Knicks Linked to Former New York Star as Potential Offseason Target

Carmelo Anthony and Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks.

Getty Carmelo Anthony and Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks.

The New York Knicks fell out of the playoff picture this past season. After earning the fourth seed just a year ago, they failed to even reach the Play-In this season. Julius Randle struggled to match his Most Improved Player-year production, Evan Fournier and Kemba Walker didn’t live up to the hype, and the team simply didn’t gel.

Now, they’ll need to restructure things this offseason in hopes of a one-year turnaround. And while doing that through the draft and trade market is likely their top priority, they have also had some internal discussions about a fun free-agency signing.

Marc Berman of the New York Post reported that the Knicks have thrown around the idea of offering former-Knick Carmelo Anthony a contract this summer.

“According to a source, Knicks brass has had internal conversations about Anthony, though more pressing concerns about how to rebuild a franchise that’s missed the playoffs eight of the past nine years have taken precedence,” Berman wrote.

Anthony just wrapped up a fairly successful season with the Los Angeles Lakers, despite the team’s lack of success. He averaged 13.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.0 assists on 44.1% shooting from the field and 37.5% shooting from distance.

While Anthony wouldn’t solve the team’s immediate issues, Berman believes he would help them fix a problem they have run into in recent years.

Anthony Would Improve Knicks’ Image

Over the past few seasons, the Knicks’ image as a big-market team has been tainted. They’ve failed to convince superstars to come to New York, but Berman thinks Anthony’s return could help with that.

“No, Anthony wouldn’t be a long-term solution, but his return would be a sign that the Knicks still carry some cachet,” Berman stated. “In an era in which Stan Van Gundy and Reggie Miller laugh at the Knicks, claiming nobody wants to play for them, and Kevin Durant alleges they are “no longer cool,” Anthony is remembered as a player who wanted to be right under the bright lights of Broadway.”

Since Anthony left, the Knicks have been unable to convince stars to come there, and they’ve failed to keep stars happy, too. Kristaps Porzingis wanted out very soon after Anthony left.

Re-signing Anthony won’t be an easy task, as his relationship with the organization wasn’t great when he departed from New York. However, Berman thinks that may have changed by now.

Why Anthony Could Consider a Deal

When Anthony left the team in 2017, he was feuding with Phil Jackson. However, as noted by Berman, Jackson has since left, and Anthony still has ties with the organization.

“Time, hopefully, can soften hard feelings from the past. It was in the weeks before the start of training camp in 2017 when his first tenure with the team ended — badly,” Berman said. “Anthony wanted a change of scenery, wanted to win and asked out even after former team president Phil Jackson, with whom he had feuded, was fired. It was a move orchestrated by Rose, then Anthony’s agent at CAA. Anthony is still repped by CAA.”

While Anthony’s presence in New York wouldn’t drastically improve their long-term or short-term goals, it would be a fun reunion story that could improve their image across the league.

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