Rumors of Carmelo Anthony joining the Bulls have been running rampant all season long. The New York Knicks small forward and seven-time NBA All-Star is expected to exercise his early-termination clause and become a free agent this summer.
But for Anthony to land in Chicago he would likely have to take a massive pay cut. And with Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson, now president of basketball operations for the Knicks, would Anthony really leave the spotlight in New York?
Jim Boeheim, Anthony's head coach at Syracuse, doesn't think there are any better options for him and that the 29-year-old forward has always wanted to be in New York.
“I think long term he’s always wanted to be in New York,” Boeheim told SNY.tv. “He’s built for New York. He can handle New York. If [the fans] get on him or whatever, he still goes and plays. Some people can’t handle it. He can handle it. If they get on him, he’ll go play. I think he’s playing as well as he’s ever played.”
The 2015 free agency class is loaded with the likes of Kevin Love, Rajon Rondo and LaMarcus Aldridge, and with the massive contracts of Tyson Chandler, Amar'e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani coming off the table, the Knicks could be an attractive destination for free agents.
Boeheim believes that Jackson will pair Anthony with a difference-maker and entice him to stay in the Big Apple.
“I think Phil Jackson brings a lot of credibility to that organization, $12 million worth,” Boeheim said. “Sixty [million over five years], that’s a lot. I’m sure he’s going to have the power to do things. It is a good place to play but it hinges so much on who can you really get to come there? Can you get a difference-maker? It’s a lot more stable when you have something like Indiana where they have a bunch of good players. But it’s how they figure this out.”
Anthony is averaging 28.0 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 66 games this season. The Knicks, winners of eight straight games, sit three games back of the Atlanta Hawks for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.