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Carmelo Anthony (Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images)

Carmelo Anthony (Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images)

Many fans cheered as Phil Jackson exited the New York Knicks front office. Among his bad decisions as president of basketball operations was his apparent push to get Carmelo Anthony traded. Since his departure those talks were silenced temporarily, but now with the free agency in full swing trade talks involving Melo seem to be back on. With the new season still a few months away it may be in the best interest of the Knicks to keep their star forward around for a little bit longer.

The Counter

My previous sentence may have had some fans rolling their eyes, and for logical reasons. Anthony is getting up there in age, just turning 33 this past May. In his time with New York he has only led the team into the playoffs three times, failing to advance past the second round. On his part Melo has exhibited signs of frustration, even agreeing to drop his no trade clause for either the Cavaliers or the Rockets as late as Monday morning. While some fans may say let him go, this may be an unwise move in the long run.


With Paul George, Jimmy Butler, and Paul Millsap heading West there has been an apparent power shift in the East. Teams that were in the playoffs last season will find it much harder this time around to get back in. All while LeBron James and the Cavs sit happily atop the Eastern Conference, targeting other stars to add to their roster. On and off again their sights have set on Carmelo Anthony in hopes of securing some kind of trade that involves him and Kevin Love. The Rockets have had the same idea as Cleveland, looking to create a big 3 in Clutch city with Anthony, James Harden, and the newly-acquired Chris Paul. Both clubs believe Anthony will be paramount in helping them usurp the Warriors, which is all the more reason the Knicks need to hold on to him with a firm hand. If teams with this much fire power get a hold of Anthony, the Knicks may never have a chance of making it into the playoff picture, let alone getting past the first round.

What a Time

If there was ever a time to make a run at the playoffs it would be right now. It can be expected that the Cavs, Celtics and Raptors will remain atop the Eastern Conference hierarchy with the Wizards and Bucks more than likely right behind them. The Pacers and Hawks are sure to fall off and the Bulls may have trouble climbing back with only an aged Dwayne Wade to lead them. The Heat may prove to be a real contender, but regardless there will still be three open slots worth fighting for in the East. With all the chaos playing out on this side of the NBA, the Knicks would do well to take advantage of the madness. If New York could make one or two more solid additions to the current roster, the Knicks may have a chance to climb the ranks.  That chance only exists, though, if Carmelo Anthony continues to play at the Garden. Kristaps Porzingis is a solid player, but Melo’s experience in this league is what the Knicks need most of all right now.

Play to Your Strengths

I’ve already mentioned Melo’s age once in this piece and as he climbs higher into veteran status, it is good to know that he hasn’t really fallen off much. Last season Melo played only a bit lower than his career stats averaging 22.4 points a game coupled with 5.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists. He wants to keep playing at a high level and ultimately he wants to win a ring. Sure he can take the easy road and join a contender like the Cavs but I’m sure he wants his own legacy, not to ride the coat tails of another star like LeBron James. His 14 years in this league gives him an edge over anyone else on the Knicks in terms of leadership.Free-agency is still ongoing and its not too late for Melo to push the Knicks to land another solid piece.  If he embraces his role as leader and uses his veteran experience, he somehow may just be able to lead his team back into the playoff picture.

Carmelo Anthony is still a star in this league and his experience plus this unique timing should be all the prompt he needs to push his team to victory. I’m not going to say it will be easy, but now is the best time for the Knicks to make a move, with so many teams falling off in the East. If the organization has any desire to see a another championship banner hanging in the rafters of the Garden, it must do everything possible to keep Carmelo Anthony in a Knicks uniform for as long as possible.

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Andre is the New York Knicks Lead Writer for
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