In today’s news, Carmelo Anthony gave a big hint as to where he expects to be playing next year. Meanwhile, an anonymous general manager admitted that tanking the season away is part of the game plan for his organization going forward.
Melo intends to recruit big names to New York in 2015
Marc Berman of the New York Post reports that Carmelo Anthony plans to do his fair share of recruiting to bring big name talent to New York in 2015.
While Anthony, himself, is expected to opt out of the final year of his contract with the Knicks next summer, the team believes he will eventually re-sign in New York under the security of a longer contract. After all, if Anthony was to leave New York, he would be sacrificing over $30 million dollars in guaranteed money.
Still, after Anthony revealed his intentions to opt out of his contract at the beginning of the month, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith criticized him for not trying harder to recruit stars to come to New York.
When asked on Tuesday whether he would be an active recruiter come free agency time, Anthony responded confidently:
“I haven’t had a complaint yet in 10, 11 years in the NBA about playing with me,’’ Anthony said. “People would love to come to play in New York. When that comes, we’ll be working on that. I have a big black book, a big Rolodex. People talk about what’s going on with me in the offseason, [that] I should be getting people to come here. I am. I’m trying.’’
The Knicks will have ample cap space in 2015, when the contracts of Amar’e Stoudemire, Andrea Bargnani and Tyson Chandler come off the books. Among the players expected to be eligible for free agency, the Knicks would likely pursue Rajon Rondo, Kevin Love and Lamarcus Aldridge.
GM admits tanking is part of the plan
According to Jeff Goodman of ESPN, at least one general manager in the NBA acknowledges that his team is “Riggin’ for Wiggins.”
“Our team isn’t good enough to win and we know it,” said an anonymous general manager. “So this season we want to develop and evaluate our young players, let them learn from their mistakes — and get us in position to grab a great player. The best way for us to do that is to lose a lot of games. This draft is loaded. There are potential All-Stars at the top, maybe even franchise changers. Sometimes my job is to understand the value of losing.
“I know that sounds crazy, but if you’re an NBA general manager like me, the last place you want to be is in the middle. There are only two outcomes there: Either make the playoffs and be first-round fodder for one of the premier teams or miss the playoffs and pick somewhere around 11th to 14th in the draft. Either way, the odds are that you stay in that middle range. It’s a recipe for disaster.
“You need superstars to compete in this league, and the playing field for those guys is tilted toward a few big-market teams. They are demanding trades and getting together and deciding where they want to go in free agency. It’s tough for us to compete with that. So a high lottery pick is all we have.”