New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony once again on Thursday hinted that the Los Angeles Lakers will be a possible destination for his services when he becomes a free agent next offseason, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.
The possibility of Anthony’s departure out of New York to Los Angeles has been a topic of discussion since July when several reports came out that the Lakers are positioning themselves with plenty of salary cap room space to sign both Anthony and LeBron James.
The 10-year veteran on Thursday talked about the Lakers as one of the teams that will likely court him next offseason when he becomes a free agent on July 1st.
“What other team would they say? I don’t think they would say any other team. If you look at situations, that’s the only team that they probably would say.”
The likelihood of Anthony bolting the Knicks next summer is not completely out of the realm of reality as he is close friend with Kobe Bryant and his wife, La La, is an actress that works in Los Angeles. But with that said, he reiterated that he desires to retire as a Knick.
“I’m in New York,” Anthony said. “Like I said, this is not something I want to keep going on. At the end of the day I don’t want to go anywhere, I don’t plan on going anywhere. But when that time comes, I’ll deal with that situation.”
Knicks head coach Mike Woodson was also confident that Anthony would stay in New York next summer but also pointed out that the landscape of the NBA has changed with star players moving to the best location that they deem as their best chance to win a title.
“It has changed. Players are always looking for something better,” said Woodson. “That’s just signs of times. It’s different. It’s what it is, but hey everybody, Melo if he’s going to test it he’s got to test it. That’s on him. But at this point he’s got to worry about this season and this season only because that’s what’s staring him in the face.”
The Knicks do however hold an advantage over the Lakers and any other team vying for Anthony’s services, which is an additional year on their contract offer worth $33 million. New York can also begin contract extension talks in February but is expected to wait until July 1st when they can offer a more lucrative deal.
So with that said, Anthony is looking forward to the free agency experience and is keeping his options open for next offseason, but as he has stated repeatedly he does not plan to go anywhere. This was the same case for Dwight Howard and LeBron James when they became free agents and look what decision it lead them to make.
“I’ve never had before,” Anthony said of being a free agent. “And I think as a player, guys would like to explore that. Guys would like to have that situation and just see what it’s about. It doesn’t mean that just because somebody wants to be that that they’re going to leave. Me leaving would never come across in my mind. It was just an experience that I thought would be an experience I’d want to experience.
“This is not something that I’m thinking about or I sit back and ponder on every day. When that time comes I’ll deal with it.”
So keep in mind that there is plenty of time between now and next July, which means things can still change.
Photo Credit: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images
Bob Garcia IV
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