Brian Windhorst, one of ESPN’s lead authorities on the NBA, put it best Friday on SiriusXM NBA Radio:
Frank [Isola, host on SiriusXM NBA Radio], I’m gonna keep applying lessons from 2010 to this entire summer. And one of the lessons in 2010 was to not underestimate the Miami Heat. They have the ability to get people to do things that are unusual.
What made Windhorst allude to that summer, when Miami pulled off one of the great free agent coups in professional sports history by signing LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade over a period of a handful of days? The possibility of that Big Three getting a Big Fourth – Carmelo Anthony – this summer.
And what did Windhorst have to say about the possibility of Anthony jetting the Garden for South Beach?
“Yes, it is a possibility.”
“There are permutations that exist that could make it happen.”
“It would require a significant amount of sacrifice, but it could happen.”
Not what a New York Knicks fan wants to hear to cap off what was a disastrous month of February.
All that said, Windhorst’s advice for Anthony was to do what seems improbable at this point – play out his contract, and test the free agent waters in the summer of 2015, rather than the summer of 2014.
“I really think [Anthony's] best course of action, even if he wants to play with LeBron and the Heat, is to not opt out of his contract,” Windhorst said. “I don’t see a whole lot of really good options for Carmelo this summer. I see the Lakers, which is not a better situation than the Knicks, in my opinion. I see the Bulls, if the Bulls do three or four different things. And then I don’t see another viable option. Yes, if the Heat do some things that are completely unlikely – but why not wait until 2015, to give the Knicks an opportunity to do something in the next year, and then in 2015, your options could be so much better.”
Windhorst laid out those options Anthony.
“Either with getting somebody to New York. Or you can just go to Miami outright and sign for a real salary. Or you could go to the Lakers, then, when they have a better situation. Or the Bulls, when they have a better situation,” Windhorst said. “Plus, I really think that LeBron and Bosh, and maybe Wade – we’ll see about Wade – are all going to opt into their contract [this summer], and stay in their deals until 2015. So not only do you have those guys out there, but you have Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Roy Hibbert, and Tony Parker, and Rajon Rondo, and Marc Gasol, and you have so many more options to sign. I think being a max free agent in 2015 makes way more sense than in 2014. And, if you wait a year to sign your next max contract – which the Knicks are certainly gonna give Carmelo if he wants that – why not wait a year, and then sign [for] five years when you’re a year older, as opposed to five years when you’re a year younger.”
Where do you think Anthony will wind up this summer? Tweet your thoughts to @SiriusXMNBA.