Carmelo Anthony will make over $20 million to be the star of the New York Knicks this season on a team that has surrounded him with a dominant defensive presence in Tyson Chandler, former All-NBA big man Amar'e Stoudemire, former first-overall pick Andrea Bargnani and mercurial swingman J.R. Smith, who has been able to carry the Knicks' offensive load when 'Melo isn't feeling it.
That apparently isn't nearly enough for Anthony, however, as the former Syracuse standout is supposedly planning on opting out of his contract after this season instead of signing an extension, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. The reason for that, at least in part, is because he was apparently pining for the Knicks to trade for Boston Celtics standout Rajon Rondo.
Anthony told friends after the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trade to the Nets, he figured the Knicks would make a play for point guard for Rajon Rondo. Anthony believes Rondo would be the perfect piece and would be super motivated in New York to attempt to knock off Garnett and Pierce.
That would make a lot of sense considering New York's point guard situation: Raymond Felton isn't a world-beater, Pablo Prigioni's better days happened long before he became a Knick and Jason Kidd retired from the position to become head coach of the Brooklyn Nets this year.
Unfortunately for Mr. Anthony, however, there's no conceivable way the Knicks would be able "make a play" for Rondo that wouldn't result in Danny Ainge laughing and hanging up the phone.
New York isn't loaded with a ton of young assets, its best win-now players are over 30 and the only picks it has are a late second-round pick in 2014 and a first-round pick in 2015. Considering the Celtics' trade of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett indicates Boston is much more interested in building for the future, the Knicks have little to offer.
None of that is enough to lure away an All-Star point guard from Boston, especially considering new head coach Brad Stevens' gushing over Rondo at last week's introductory press conference. And that's before getting into the salary cap issues for a team that couldn't lure players like Chris Copeland and Francisco Garcia to the Big Apple.
Our own Tom Ziller wrote on the laughable topic of Anthony wanting to head to the Los Angeles Lakers next offseason to team-up with Kobe Bryant in an effort to win a few championships with a roster that that couldn't afford any serviceable role players and was built around a pair of 30-plus ball-dominant swingmen.
Unfortunately for 'Melo, though, that scenario likely has a better chance of happening than the Knicks being able to convince a rebuilding team to give up its best piece for a pu-pu platter of subpar assets -- and that's before considering how New York might be able to fit Rondo into the cap room that isn't currently enough to lure Sebastian Telfair.
If Melo's insistent on the Knicks making trades for players that can't be conceivably acquired, it might be best for the New York front office that he opts out after next season and chases a title with the 36-year-old Kobe. Because, if not, he might decide that he's leaving the next year as a free agent anyway once the Knicks tell him they can't trade for Bryant.