Carmelo Anthony's body may have taken a bit of a beating while playing "out of position" at power forward this past season, but there's no denying he finished off by having one of the best seasons of his pro career. The Brooklyn native had an M.V.P. like year.
He's continued to assert that he'll do whatever it takes from him for the Knicks to bring home an NBA title, but there's also no denying he's also let out a sigh of relief if shifted back to small forward.
The 6'8", 230-punder perhaps thrived at the four this past year, not only due to his ability to crash the boards well, but also because he was quick enough to post up and then evade (either by driving to the hoop or sneaking back for a pull-up jumper) bigger and/or slower power forwards.
The NBA is a league running with lineups that are smaller and smaller by the season. That said, perhaps the Knicks accommodated Anthony in a sense by bringing in big man reinforcement in the form of Andrea Bargnani. Of course, if New York explores trading a player like Tyson Chandler this summer, Bargnani could also slip in to the five position, which would keep Anthony at the four, anyway.
Still, should the likes of Chandler, Bargnani, and Amar'e Stoudemire all be healthy together at different points in the season (that's a big "if," of course), then Anthony could see more time at small forward once again, depending on the lineup.
Perhaps the Knicks aren't as considered with specifically keeping their superstar at power forward, more so than they are simply bringing together versatile players who can create different mismatches for opposing defenses.
Such seemed to hold true in the acquisition of Bargnani, and should the Knicks pick up Metta World Peace, such a strategy would hold true yet again.
Of course, a lot has to happen for the possibility of World Peace joining the Knicks to fall into place. He needs to officially be amnestied by the Lakers, clear waivers and not get picked up by a team with cap space, then decide against retirement to come play for his hometown team.
Such an acquisition may, at this point, be a long shot, but the speculation itself proves the Knicks aren't afraid to mix things up a bit. Bringing in World Peace (and assumedly playing him alongside Anthony, too) would instead keep Anthony at power forward.
Thus, it would appear as though the Knicks are open to keeping him at power forward, but not afraid to play him at the three once again, either. Instead of building the team around what position(s) Melo can and/or will play, New York is open to reeling in as much talent as possible, and then figuring out how such players might fit well together later on.
This could be a blessing, or a curse.