The prospect of Carmelo Anthony going to the New York Knicks has been well documented over the last several months. Six days away from the trade deadline, the Knicks still don't have their man. And, with every passing day, it becomes more evident they won't be pairing up Carmelo Anthony with All-Star Amar'e Stoudemire.
This franchise has endured endless seasons of torture and just finished off the worst decade this storied franchise has ever been associated with. Everything from horrendous trades, to the Isiah Thomas debacles, to, most recently, the depletion of their roster over the last two years in hopes of bringing in LeBron James to resurrect this struggling franchise, has made the last 10 years miserable.
The plan seemed to be in place: Bring in LeBron and pair him up with Chris Bosh or Joe Johnson while running Mike D'Antoni's up-tempo offense.
This obviously never came to fruition, and had New York scrambling around trying to find a free agent who wanted to play in the bright lights of Madison Square Garden.
The signing of Amar'e Stoudemire seemed to be plan "D" of the offseason process but happened to be a serendipitous signing.
During the first half of the season, Stoudemire put up MVP-caliber numbers while leading the Knicks out of being the basement dwellers of the Eastern Conference.
They're currently the sixth seed in the East, and that's good enough to get New Yorkers excited about basketball again in a city starving for a winner.
Getting back to the point here, the Knicks whiffed so badly on LeBron & Co. that they were often the butt of all jokes.
Signing Amar'e only happened because Phoenix refused to guarantee him the contract's full length. New York finally has a competitive team again and could be one missing piece away from being a contender for a long time. The Knicks can't afford to let the New Jersey Nets swoop in and land him with an extension.
If you're Carmelo Anthony, you have to ask yourself, “What does going to New Jersey really mean for my career?”
New Jersey, more than likely, will be parting ways with Devin Harris and Derrick Favors, leaving 'Melo with Brook Lopez and little else.
Is that really a better situation than 'Melo has in Denver? The obvious answer is "No, it's not". If Anthony goes to the mecca of basketball that is Madison Square Garden and wins, he would be the conquering hero that LeBron James could have been. That would be a career-defining moment that would cement his legacy.
Carmelo has made $58 million through his first seven years in the league, and that's without endorsements. I'm not one for turning down money, but the man has made some paper. One would think if he held out and stayed with the Nuggets the rest of the season, he still will be able to pay the rent.
The point is this: If 'Melo is serious about wanting to play for the Knicks, tell management he will only sign with the Knicks. Furthermore, if they don't like New York's offer, then ride out the rest of the season and sign with the Knicks in the offseason, where he still will make $13-15 million a year regardless if there is a hard cap or not.
I'm willing to wager he will make up that money in endorsements playing in New York.
The question is this, Carmelo: How bad do you really want to play in New York?
The Knicks made the right decision in turning down Denver's preposterous offer in which the Nuggets wanted Landry Fields, Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov and a first-round pick if the Knicks were to trade Anthony Randolph in order to bring back an aging Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony.
It's looking more and more like deja vu all over again as another trade deadline is creeping up, and the Knicks look destined to miss out on yet another star player. If they end up missing out on the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes, there always is the next Chris Paul or Deron Williams rumor that surely will be started.
Memo to Knicks fans: I'd hop on the next rumor bus and hold out for 2012 when Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Dwight Howard are free agents.
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