Carmelo Anthony is stuck watching the playoffs as a spectator after an abysmal season with the New York Knicks. The 29-year-old is also about to be a free agent.
In other words, Anthony is going to be a star in the offseason rumor mill.
He'll have plenty of company, and if the amount of rumors flying around by Saturday's start to the postseason are any indication, it is going to be an eventful offseason.
Below, I'll dish out the latest on three veteran frontcourt players. One of whom is so veteran, the rumors involve him becoming a general manager.
Where will Anthony play next season?
As mentioned above, Anthony's movements this offseason are going to draw a little attention.
So, when Frank Isola reports in the New York Daily News that Melo asked a former Bulls player, "What is it like to play for Thibs?" basketball fans are going to go a little bonkers.
Thibs is, of course, Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau. Now, and Isola is quick to point this out, this question could have nothing to do with Anthony's plans in free agency.
Then again, if Melo wants to win, as the New York Times points out, Chicago is a strong choice:
Of course, winning is one thing and money is another, and no team can offer Melo more money than the Knicks. According to Melo, in the tweets from Isola below, it's all about winning, however:
Carmelo: "I want to come back...I also want to win."— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) April 17, 2014
Carmelo: "At this point in my career I'm not concerned about the money." Knicks can offer more than any other team: five years, $129 million— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) April 17, 2014
If he wants to win, the Knicks are out, right? Not so fast you Knicks haters. As Sam Amico of Fox Sports tweets, it appears Anthony is expected to stay put:
Most execs feel Carmelo returns to #Knicks as well. Biggest name available could be Pau Gasol. "Never know tho. Lots can change," exec says.— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) April 15, 2014
With Phil Jackson bringing his championship pedigree to New York, perhaps Melo feels the Knicks will morph into a contender in rapid fashion. Still, if he does return to the Knicks, I'm not going to believe it's because he wants to win.
Just one year removed from his playing days, Grant Hill is reportedly getting strong interest to be a general manager. ESPN's Marc Stein hit us with this news:
Pistons vowing broad search for Joe Dumars' successor, but two names already in circulation to be on their list: Scott Perry and Grant Hill— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) April 16, 2014
Hill began his career with the Pistons in what feels like an alternate reality. He averaged 19.9 points per game in his rookie season with Detroit in 1994-95 and was being billed by many as the league's next superstar. After six seasons, Hill was traded to the Orlando Magic and he was severely derailed by injuries.
The Pistons, who had early success with a former player-turned-general manager in Joe Dumars, would be going back to the well with this hire.
It takes two to tango when filling a job, however, and Hill does not appear to be overly interested:
Grant Hill reportedly not interested in Pistons GM role http://t.co/ZR1d9TVW6Z— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) April 17, 2014
The article linked in that tweet cites a report from Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News. Goodwill reported that Hill "has told people close to him he won't consider a front-office position this close to retirement, but down the line when his children get older, he would consider it."
Hill currently has an NBA TV analyst position with Turner, so it's not like he's hurting for work. It is easy to see the allure of having a little extra time with his family after having just spent 18 grueling seasons in the NBA.
It wouldn't be an NBA rumors piece if we didn't discuss Pau Gasol. The tall Spaniard has become a fixture in these types of pieces. The refreshing change now is that the rumors come as him being a free agent and not a trade possibility.
Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News passed along this information:
The Lakers and Gasol are both lukewarm about reuniting. The Lakers will not pay Gasol near the $19.3 million he made this season. Despite Gasol’s versatility, the Lakers also believe his best years are behind him. Gasol will not return if he fields offers from championship-caliber teams and/or D’Antoni is retained. Still, Bryant’s support and Gasol’s affection for this franchise could ensure he has not expended his nine lives with the Lakers.
If Gasol is waiting for $19.3 million for next season, it is going to be a long wait. Still, the 7-footer has wonderful value on the basketball court. Last season, he averaged 17.4 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. At 33, however, he is unlikely to ever play a full season again. He was limited to just 60 games this year and 49 the season before that.
There is a logical connection for Gasol in free agency. This tweet by ESPN's Ian Begley helps highlight:
That is essentially a non-comment. The only thing Gasol admitted was he would not plug his ears while saying "I'm not listening to you" as Jackson talked to him. Still, the point remains that it would be an interesting pairing, and there is little doubt that the uniquely skilled center will get plenty of interest this offseason.
So, finally it looks like Gasol will be on his way out of L.A. Of course, ever since he was on his way out in the ill-fated Chris Paul trade, I've said the same thing a time or two. There is something about this relationship that neither side can seem to fully quit, and when they do, basketball reasons keep them together.
In Lakerville, Kobe Bryant is also known as basketball reasons, and the star has a way of getting what he wants. Don't be shocked if Gasol winds up right back with the Lakers.