Mike Woodson: Carmelo Anthony Was 'Built For' New York Knicks

Zach BuckleyNational NBA Featured ColumnistJanuary 30, 2014

January 5, 2013; Orlando FL, USA; New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson talks with small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during the second quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone seems to have an idea about where Carmelo Anthony will be headed in free agency this summer.

Well, everyone but Melo himself.

On Monday, his wife, La La, said she thinks her husband will "definitely" stay with the New York Knicks, via Peter Botte of the New York Daily News. On Wednesday, New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson echoed that sentiment.

"I’ve been saying the same thing," Woodson said during a weekly appearance on ESPN New York 98.7 FM, via Roger Rubin of the New York Daily News. "I think he's going to stay. I want him to stay."

Anthony can opt out of his current contract after this season, something he's said he intends to do, via Rafi Kohan of The New York Observer. The reigning scoring champ likely won't be short on suitors, and New York's rocky 18-27 start has clouded his future in the Empire State.

Still, this is the city that Anthony fought so hard to get to in 2011. It's one of the few markets that could vault him into historical context should he ever win something of substance there.

"If he ends his career here, I think he won’t ever look back and say ‘I should have’ or ‘I could have,'” Woodson said on 98.7, per Rubin. "I don't think that’s ever been an issue. I think Melo was built for New York. I hope he stays here as well.”

For all the intangibles the city can offer, there's also a very tangible appeal to sticking around in the Big Apple. The Knicks can offer him an extra year and roughly $33 million more on his next contract than he could find anywhere else.

The option to take the money and stay won't be an easy one to pass up.

If the 29-year-old puts winning ahead of financial gains, that's where the Knicks could potentially run into trouble. They're still on the outside looking in at a dismal Eastern Conference playoff picture, cash-strapped for next season and out two of their next three first-round draft picks.

As rough as this season has been so far, things could conceivably get worse before they get any better.

That's why it's hard putting any stock into what anyone else says about Anthony's future, regardless of the source.

"What La La says on a slow news day in January and what Carmelo does on a hot July afternoon in the middle of free agency may be entirely different," Frank Isola of the New York Daily News noted.

Only Melo himself knows what he's looking for in free agency. Only he can determine whether financial or on-court success holds more importance in his book.

He's not going to tell the basketball world where his heart lies before he's had the chance to carefully weigh his options. Even if he did, his words won't carry much weight until they're accompanied by a signature on the dotted line.