We haven’t heard much from Carmelo Anthony since the New York Knicks’ season ended in April. We know that he met with Phil Jackson for dinner weeks ago to have a little chat, and we know Jackson said he’s talked to Anthony about taking less money to stay in New York. Otherwise, ‘Melo has remained pretty quiet.
According to Marc Berman, Anthony and his agents met up in New York recently to discuss free agency and the summer ahead:
Carmelo Anthony staged a dinner meeting with his entourage Friday night to discuss his free-agent future, according to a source familiar with the situation.
Anthony, his Creative Artists Agency agent Leon Rose, and CAA adviser William Wesley were in the group of six at a well-known haunt on 28th Street called Pergola in a strategy session discussing their options. The source said the group sat in a private back room.
None of these sources have any insight (that we know of) as to what Anthony and his agents discussed at this dinner, so it’s very difficult to speculate what Anthony may be thinking at this time.
Berman mentions that back when Jackson and Anthony met for dinner, Jackson was selling ‘Melo on the idea of Steve Kerr as the Knicks’ new head coach. Of course, Kerr balked at the Knicks’ low-ball deal and took the job with the Golden State Warriors instead. Losing Kerr, a former player and disciple, to another team had to have hurt Jackson and his ethos with the team, but as Berman also mentions, Anthony doesn’t have many great options this summer.
The Chicago Bulls would have clear their depth to acquire Anthony, and Joakim Noah just had surgery and Derrick Rose is an unknown for the future. The Houston Rockets would also have to clear some of their depth to acquire Anthony, and there might be issue fits between Dwight Howard, James Harden, and Anthony. Evidently, Anthony and the Lakers isn’t an ideal match, either.
Teams like the Dallas Mavericks — who have just roughly $26.5 million committed to salary next year — or the Golden State Warriors — who have tradeable assets — could be threats to get Anthony. However, Berman does say in his report that the Knicks remain the favorites.
Phil Jackson seems intent on keeping Anthony, but at the right cost. Obviously, it’d be extremely tough to find a player of Anthony’s talent to replace him with, but hopefully Jackson navigates the free agency waters carefully. Keeping ‘Melo would be ideal, but if not, Jackson and the Knicks need to have the wherewithal to get something in return for Anthony if he leaves New York.