Carmelo Anthony Won't Commit to NY Knicks Beyond 2013-14 Season

Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistJuly 31, 2013

Nothing like trading in two-plus years worth of Dwightmares for some Melodrama.

New York Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in less than one year's time, at which point he will sign with...well, we have no idea.

While Stephen A. Smith of ESPN stated there was a "50-50" chance the forward would abandon the Knicks to join Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers next summer, 'Melo said differently.

"Ummmmm, I doubt it," he told TMZ a week ago when asked about potentially sporting a purple and gold jersey.

Case closed. Or so we thought.

Asked by (via Marc Berman of the New York Post) if this upcoming season will impact whether he'll stay in New York, Anthony was evasive at best.

“I can’t do that,’’ he said. “It’s too tough right now."

At the risk of reading between the lines—which Anthony told us not to do previously—it doesn't seem as if 'Melo has made his mind up one way or the other. And we can't really infer much else after all that's happened.

Prior to Smith's "50-50" report, 'Melo told reporters during exit interviews that he wasn't planning on going anywhere.

"I know I'm going to be here for a long time," Anthony said of his situation in New York, according to ESPN's Ian O'Connor.

A lot has changed since then, though. The Eastern Conference has gotten stronger, and after acquiring Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce the Brooklyn Nets appear to be heavy favorites to win the Atlantic Division.

This isn't to suggest that 'Melo has already packed his bags. Berman notes that he seemed pleased with the Knicks' offseason transactions, calling the Andrea Bargnani trade a "steal." Recent reports from Hoopsworld's Steve Kyler and Smith himself (via Tommy Beer of Hoopsworld as well) also postulate that New York is willing to let 'Melo build his own team in 2015, and LeBron James would be interested in being a part of that master plan if the opportunity presented itself.

All we know for sure, then, is that we know nothing. 

'Melo hasn't yet committed to the Knicks because he can't. Maybe he never will (I think he will).

His decision depends on a number of extenuating circumstances, including how New York fares next year and his options next summer compared to what would be available in 2015.

For now, hold off on photoshopping pictures of Kobe and 'Melo doing their best J.R. Smith impression on the Hollywood strip while donning matching jerseys. But also be sure not to tattoo Anthony's Knicks jersey on your forehead.

Now's not the time to make those kinds of decisions. Like 'Melo, photoshoppers and impulsive tattoo-getters everywhere must let next season unfold before professing where their loyalties lie.