According to someone who used to play alongside Carmelo Anthony, this will be Melo’s final season in Gotham. The anonymous former teammate claims Anthony realizes he can’t win with this terrible New York Knicks team, and he’s gone once he becomes a free agent in the summer. Per the NY Daily News:

“I think he’s leaving. I’ve played with Melo for a long time and he knows he can’t win here. At this stage, all he wants to do is win. That’s why he’ll leave.”

The Knicks begin the new year with the same old problems — an injury-depleted roster, underperforming players, a losing record and a cloud of uncertainty over Anthony’s future with the club. That 2014 would start with a game against the San Antonio Spurs is appropriate because since the two teams met in the 1999 NBA Finals, one franchise has emerged as the gold standard in the NBA while the other is pure comic gold. Six weeks ago, Anthony called the Knicks a “laughingstock” and the joke is still on them.

At 9-21, the Knicks will need a small miracle to finish with a winning record, but a sub-.500 mark won’t necessarily keep them out of playoffs. Still, it’s a long way from winning 54 games last season and at least being classified a championship contender.

“This is not how I envisioned it,” Anthony said earlier this week.

Anthony’s former teammate, who requested anonymity, echoed the thoughts of several people close to Anthony who believe he’s ready to leave. Still, the Knicks have the ace in the hole; they can offer Anthony approximately $30 million more than any other team under the rules of the collective bargaining agreement. Money still talks in the NBA, and it’s hard to believe Anthony will walk away from a lucrative contract.