Despite their apparent denial, the New York Knicks seem to be preparing for life without Carmelo Anthony, with the Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers having all been heavily linked to the 32-year-old. There is little argument when it comes to the quality of the nine-time NBA All-Star, with Anthony at his best – an all-action, ball-stopping volume shooting scorer. However, the 2016 Olympic gold medallist has been erratic at times this season, with Knicks President Phil Jackson clearly sending out a message to other teams of late, many of whom would happily snap up Anthony’s services.
However, with Cleveland seemingly unwilling to part with Kevin Love, the Clippers to break its core group of players, and the Celtics perhaps not able to match Anthony’s financial demands, Melo’s future is still very much in the air. With Jeff Hornacek the latest coach to fail to integrate Anthony’s talents into a team, BettingSports.com have their say on the matter, with a whole host of free agents up for grabs elsewhere. Despite the NBA Playoffs being months away still, punters are backing their favourites for the title in the sports betting markets, with the Golden State Warriors currently heading the betting among bookmakers.
The Clippers are now the favorites to sign the small forward, with Chris Paul reportedly believing that he can help turn them into title contenders. Having started the season with a 14-2 record, the Clippers have since gone 16-15, with both Paul and Blake Griffin suffering injuries that have damaged the team’s chances this year.
As for the Celtics, Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, and Marcus Smart are just over a year away from becoming free agents, with it possibly taking as much as $250 million to tie down the trio to new contracts. While the arrival of Anthony would not solve Boston’s rebounding problems, he would certainly become a perimeter scorer for a team that is crying out for such talents. Meanwhile, while the Cavs may have jumped at the possibility of a Love-Anthony swap over recent seasons, Love now has a championship ring, All-Star berth, and a secure place on the roster to his name, potentially making it difficult for such a move.