Anthony said the following of his potential involvement in trades moving forward, per Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears via Twitter:
‘Melo has had his name floated in rumors in the wake of New York’s abysmal 2013-14 season. He will become an unrestricted free agent if he exercises the early termination option in his contract, and he’s already said, “I want to be a free agent,” per Rafi Kohan of the New York Observer.
The Knicks are losers of two straight entering the All-Star break and sport a 20-32 record overall, which ranks them 10th in the lowly Eastern Conference.
Mike Woodson’s crew is 12-18 at home, 8-14 on the road, 15-18 in the conference and 3-6 in the Atlantic Division.
Despite the team’s evident woes, Anthony has continued to play well.
Last year’s scoring champion is averaging fewer points per game this season (27.3 versus 28.7). However, he’s shooting 41.6 percent from downtown—his highest percentage from deep since 2010-11, and is posting a career-high 8.6 rebounds per contest.
This sentiment from Anthony echoes a Knicks source who told Spears there was “no chance” the Knicks would trade their superstar.
The fear in New York is that Anthony will leave for nothing in return when he becomes a free agent, but for what it’s worth, Grantland’s Jalen Rose said in October, “Carmelo Anthony will not leave the Knicks.”
Money talks, and due to that factor, I’m inclined to agree with Rose’s intuition.
According to ESPN’s Ian Begley, 'Melo “could ink a five-year contract worth $129,135,806” if he re-signed with the Knicks.
Conversely, “If he signs with another team, the maximum he can earn is $95,897,372 over four years, according to calculations by ESPN salary-cap expert Larry Coon.”
Granted, All-Star center Dwight Howard left some money on the table by leaving the Los Angeles Lakers for the Houston Rockets, so there’s truly no foolproof way to predict what players will do as free agents who are able to do what they please.
Losing Anthony for nothing would be a deathblow to a Knicks team with bad contracts, a lack of young assets and virtually no draft picks. At this point, however, it appears to be set in stone that they won’t trade Anthony before the Feb. 20 deadline.