Let the Carmelo Anthony Free Agency Rumors Begin

I was not expecting to write about this today, but an article in the New York Post has speculated that the New York Knicks could target Carmelo Anthony in the summer of 2011.

Anthony, who headlines the 2011 free-agent class, visits the Garden tonight with the powerhouse Nuggets, looking to duplicate the 50 points he hung on the Knicks in Denver on Nov. 28 in a 128-125 win.

Knicks president Donnie Walsh has been on a campaign to alert the team’s fans that all the cap room does not have to be filled this July, when the Knicks have space to sign two maximum free agents.

If they sign one maximum guy such as James or Joe Johnson and re-sign David Lee, they’ll probably be in position to have enough room for another maximum player in 2011, with Eddy Curry’s $12M coming off the books after next season.

“We got this thing [cap] down under, and now have to manage our cap to the best of our ability, taking into consideration what could be available to us as we go on [each summer],” Walsh told The Post yesterday.

Walsh admits he’s not going to waste money on a free agent he’s not crazy about just to fill up their 2010 cap space.

“I won’t,” Walsh promised. “Without in any way encouraging you to write about the names of the 2011 free-agent, class, yes. Of course. We’re looking at it over a five-year period.”

It is misleading to say Carmelo is a free agent in 2011 as he is under contract through 2011-12 and would have to terminate the lucrative final season of his contract in order to be a free agent in 2011.  I posted my thoughts about the chances of Carmelo heading to New York in the Daily Dime (box three) because if we do not speculate about it, we are not using the Internet to its fullest potential.

One point I did not have enough room to really expand on is that we do not know what these two teams will look like in 2011.  Who knows who the Knicks add between now and then.  I am sure they will get at least one very good player this summer plus they are no longer giving their draft picks away.

On the flip side, Denver could look drastically different as well.  Chauncey is playing very well this season, but it is unlikely that he will continue at this level as he ages.  Kenyon is struggling with knee problems and who knows what happens to him.  The Nuggets are going to be far enough past the luxury tax level next year they will need the Sword of Omens to see it.  There is a legitimate chance they choose to make another salary dump trade this summer.  All of those are within the realm of possibility and would damage the quality of the Nuggets and thus it is possible that in a little more than a year the Knicks could be the better location from a competitive standpoint.

I do not expect all of that to happen, but if the Nuggets are not going to spend money, that could be a big red flag to Carmelo.

I know what you are thinking, you do not want this post to end, but do not worry, we have as many as 15 months to two years depending on the coming labor strife of this kind of speculation to percolate.

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