Factoring everything into the equation, Rajon Rondo should be the Knicks' primary target next offseason.
There was wind of Anthony pressing for Rondo to change colors last summer, when Marc Berman of the New York Post reported that 'Melo wanted New York to make a play for the point guard in a trade (despite having nothing of value):
Anthony told friends after the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trade to the Nets, he figured the Knicks would make a play for point guard for Rajon Rondo. Anthony believes Rondo would be the perfect piece and would be super motivated in New York to attempt to knock off Garnett and Pierce.
Next summer, though, the Knicks won't need trade assets—only cap room, which they'll have plenty of.
Last December, in a USA Today feature, both players' high school coach at Oak Hill, Steve Smith, hinted that Anthony has been pulling some strings for months now:
No, I think he should be fine. He took a long time off and he’s rehabbed the right way. Whether he stays in Boston or not who knows. I know, talking to Melo, he’s recruiting Rajon to come to New York. Melo thinks he’ll come, too. You never know about that stuff though. I think either way, Rajon will be fine.
Providing Anthony with Rondo would be giving him the perfect co-pilot: a point man he can trust to make decisions. More importantly, he'd be a voice in the huddle who wouldn't hesitate to call out another star if the ball keeps sticking.
The only reservation Jackson could have about a Rondo signing stems from beyond the three-point arc, where the 28-year-old has shot just 25 percent for his career and has hardly improved over his eight NBA seasons. But—at least in the short-term—Coach Fisher could run a backcourt pair of Rondo and Jose Calderon, who is a 41-percent shooter from three.
Rondo would have an impact on the defensive end too, where in 2011-12 (his last full season), he held his opponents to an effective field goal percentage of just 41.4 and a PER under 11, according to 82games.
Rondo has a history of orchestrating a star-studded offense in a power market, and with the Knicks, it would be his chance to be one of the stars.