Mar 21, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) celebrates making a shot during the second quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. The Knicks defeated the Sixers 93-92. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Carmelo Anthony is ready to ponder to decision in NBA free agency. Here are some key facts to remember.
Phil Jackson is not coaching for the Knicks
All the talk about how New York Knick team president Phil Jackson has apparently connected with Anthony on some level may be true. That is something he has excelled at for years and it’s no surprise he could do it again with the All-Star forward. Still, there is one key fact that Melo must remember regarding the aura of the Zen Master being in New York.
Jackson is not coaching. The allure of those 11 rings he amassed in Chicago and Los Angeles were not as a team president but as a head coach sitting on the bench. Essentially Jackson is in uncharted territory and there are far fewer guarantees of a championship with him in the front office and not on the court.
Bulls have Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah
While the Knicks most definitely have the cash in NBA free agency, they don’t have the roster. Carmelo Anthony can’t be expected to win a championship on his own and New York is in no position to get him there this year and perhaps not next year either. Their biggest hope at present is that Jackson can lure an old friend in forward Pau Gasol from Los Angeles. It’s an interesting idea but also a limited one.
Gasol is 34-years old and not the player he was when he played for Jackson. Meanwhile, the Chicago Bulls have what they don’t They have a roster that is ready for a championship run. Headlined by Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson, the Bulls merely lack a second scoring presence to compliment their already suffocating defense. Adding Anthony to the mix makes them instant favorites, especially in that weak Eastern Conference.
Money argument can go either way
Many experts are convinced there is no way Carmelo Anthony will walk away from what the New York Knicks can offer, which is a maximum five-year, $129 million contract in NBA free agency. That is considerably more than the four-year, $70 million deal the Chicago Bulls can muster. It would be hard for any person to turn that down. However, is money such a huge deal to Anthony by this point?
According to Forbes.com, the 30-year old made $29.4 million in 2013-2014 through his salary and endorsements. All told estimates put his net worth somewhere between $75 million and $80 million. So on the one hand Anthony isn’t exactly hurting for cash. At the same time, athletes are competitive even off the court, and with LeBron James up on his perch at $250 million, Anthony may feel the urge to catch up.