Whoa, whoa, whoa. Carmelo Anthony might want to join the Celtics when (if) he becomes a free agent? (Peter Vecsey, New York Post)
I’m admittedly slow on the uptake, but Anthony gave me the impression he’s singularly interested in playing for a team in the habit of inhabiting first place and bedding championships — you know, like the Lakers, Celtics and Spurs.
So, I was not all that surprised when Anthony revealed to The Post he has not expunged any of those three teams from his bottomless pit of gaping options.
However, I must confess to being a bit floored when Brooklyn’s gift to Baltimore (the borough’s 18-year-negotiation for Skip Wise as compensation is rumored on The Corners to be almost resolved) again divulged to The Post he has not ruled out his home team as a possible landing zone.
Don’t reach for your spectacles, you got that right; the Knicks remain a viable option. I repeat, a viable option.
Okay, so Carmelo’s a pipe dream. The Celtics are just one of many teams that haven’t been “expunged from his bottomless pit of gaping options.” If he did agree to play for the Celtics, Carmelo would likely have to sign for the mid-level exception. The Celtics have few trade pieces to lure Anthony, and barring big moves they will have no cap space this summer.
If Anthony did sign for the mid-level — and it’s possible even if it’s about as probable as me dunking a basketball (I’m a 6’1″ white boy with a credit card vertical) — he would be turning down millions and millions of dollars. The Nuggets have already offered Anthony a contract extension worth about $22 million per year for three years. The mid-level exception is about $6 million per year, so Anthony would have to be willing to turn down about $16 million per year to play in Boston.
Is that possible? Yes. But come on, let’s be serious. Why would Anthony sign in Boston, for the mid-level exception, to play alongside Rajon Rondo and three aging stars on their way out of the NBA, when he could probably just sign in New York to play with Amare Stoudemire and Chris Paul? It doesn’t make sense, unless the thought of playing alongside Rondo is worth $16 million per year. And if I were Carmelo, the thought of playing alongside God himself wouldn’t even be worth $16 million.