All is not right in the world of the New York Knicks. Sure, New York has made some quality free-agent signings, like those of Metta World Peace and J.R. Smith, but all of that is null and void if Carmelo Anthony leaves after the season.
New York is not even done playing the free-agency market, and the world's focus is still only fixated on Anthony and the chance he could opt out next offseason in order to jump to the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Knicks have a little wiggle room left under the cap and have been flirting with a variety of free agents in the past few weeks.
It makes sense, with fielding a contender and actually making a championship run being the only viable ways to keep Anthony around for the long haul.
We'd be remiss if we did not focus on the Anthony drama, which you'll never hear the end of until something happens, but let's take a look at the other major rumors surrounding the team that are worth monitoring.
Knicks Still Pleading with Beno Udrih
The Knicks have a veteran minimum to give out to one willing player, and the organization continues to hold out hope it will be a point guard.
More specifically, the Knicks want Udrih badly.
The problem is that Udrih may not be interested in coming to New York, for financial reasons. He may believe he can find better money elsewhere, according to ESPN's Marc Stein via Twitter:
New York has a vested interest in bringing him on because the duo of Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni is not a reassuring bunch, assuming J.R. Smith mans the shooting-guard position.
For now New York is pleading with Udrih, but he clearly wants to be elsewhere.
Mo Williams and Bobby Brown Remain Firmly on New York's Radar
There are a number of names the Knicks have been considering when it comes to backup point guard, should Udrih not pan out.
According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Knicks have taken themselves out of the running for Delonte West but are still interested in Mo Wiliams. However, Berman notes that Williams could choose the Miami Heat if it comes down to a minimum deal, which it would with New York:
The Knicks, who are only able to offer minimum contracts, also are interested in Mo Williams but it is more likely he signs with Miami if it comes down to a minimum deal.
An NBA source said the Knicks no longer have embattled Delonte West on their wish list despite prior inquiries.
After re-signing Pablo Prigioni, the Knicks have been in a summer-long search for a third point guard to replace Jason Kidd, who abruptly retired to coach the Nets.
Should Williams go to Miami and West feel shunned, the Knicks still have Euroleague star Bobby Brown as an option, but only until the deadline specified in his contract of August 15.
Marc Stein points out on Twitter that Brown has already found a new home but has an NBA out clause in the new contract:
The Knicks are serious about adding a point guard but have to be careful with how they play their cards. Not every player is going to be happy to be just one of the many the team is considering, and not all are going to wait around for deadlines.
Carmelo Anthony's Window is Closing
Now what you all have been waiting for: the latest quote from Anthony himself. You either do or don't want to see him go, but Anthony is not ready to give an answer to the question just yet.
As far as ruling anything out, I haven’t even, to be honest with you, thought about anything past today...My mind is not even thinking about next season, next offseason right now. I’m just trying to do what I do this offseason to get right, work out, train, and get right and prepare myself for this season. When that time comes, I’ll deal with that.
'Melo may say he isn't thinking about opting out next year, but you better believe he is, simply because of how much he's getting hounded with the question. It's on his mind whether he wants it to be or not.
The most concerning part for the Knicks? 'Melo went on to admit that his "window is closing,” which is nothing but a bad sign if the team cannot field a contender this year.
If Anthony believes that his window is truly closing to win a championship, then there's nothing to stop him from leaving New York if the team falters once more.
It's not a comforting thought by any means, but it is a reality of the way the NBA operates right now. Furthermore, it already makes financial sense for 'Melo to opt out. The rules are structured so that New York can offer the most cash in free agency, but we've seen that fail to retain a superstar in the past.
New York better start competing for championships. Now.
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