Once the stumbling block to Carmelo Anthony’s exit from the mess at the New York Knicks, La La Anthony nee Vasquez’s relationship could easily be the main thing that finally forces him out of the Big Apple. The celebrity Actress work demands and schedule has been key to Anthony’s overtime stay in New York despite all signs pointing him to the exit right from Day One of Phil Jackson’s tenure.
With reports emerging Anthony has gotten a stripper pregnant, talks of divorce are rife for the long time couple. Both La La and Anthony now live in separate apartments and from what it looks like, this could be what followers of the flame thrower have wished for since the Knicks started rebuilding.
Sure Carmelo is a New York lover through and through (he was born there after all) and after winning a national collegiate championship at Syracuse University, repeating the feat at the professional level would have been a great storyline for his career and Carmelo really needs one now more than ever before. However, all Carmelo has to show for in his time with the Knicks is three appearances in the playoffs in seven seasons since his self inflicted move from Denver Nuggets.
So with the extra curricula activities catching up on him, Anthony has the chance to go get a ring for himself and get on equal footing with peers, friends and fellow 2003 draftees LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. Prior to the reports of infidelity Melo’s relationship with Team President Phil Jackson was at breaking point to seriously consider his exit seriously.
One of the picks turned out to be Kristaps Porzingis who has all the makings of a franchise player. Other picks have turned out to be future Championship pieces in the likes of Willy Hernangomez and should Jackson get it right and lucky this time around in the draft, New York could be looking at adding a Point Guard from the huge pool this year’s class promises. In Porzingis, Hernangomez and depending on the draft position, players available on the board and moves from higher placed draft teams, the Knicks could land either Lonzo Ball, De’Aaron Fox or Markelle Fultz to form the nucleus of a future “Big 3”.
That is New York’s future, in the present, it is a shambolic team that doesn’t have a clear path on what to do. With Jackson’s set to see out the remainder of his five year deal, Melo is easily better off on another team. After all his President has called his friend a posse, called him a ball stopper and lashed out at him in public to suggest Melo has overstayed his welcome in the team. As hazy as his plan is right now, Jackson plans to build the new Knicks around Porzingis with the veteran help of Courtney Lee and Joakim Noah irrespective of the latter’s shambolic performance. So where does the leave Melo?
Well his elite offensive game is in demand more than ever in the modern offensive heavy NBA game. So expect a ton of teams to come calling for his services. However, Carmelo is approaching 33 and has little time left at the top to contend for a title a situation that automatically eliminates sides like Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia Sixers and Sacramento Kings. Antony’s game and situation is best utilized on a team in contention but the the worrying caveat in joining such teams is his huge wage bill.
Should he decide to join friend LeBron James in Cleveland, the cash strapped defending champions will have let Kevin Love go. For Los Angeles Clippers, massive cash splashed on Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin would have to reimbursed this offseason as Griffin and Paul become free agents. To get Melo, Clippers would have to decide on whom to bring back between Griffin and Paul. Three seasons ago, Anthony was a free agent before signing a five year deal with New York.
One of the teams in good position to sign him was the Chicago Bulls. With a young team and lots of cap space, the Bulls can be an ideal fit for the veteran who gets to play alongside friend Dwayne Wade and a younger but bigger version of Wade in Jimmy Butler. Bulls management can easily make the decision to put the ball firmly in the hands of Wade and renounce Rajon Rondo’s $10 million option next season. Melo’s presence on the team gives Coach Fred Hoiberg the elite floor spacer he has craved for in his time at the pro level. While this decision was coming at some point in the future, it is now safe to believe Melo is a goner in part to his split from wife La La and the fall out with President Jackson.
By Yaw Adjei-Mintah