Carmelo Anthony, Dirk Nowitzki

The 2013-2014 NBA season is officially over, so it’s time for the rumor mill to hit high gear. No one is mentioned as often in connection with potential offseason moves as much as Carmelo Anthony. The Dallas Mavericks believe they have a good shot at landing him, and are using Dirk Nowitzki to do the pitching for them.

The Mavericks have plenty of cap space to use next season which means Anthony, who has other options he might be interested in pursuing, wouldn’t have to take a salary cut as big as he would if he’d join the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets or even the Miami Heat. There’s also Dirk Nowitzki himself, willing to take a very big pay cut at this stage of his career in order to make the Mavericks title contenders again.

One of the questions regarding the Mavericks and Anthony’s compatibility with the team has to do with Nowitzki himself. Anthony isn’t a classic power forward, but has played as a four plenty of minutes over the last couple of years. Dirk Nowitzki isn’t exactly a classic ‘4’ as well, but there’s no other position for him on the floor. However, both the Mavs and Nowitzki himself feel like there’s no problem with having him and Carmelo on the floor at the same time.

Listen, I think I’ve showed over my 16 years that I can play with anybody. The only tough season I think we’ve had is when we had Jamison and Antoine Walker and myself who are all three kind of the same four-men, but other than that I think I’ve shown over my career that I can play with anybody. I’ll adjust, whether I have to get out of the way or go to the corner more, post up, pass. I’ll do whatever, really, that needs to be done out there to win or for this franchise to be a winner.

Simple enough for you? What we have to go on for now is the facts. Phil Jackson publicly saying he wants Anthony to stay. He has talked to Anthony a number of times this past month, trying to convince his one single valuable asset on the New York Knicks to stay on board, and hit free agency next summer, when the Knicks feel they have a much better chance of adding some significant players to the team along with retaining Anthony.

And then there’s Anthony himself, who has said more than once he is interested in testing the process of free agency. From here, it’s a matter of priorities – money, teammates, city he plays in, championship chances. Anthony can make up to $129 million over five years if he signs a new contract with the Knicks. He can sign a four-year deal worth $96 million if he goes somewhere else. How patient is Anthony might be the most important question, as staying with the Knicks means that for at least one more year, he isn’t getting close to even thinking about the NBA title.

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