I’m trying to find something coherent to read on the internet about the Carmelo Anthony situation, but I can’t. So, I figured I’d set out to write the only coherent posting on the internet about it.
The only problem is that I have nothing coherent to say about it. Admittedly, that’s kind of a big problem.
Oh, well. Instead of trying to say something coherent, I’ll just add to all of the incoherent material that’s already out there. I’ve got a bunch of thoughts about the whole thing. If you’re interested in reading yet another incoherent posting about it, well, read on!
Thought 1: This is all LeBron’s fault. Seriously. Now, superstars can’t compete for a title if they aren’t on a team with other superstars. Yet, at the same time, they don’t want to look like jerks the way LeBron did, so they don’t want to totally crush the franchise they are leaving behind. If someone wanted to write a manual about how superstar players are supposed to handle the situation, I have no idea what the manual would say.
Thought 2: We can debate whether or not Carmelo deserves to be thought of as a “superstar,” but, at least in terms of evaluating whether he’s acting like a jerk, it’s a moot point, because he thinks of himself as one and the free agent market is going to treat him like one if he ever winds up as a free agent. So he’s got to act according to the new rules of how superstars act if they want to win a championship, and that’s what he is doing — bailing on his current team for a team with at least one other star. Without, of course, looking like he forced that to happen.
Thought 3: I keep reading that part of the trade is that the Knicks trade Anthony Randolph and wind up with a first-round pick that they then send to Denver. (Like here, for example.) Anthony Randolph? For a FIRST ROUND PICK? Seriously? I mean, if an NBA GM was willing to accept Anthony Randolph onto his roster, and, in exchange, was willing to give up his first round pick in his 2013 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT, that would make sense to me. But giving up a first round pick in the NBA draft? The one where real-life basketball prospects are drafted? For Anthony Randolph? That guy is averaging 2 points and 2 rebounds per game. What am I missing?
Thought 4: Denver’s management did not handle this the right way. I recognize that they’re in a difficult spot; they can’t afford to get nothing back for Carmelo, but they can’t just pull the trigger on the first offer that passes the smell test because they also have to make sure that they get the best offer they can. I get it.
The problem is that they’ve let this get too close to the deadline, presumably because they’re holding onto the hope that he’ll re-sign there. They should have given Carmelo an internal deadline: sign the extension by ___, or we’re pulling the offer. Once we pull the offer, we’re going to solicit offers from other teams, make it clear that we want to make a deal soon, and move on with our lives. And if anyone in the press asks why we traded you for 60 cents on the dollar, we’re going to tell them that you let our internal deadline pass and we couldn’t afford to get nothing for you.
Thought 5: The Knicks’ management is not handling this the right way, either. When I say that, I’m assuming that they want him on the team, and that they recognize it’s worth paying a high price for him. I’ve already addressed this from a basketball perspective, and I’m not re-visiting that here. (Go here and here if you’re interested.) I’m just saying that, assuming they want him, they ran a big risk by letting this go on so long. Whenever I discuss this with friends, the ones who disagree with me saying that the Knicks need to trade for him tell me that he’s going to come here as a free agent. My response is that they don’t have a GUARANTEE that he’s going to come here as a free agent, because if they did it would be tampering. So if they want to be sure that they get him, they have to trade for him.
Thought 6: I get that superstars want to win titles. And I get that they want to team up with other star players, to maximize their chances. But I don’t get why they’re such bad recruiters. I mean, why couldn’t LeBron ever convince a star to sign with the Cavs? And why couldn’t ‘Melo ever convince a star to sign with the Nuggets? If the answer is that they don’t want to play for small-market teams like the Cavs and Nuggets, then is there any realistic chance for teams like that to get good?
Thought 7: Putting aside the fact that I like Carmelo, like the Knicks, and want him to wind up here, this whole thing is depressing from the perspective of someone who simply wants what’s good for the game. I have to hope that, in the future, teams and their star players heading into the last year of their contracts will realize that the time to strike a deal is before that last contract year begins. Or that the next collective bargaining agreement addresses this productively. The league will take a hit if this keeps happening.
Thought 8: Ahh… who am I kidding? Nobody wants to read 8 of my rambling thoughts in one sitting. I’m just happy you got this far. Agree or disagree with anything I said? If so, I hope you’ll comment!