.5 million in cap space this summer if they retain Steve Nash’s full salary. And even that figure assumes the following:
• L.A. renounces its rights to Pau Gasol, and does not re-sign him;
• The Lakers pick around no. 14 or no. 15 in the draft;
• The Lakers sign zero other players before luring Star Player X in free agency, so that the empty remaining roster spots carry minimum charges of only about $500,000 each.
And even in this scenario, the Lakers could not fit the maximum salary of, say, Carmelo Anthony. Using the stretch provision on Nash could open up about $6 million of cap space, allowing the Lakers to sign that max-level player — and little else. Los Angeles floundered in 2012-13 with Bryant, Gasol, Nash, Dwight Howard, and a bench of minimum-salaried retreads. How do you think they would fare in the ultra-competitive Western Conference in 2014-15 with Bryant, Anthony, Nash (or not), and a bench of minimal-level retreads? They may be better off bringing back Gasol at $10 million or so over two seasons (if he’d take such a deal), finding a couple of other solid mid-priced guys on short-term deals, and seeing how things go from there.
Unfortunately, even with all this information at our fingertips, the Melo to L.A. stories still wont be going away anytime soon.
Even though we have hard cap figures laid out before us, “reputable” reporters and bloggers will still try to force this story down our throats, especially if the Knicks continue to struggle.
At least now when you do see these types of stories,you will know that almost any scenario being presented in them is close to impossible.