|Looks like Melo is going to test free agency this summer|
The NBA is a much different league than it was just a few seasons ago. Gone are the days when superstar players fanned out to all corners of the United States (and Canada) in order to try to build their own championship winners with role players surrounding them.
Nowadays, as evidenced by the Miami Heat, most notably, so-called superteams are all the rage with star players conspiring with one another to form–via free agency–rosters chock full of high-level talent that shouldn't be sharing a locker room, for the interest of parity at least.
Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks, with a contract opt-out clause waiting for him at the end of this season, is currently facing the dilemma as to whether he should ride out the storm with New York, hoping for some playoff success or move to an already-established team with All-Stars all around (like the Lakers, possibly).
However, some comments he recently made may indicate a shift in Melo's viewpoint as to what he's going to do with his Knicks contract.
From ESPNNY.com's Ian Begley: "I want to be a free agent," Anthony told the New York Observer. "I think everybody in the NBA dreams to be a free agent at least once in their career. It's like you have an evaluation period, you know. It's like if I'm in the gym and I have all the coaches, all the owners, all the GMs come into the gym and just evaluate everything I do. So yes, I want that experience."
Strong words from Melo, who is New York's undisputed leader on and off the court for this season. You cannot really blame him for wanting to at least feel what free agency is like but, then again, saying something to the effect of what he said does not bode well for the upcoming year.
If a team has a player openly looking forward to becoming a free agent at the end of the season, then how is that player going to perform differently during the year? It just does not make for a great situation for the Knicks, who need nothing less than a media circus to follow them and Melo for the entire 2013-14 campaign.
Regardless, it would be hard to imagine a situation in which Anthony leaves all the money owed to him for the next two seasons on the table if he goes to a different team. Odds are he would remain in New York if he does end up opting out, but stranger offseason occurrences have been witnessed in the past in the NBA.