Could Carmelo Anthony, Vince Carter be among Knicks' backup free agent options?

Ian Begley

Ian Begley, Twitter |

Here's what we know about the Knicks heading into free agency: they feel like they are in on Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving. They don't plan to offer long-term contracts to anyone who is not on their top list of free agents, which includes the three players above.

If they miss out on Durant, Leonard and Irving, they'd prefer to use their cap space on players who agree to short-term deals. You can be sure that they will look to bring in some veterans to help younger players like R.J. Barrett, Kevin Knox and Allonzo Trier along.

Scroll to continue with content

With that in mind, here's a look at a few free agents this summer who New York may look at:


Justin Holiday

Holiday, 30, knows New York well. He played for the Knicks in 2016-17 before signing with the Chicago Bulls. He's known as a solid defender who can knock down perimeter shots, as he hit 35 percent of his 3-point attempts last season in Chicago and Memphis.

Holiday is expected to have suitors on the open market, including Orlando and Sacramento. If one of those teams offers Holiday a multi-year deal, it would probably beat any offer New York would make.

Jared Dudley

Dudley was a strong veteran presence for the Nets last season. The 12-year veteran has carved out a role as a player who can help mentor young pros at this stage. D'Angelo Russell, Devin Booker and Giannis Antetokounmpo have all benefited from Dudley's veteran presence.

Dudley said repeatedly last season that enjoyed his time in Brooklyn. He could fill the same veteran role for New York on a short-term deal, mentoring young Knicks like Barrett and Knox.

Vince Carter

Carter, 42, has said that he plans to play one more season and then will retire. Could those plans include signing with the Knicks this summer?

Carter has spoken highly of Knicks head coach David Fizdale, and gave signing with New York serious consideration last summer, per SNY sources. Carter chose to sign with the young Hawks instead.

There were several factors in his decision, but one of them was the idea that he'd be in close proximity to NBA TV because he has a desire to pursue a career in media when he's done playing. This is worth noting because it's fair to assume he could find media opportunities in New York as well.

Carmelo Anthony

Let's get this out of the way at the top: things can always change, but most executives monitoring Anthony's free agency see the Lakers as the most likely destination for the 10-time All Star.

There may have been interest from New York in a reunion with Anthony if they had a roster with multiple stars ready to win immediately. But with Durant injured and the odds against the Knicks building that kind of team this summer, bringing Anthony back is not currently part of the team's thinking.

Again, that may be irrelevant because of the Lakers' interest. But Anthony would have interest in signing with the Knicks and finishing his career in New York, despite how his Knicks tenure ended. It's worth noting that Anthony handled the spotlight of New York incredibly well during the team's success and failures while he was here. Given that, he'd be a strong mentor for younger Knicks like Barrett, Knox, Robinson and Trier, who are learning to navigate the attention that comes with playing in New York.

What to Read Next