New York Knicks general manager Scott Perry excluded Carmelo Anthony from his long-term plan, and it’s obvious why.
Scott Perry, who joined the New York Knicks front office earlier this summer, has a vision for his team, and that’s to turn them back into a championship contender. Perry wrote a piece and published it on MSG’s blog that laid out his rebuilding plan in detail, and Carmelo Anthony wasn’t part of it. That, however, shouldn’t be a shock to anyone.
The message, titled “Reshaping The Knicks: Agility Plus Intuition Required,” talked about the Knicks young core, and now it’s becoming clear why Perry didn’t mention Anthony.
“There are no shortcuts,” wrote Perry. “Reshaping the Knicks as a championship contender will be a step-by-step process, and along the way, the plan will demand patience, as our young core of Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Willy Hernangomez, Frank Ntilikina and Ron Baker mature.”
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Melo isn’t young and has no room to grow. It makes sense for him not to be listed. Furthermore, the team hasn’t done much with him as their leader over the last couple of seasons, and the playoffs haven’t made their way to the Garden since 2013. Steve Mills wrote a piece similar to Perry, and he, too, left Anthony out of the Knicks future.
“Dogged defense. Crisp, unselfish ball movement. Scraping for loose balls. These will be our hallmark,” elaborated Mills. “And our plan to become more youthful and athletic is underway with 22-year-old Kristaps Porzingis, the return of Tim Hardaway Jr., 25, Willy Hernangomez, 23, and with the debut of our first-round draft pick, Frank Ntilikina, just 19.”
Both the president and general manager are on the same page, and that’s an encouraging sign for Knicks fans. As beloved as Melo is, it’s in the organization’s best interest to move on. Any trait related to defense or ball movement doesn’t correlate to Melo. Since his move to New York, he’s been one of the worst defenders in the league. That’s typical with star offensive players, but Anthony’s regression on that end of the ball has made the lack of defense even more detrimental to the Knicks, who don’t have reliable help behind him.
When it comes to sharing the rock, Melo isn’t big on that, either. He’s spent his entire career that way, so we’re used to it. However, you don’t want a selfish, high-usage player making the offense stagnant when the coach is trying to implement a new system. Jarrett Jack, the newest Knicks, said that the triangle hasn’t yet made an appearance during New York’s workouts, which is great news for everybody. I wouldn’t be surprised if Anthony jumped for joy after reading that quote, but, after 14 seasons, him breaking his isolation habit isn’t likely. For reasons like that, the franchise has been actively looking to deal Melo.
Anthony is willing to waive his no-trade clause to go to the Houston Rockets, and that’s been his most likely destination for the last few months. On Wednesday, Frank Isola reported that Anthony and his camp are “cautiously optimistic” about a deal getting done by Monday.
The Knicks trading their star forward initiates their rebuild; as long as Anthony’s on the roster, the expectations are going to be grand even if they shouldn’t be. The post-Phil Jackson front office hasn’t done anything wrong by omitting Melo from their future because both sides want to part ways, and being 33-years-old, Anthony would be on the verge of retiring once the core players hit their prime.
How much better Anthony makes the Rockets is a debatable topic. I can’t see him being more than a catch-and-shoot option. If that’s Mike D’Antoni‘s gameplan, Melo would be significantly more impactful than he is now, and he buried 1.5 catch-and-shoot triples a game last season at a 41.8 percent clip.
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In the meantime, we have to play the waiting game. Ryan Anderson‘s huge contract is one of the few roadblocks, and that means bringing on a third team to take it. The Milwaukee Bucks have come up in previous reports as that final team, but we don’t know how true that remains.
According to Marc Berman, Steve Mills expects to see Melo at training camp on Monday with no deal imminent. That doesn’t mean anything for the future. If the Rockets and Knicks work something out, Melo’s gone. Additionally, the Portland Trail Blazers are another destination if Anthony gives the go ahead.
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