Anthony left a three year, $65 million extension with the Nuggets on the table with the plan of exploring other options next summer as a free agent.
Anthony has not been shy about his desires to potentially play elsewhere. His highly preferred destination: New York. He would be the Knicks’ highly most coveted free agent since LeBron James, whom the team unsuccessfully courted this past summer.
Unable to sell LeBron on the bright lights of its big city, the Knicks were snubbed as he chose to join forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.
Fortunately for the Knicks, if Anthony, the local product who played his college ball at Syracuse, chooses to use LeBron’ team selection strategy (of joining forces with serious competitors), it could this time work in the team’s favor, as they now are led by Amare Stoudemire.
However, if the Knicks were trying to sell Anthony on what he could be a part of, should he choose to don the orange and blue, they did not do a good job of it in the team’s 120-118 loss to the Nuggets Tuesday night.
While the score may certainly appear close, the Knicks had to overcome atrocious shooting, unnecessary turnovers and stagnant ball movement just to simply play catch-up and get back into the game.
By the time the team came to, it was already too late. Multiple missed free throws also prevented a win.
Many members of the Knicks have looked lost while on the floor, the most notably recently being Toney Douglas. After a red-hot start to the season, Douglas’ shooting has cooled off, and he constantly looks confused running the break. Aside from not being able to penetrate to the basket, Douglas’ lack of movement causes his teammates to bunch up around the perimeter and take poor shots.
Although he led the Knicks with 24 points, Stoudemire has lacked that killer instinct that a team’s leading man and go to scorer needs to have with the game on the line in order to help his team pull away with the victory. Through six straight losses, Stoudemire has failed to display such characteristics.
This is perhaps why Anthony and the Knicks are still pushing for a happy union. While he did overcome an erratic shooting performance of his own, Anthony led all scorers with 26 points and hit two key free throws to help seal the victory for the Nuggets.
While his desire to come to New York may very well be at its highest point, it has in no way become a distraction for Anthony, who was averaging 24.5 points, a career high 9.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game entering play against the Knicks.
That rebounding total would also lead this same Knicks squad, who are desperately lacking in the rebounding category this season.
When and if Anthony joins the Knicks remains to be seen. While he’s certain to entertain the possibly of playing in New York once he becomes a free agent, he and the Knicks have both been pushing for a trade this season.
Not so interested in what the Knicks currently have to offer, the Nuggets may wait until the trading deadline to see if they are still in title contention.
Highlighting any potential Knicks trade package would be Danilo Gallinari, the heavily favored lengthy forward who fought his way through a 21 point, 10 rebound performance against Denver. As Gallo has not yet been enough to catch Denver’s eye, the Nuggets may inquiry about rookie sensation Landry Fields, who certainly turned heads with his 21 points and 17 rebounds Tuesday night.
Although it’s not certain that Carmelo Anthony will eventually play in the city he calls home, one thing is for sure: All eyes in New York were focused on ‘Melo Tuesday night; not as a means of a test, but simply in awe of what the superstar could potentially bring to the Knicks.