NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Carmelo Anthony and Marcin Gortat

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 25, 2014

New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony (7) argues a call with referee Haywoode Workman during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

Although the NBA rumor mill is winding down a bit, there's still plenty of talk flying around the league.

It doesn't matter what part of the season we're in, fans and experts will always talk about where the crop of free agents may go in the summer.

This is the NBA we live in now. Discussing the future of potential free agents has been a talking point for years now, but since The Decision and the Dwight-mare, the speculation has reached ridiculous levels.

Here's the latest on two players who may be off in the summer.


Will Carmelo Anthony Stay in New York This Summer?

Jan 24, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) reacts after scoring 62 points against the Charlotte Bobcats at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The best thing that could have happened for the New York Knicks in terms of keeping Carmelo Anthony could very well have been that 62-point performance he had against the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday night, breaking the team's single-game scoring record.

It was one of those magical moments that was made all the more special by the Madison Square Garden crowd. After a game like that, you could see why Anthony may want to stay.

But you have to balance that one night with the volume of dysfunction behind the scenes, so it wouldn't be all that shocking to see Melo move somewhere else in the summer, per Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski:

The losing, the decaying roster, has inspired 'Melo to consider closely the possibilities of free agency this summer. Within the past several weeks, a longtime confidant of Carmelo Anthony confesses, something changed. Never did he believe there was a chance Anthony would leave the New York Knicks—never the Madison Square Garden stage, never the $129 million contract extension.

Only now, the gloom of the Knicks' season—the uncertainty of the franchise's future—left that man to believe it's possible Anthony could leave New York in free agency.

"Chicago is much more in play for him than L.A.," the source said.

According to Michael Scotto of Sherdian Hoops, the general feeling is that Anthony hasn't come to a final decision about his future, which makes sense. New York is a little over halfway through the regular season. A lot can change between now and the summer.

But an executive in the Eastern Conference doesn't see things improving, telling Sheridan Hoops, "The Knicks put themselves in a bad situation with that personnel because they don’t have the right pieces around Anthony."


Washington Wizards Want to Keep Marcin Gortat

Jan 24, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat reacts in the first quarter against the Phoenix Suns at the US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Wizards don't want to see Marcin Gortat leave at the end of the season.

The option is there for the team to re-sign him to an extension before he could hit free agency, but's Marc Stein reported that Washington is planning on a bidding war in the offseason:

According to the latest whispers out of the nation's capital, Gortat has been presented with the option of signing a contract extension between now and June 30 by the Wizards, who acquired the Polish big man from Phoenix just days before the season started in late October.

The Wizards, though, are apparently resigned to the idea that Gortat will become a free agent July 1 after playing out the final season of his current contract, which is valued at $7.27 million.

Stein went on to report that re-signing Gortat is considered "a top priority" for the Wizards. The 29-year-old is averaging 12.1 points and 8.7 rebounds a game this season.

He's been a solid contributor for the Wizards, helping them climb to fifth in the Eastern Conference. At his age, Gortat still has a few good years left in the tank, but it may be tough for Washington to bring him back.

You never know how the free-agent market will play out, and you could see a team giving Gortat an inflated deal this offseason.