Boeheim advises Melo to play for contender

February, 6, 2014
Feb 6
7:23
PM ET
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim thinks Carmelo Anthony should look for the best place he can win an NBA championship in free agency this summer.

"The problem in the NBA, you're judged on winning championships. He's got to try to go and play where they can win a championship or else he's going to be a failure. That's the bottom line," Boeheim said Wednesday on ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike Show" -- though he disagrees with that line of thinking.

[+] EnlargeJim Boeheim, Carmelo Anthony
Michael Martin/NBAE/Getty ImagesCarmelo Anthony's college coach Jim Boeheim wants the best for his former standout forward.
"I just hope he's in a good situation. He loves New York," added Boeheim, who also coached Anthony as an assistant in the Olympics. "I just hope he gets to a good situation. He deserves it."

Boeheim coached Carmelo to an NCAA title in 2003 at Syracuse. Carmelo has said that winning an NBA title is the only thing that he's focused on for the rest of his career.

The 10-year veteran will opt out of his contract at the end of the season and test free agency. It makes financial sense for him to re-sign with the Knicks.

With the Knicks, he could ink a a five-year contract worth $129,135,806. If he signs with another team, the maximum he can earn is $95,897,372 over four years, according to calculations by ESPN salary-cap expert Larry Coon. Those numbers are based on the assumption that Anthony, one of the top scorers in the NBA, will sign a max contract.

With the Knicks (19-30) playing well below expectations this season, there's been speculation Anthony will choose to sign with another team this summer.

In an interview on ESPN New York 98.7 FM's "The Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco Show" on Thursday, Mike Woodson said that he hopes Carmelo looks at more than just this season when he makes his decision.

"He's got to look at really the last two years, too, what he's built here. And not just use this year as a year where you throw in the towel," Woodson said.

The coach added: "This has been a tough season so far, in terms of where we thought we should be as a ball club. I'll be the first to admit that. But I don't think you just throw everything away at this point. Because at the end of the day we still have a legitimate shot to make the playoffs. And then if we're able to get in, then it's another season and then we've got to figure that part of it out."

Practice what you preach: Woodson and the Knicks were encouraged by the team's effort in practice on Thursday. Woodson says the team hasn't had an opportunity to hold many full practices due to injuries.

J.R. Smith was one of the players to note that the Knicks played with a high energy in practice. But that came with a caveat.

"It felt good. I think the only problem is we play harder against one another than we do the other teams, so we’ve got to figure that out,” Smith said.

Woody says Ray has to "keep working:" Raymond Felton has averaged five points on 23 percent shooting in 29 minutes in his last two games. The struggles have brought on heavy criticism from fans and analysts about Felton's play.

"He’s just got to keep working and work himself through it," Woodson said after Thursday's practice. "It’s not something that’s just going to happen. He’s got to demonstrate it in practice and he’s got to carry it over to the game. That’s with everybody. I'm not ever going to point the finger at one guy. It takes five guys to win basketball games when they're out on the floor."

Starring role for Hardaway Jr.: The NBA announced that Knicks rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. will participate in the Shooting Stars competition over All Star Weekend with his father, Tim Hardaway Sr.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
27.4 3.1 1.2 38.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsT. Chandler 9.6
AssistsR. Felton 5.6
StealsI. Shumpert 1.2
BlocksA. Bargnani 1.2

NEW YORK CALENDAR