By Stefan Anderson
At the beginning of the 2013-2014 season, Carmelo Anthony had already let it be known to the public that he would be opting out at season end and testing the free agent market. And Sunday, that became evident once again those who second guess that action. To test the waters is the right thing to do right?
Anthony is walking away from the opportunity to make an astounding $129 million over five years to sign back with the Knicks, if he decides to sign elsewhere. But sources are showing that Melo after bullying his way into New York is bound to leave the franchise in a frenzy that has been over the last 10-15 years.
But Anthony is not the only player with an early termination option (ETO), this upcoming off season. The Big 3, the model franchise of building a team through free agency, equaling out to 2 championships in 4 years to the finals. LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, all have of the option of parting ways with each other or returning to make another run at more championships. They are all leaving approximately 20 million on table to either take less to build a better supporting cast or go and make the money they were bound to make initially before teaming up.
Then there is the NBA Draft coming up on Thursday, with the arguably best draft class since 2003. Joel Embiid, the frontrunner for the number 1 overall draft pick has undergone surgery to repair a foot injury and now the question marks are surrounding him and whether his draft stock goes down or remains steady. Cleveland owns that #1 pick and has their eyes set to establishing winning ways with cap room and possibility of adding Kevin Love and/or the homecoming of LeBron James.
Speaking of Love, many teams are lining up and packaging up deals to bring in the double-double machine. Love has expressed his interest on being traded before his free agency year begins. Love is in the final year of his contract and wants to leave Minnesota to compete for a NBA championship.
With so many twists and turns, What will happen in the upcoming weeks?
Carmelo leaves New York for Chicago and Chicago only because they offer the best opportunity to become a legend if he can lead the Bulls into glory land once again. If it doesn’t work out in Chicago, I do see Melo returning to New York to envision Phil Jackson master plan.
The Big 3 all opt and explore what options they can have, Wade ultimately retires after this final contract, Bosh earns a big contract and showcase his ability to become the all-star that he once was, and Lebron returns back to Cleveland under a new international system with Coach David Blatt, Kyrie Irving and possibly Kevin Love or the number 1 draft pick.
Cleveland tries to package up the ultimate deal for Love or drafts Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins because of their for a young athletic wing player that can take the scoring load off of Kyrie Irving.
Love either gets traded the 1 pick and sent to Cleveland or sent to Golden State that offers up the best packaged deal offering Thompson, Barnes and David Lee to bring in the superstar big man to pair him alongside Stephen Curry and new head coach Steve Kerr.