To the surprise of absolutely nobody, Carmelo Anthony reportedly will activate his opt out clause in his contract with the New York Knicks tomorrow and become an unrestricted free agent. Anthony will leave a guaranteed $23.5 million next season in pursuit of more long term money and a chance to contend for a NBA championship.
Melo had no qualms about letting it be known all season that he intended to test free agency, much to the chagrin of Knicks fans everywhere. Melo’s time with the Knicks has been up and down. Last season the Knicks snuck into a two seed in an Eastern Conference that was in shambles and this season missed the playoffs in an East that was in even worse shape. The thirty-year-old former scoring champ will officially hit the open market July 1st.
This continues the trend of new age stars taking control of their own destiny rather than allow the teams they play for to dictate their future. It’s the reason why Kevin Love has been shopped so vigorously by Minnesota and it’s also why the Miami Heat’s “Big 3″ will more than likely opt out of their contracts as well before June 30, the deadline to do so.
The front runners for Melo appear to be the Chicago Bulls* and the Houston Rockets, two teams where he will have a chance to play for a title almost instantly. Some have reported the Lakers, Heat and Mavericks as dark horse candidates as well, and just about nobody is mentioning a return to New York as a possibility.
And there you have it. #knickstape
* — But, reportedly, Derrick Rose is making it known that he would prefer Kevin Love over Melo.