Has Carmelo Anthony Played His Final Game With The Knicks?
On Wednesday night, the New York Knicks will play their final game of the 2016-17 NBA season. They will take on the Philadelphia 76ers at Madison Square Garden in a battle of two teams at the bottom of the NBA’s Eastern Conference. And Carmelo Anthony is not expected to take part in the game due to a sore left knee. Does that mean that Knicks fans have seen Carmelo take the court for their team for the final time?
Back in February, there were a handful of trade rumors surrounding Carmelo. The thought was that the Knicks might pull the trigger on a trade and send Carmelo packing so that they could enter full rebuild mode. But because Carmelo has a no-trade clause in his contract and didn’t show much interest in being dealt at the trade deadline, the Knicks decided not to try all that hard to trade him. That could very well change this summer, though.
Carmelo recently told reporters that he can see “the writing on the wall” with regards to his future with the Knicks. Although he probably wouldn’t mind spending the final few years of his career in New York City, the Knicks are stuck in limbo right now with him on the team. They’re not quite good enough to contend for an NBA title—or even to contend for a spot in the postseason—but they’re also not terrible enough to completely tank and try to pick up as many high draft picks as they can. They’re just mediocre, which is just about the worst thing you can be in the NBA.
It’s why the Knicks should do everything they can to unload Carmelo this summer. When the team first traded for him a few years ago, he, at the very least, injected some life back into an organization that had turned stale over the years. But that initial excitement is long gone, and Knicks fans have come around to accepting that Carmelo is not going to be the basketball savior they thought he was. They have also come to terms with the idea of trading him away and rebuilding from the ground up over the next few years. It won’t be easy, but it’s necessary if they want to start seeing some success from the Knicks.
Will the Knicks ultimately move Carmelo during the offseason? You never really know with them. But Phil Jackson needs to do something to end the struggles that have plagued the Knicks for the last decade-plus. And parting ways with their superstar might just be the only way to do it. So when the phone rings this summer, Jackson should answer and make the move that Knicks fans have been waiting for him to make.