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Report: Carmelo Anthony’s camp doesn’t want to wait for 2015 Knicks rebuild

Mar 5, 2014, 1:42 PM EDT

Golden State Warriors v New York Knicks Getty Images

Every player says it. Carmelo Anthony is saying it. It’s is some variant of “I’m not about the money, I’m about winning.”

Then the money goes on the table and it’s all about the money.

That’s the choice facing Carmelo Anthony this summer — a big payday from the Knicks and trust them to rebuild over a few seasons, or take a pay cut to go to a contender. Maybe a steep pay cut.

Frank Isola writes at the Daily News ‘Melo may not want to wait.

But the Knicks’ salary-cap situation is such that if they re-sign Anthony they’ll have to wait until 2015 to add that second star. For one, I’m hearing that Anthony’s camp is interested only in the summer of 2014. They don’t want to hear about 2015. And they’re right. Anthony will be 31 with a lot of NBA miles on his legs before reinforcements arrive.

This is the New York media, they are more than happy to stir up questions and the fan base. Still, Isola makes a good argument that the smart long-term move for the Knicks is to let Anthony walk as a free agent this summer — be bad for another year and in 2015 they will have a high pick (they still have that one, can’t trade it) and a lot of cap space. However, all indications are that Plan A and Plan B and Plan C in the Knicks’ front office is to bring back Anthony. The team switched general managers to a guy with a better relationship with CAA — which represents Anthony — for that purpose.

Which means Anthony is going to have a pretty stark choice this summer.

The New York Knicks can offer the most money — starting at $22 million plus one more guaranteed year on the end of the deal. Nobody is going to match that. But the Knicks roster next season will look a lot like the 21-40 team this season — the massive contracts of Andrea Bargnani, Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler (plus ‘Melo) would make really meaningful moves difficult. Maybe they can shake things up at the draft of in July, but meaningful change is not likely. The real plan is a 2015 rebuild with free agents when those other guys come off the books — Kevin Love, Rajon Rondo and others are potential free agents that summer. Convince them to join ‘Melo in NYC.

Anthony has said repeatedly — and to PBT on All-Star weekend — that he wants to stay a Knick and would take less money to do so but he needs to see what their plan for rebuilding the roster really looks like. The next question becomes should Anthony trust the Knicks management to rebuild a winner around him? New York will always be a draw to free agents, but this franchise has won one playoff series in a decade. Smart rebuilds have not been a tradition in New York under current ownership.

Of course, if Anthony wants to jump to a contender he is going to have to take a pay cut. Maybe a steep one.

The Chicago Bulls often get mentioned as a likely destination (and they make the best roster sense on paper), but if all they do is amnesty Carlos Boozer they will be able to offer roughly $14 million a year for four years (depending on other moves). If the Bulls shed Taj Gibson’s salary they can get up closer to $20 million, but it cuts into their depth. If I were Chicago I’d make the lower offer and keep the young core of the team (Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Gibson, Jimmy Butler) together.

(There was some Miami speculation out there, which can be best described as radically far fetched. Basically their existing big three would opt out and take pay cuts down to less than $15 million a year, then Anthony would do the same. Good luck with all that.)

Anthony’s other options are limited. The Lakers are not interested. Dallas might be but that is Dirk Nowitzki’s team, plus you need a ball dominant point guard with Anthony to limit his tendency to be a black hole on offense (passes go in but nothing comes out). The Clippers don’t have the cap space and aren’t trading Blake Griffin for him (that is a Knicks’ fantasy that has no basis in Clipper reality).

So what will it be ‘Melo? Contending or money?

  1. andyreidisfat - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:35 PM

    Why do i get the feeling MElo might be a sixer next year. He would fit what they are trying to build. Melo MCW Noel + thad and a top 3 pick and probably another 5-10 pick (by the way, on that who won the holiday trade again ?? oh yeah the sixers did) As much as i dont like melo because he plays crappy d i gotta admit that roster would be top 4 in the east and also get the fan base excited again.

    • savvybynature - Mar 5, 2014 at 6:36 PM

      The Timberwolves would be a top-4 team in the East too, and they are on the outside looking in at the playoffs. Not saying it wouldn’t be intriguing, but by the time those young guys would be ready to seriously contend, Melo might be 35 and in his twilight. I doubt he’d jump ship unless it’s for a chance to contend now.

    • adagio4639 - Mar 11, 2014 at 10:57 AM

      A Sixer?? I don’t think Melo wants to go from bad to worse. There is only one reason for Melo to leave the Knicks, and that’s to play with a contender, and the Sixers don’t fit that idea. Melo absolutely has to play in a major market, and that limits him to NY, Chicago and LA. If he’s only there for the bucks, then he stays in NY. If he wants to win a title, he takes a cut and moves to Chicago. If he demands a max deal from the Bulls, they’ll pass, and he can waste the rest of his years in NY with a loser. The Bulls are in the drivers seat here. They’d love to have him, but they aren’t going to gut their team to get him. They’re already a playoff team without their main guy, AND without Melo. The Knicks are in the crapper even with Melo. Melo should take the cut, and make sure that the Bulls keep Gibson and can bring in Mirotic. They’re going to keep Augustin, and they’ll have Rose back to team up with Noah and Butler. Melo fits in. It’s not his team. He’d play a major role and win a title, and still make his millions. OR…he can grow older in NYC, and end his career without a ring.

  2. qedfyi - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:47 PM

    Taking taxes and cost of living into play, NYC and LA contracts aren’t that great. FL and TX don’t penalize contracts with massive tax bites and $5 Million buys a lot more home in FL or TX than NY or CA.

    • adagio4639 - Mar 11, 2014 at 11:01 AM

      Melo isn’t going to worry about buying a bigger house. He’s not going to TX or Florida to buy a bigger house. He’s already worth millions and can buy whatever he wants. But he can’t buy a ring, and that’s the thing that he wants now. He’s going to play in a major market and that means NY, Chicago, or LA. If he wants the money he stays in NY. If he wants to win a title, it’s Chicago. It’s really that simple.

  3. campcouch - Mar 5, 2014 at 6:54 PM

    His wife’s career? What career? Oh,her job of spending Carmelo’s money? Her lame reality show career makes dust compared to Anthony. The max deal is why she wants him to stay in NY. He’s going to test FA,see who can offer him a legit shot at a title and if there isn’t one,he’ll toil for the Knicks for another year while playing for a new coach. The rest of the NBA would be fools to make plans “just in case”. How many teams destroyed themselves waiting for LeBron James? Refusing to sign good players,letting contracts run out and trading picks for expires…you saw how that turned out. It’s good to dream,but Carmelo Anthony is going to decide his future.

  4. sportsnut101 - Mar 5, 2014 at 7:32 PM

    theres no money in miami for him unless big 3 take 10 mill dollar hit per year bosh said he not doing that

    bosh is better not to opt out he wont get 40 mill for 2yrs nowhere he only takes 7 shots a game so hes stealing money
    melo come to bulls if u want to work on both ends of the floor

  5. ringjames - Mar 5, 2014 at 7:35 PM

    This summer is gonna be BIG.
    All 30 teams will wait for LeBron’s decision before pulling any triggers.
    LeBron would get the max from the Heat if he wanted, but he’ll ultimately take about the same but with more years and more guaranteed money.
    I just can’t imagine the Heat giving Wade a max contract if he wanted it. Unless LeBron already chose to leave. But I think Wade will get that “Tim Duncan deal”.
    Bosh? he’ll have to accept that same contract (Tim Duncan deal).
    If he chooses more money and touches he’ll leave. If he’s loyal, he’ll stay.
    It’s 50/50 at this point.

    Melo? he’ll wait to see what the big 3 in Miami does while weighing his options and keeping a close eye on the Knicks front office and the moves they’ll make. Ultimately, if Miami somehow gets enough cap space to sign Melo (he’ll have to take less than Bron but more than Wade) then he’ll sign. Other than that, he’ll resign with the Knicks if Stoudemire gets traded (contract year) and if they reload the roster (Al Jeff, Parker, Dirk, Lowry, Turner, etc. will all be available) but if the Knicks drop the ball, I can picture Melo going to the Bulls, Houston, or Clippers.

  6. turkbox420 - Mar 5, 2014 at 8:10 PM

    Knicks should have traded him at the deadline for capspace, role players and picks before he Lebrons them this summer and takes his talents to ________(fill in the blank- team).

    Personally as a Pacers fan I would welcome him for Paul George. That pregnant chic is in his head and it is killing Indy since he shoots 33% nightly now.

    I love PG but I think he was too hyped this year and he has a lot to improve, especially his shot selection. West and Hibbert are good enough to take more shots and George Hill can score well. Lance can put up #`s. More ball movement and more points on transition are needed. I am afraid Indy are going to face Toronto in the 2nd rd and lose. They are built to match up perfect to them and Indy are horrible vs run `n` gun teams. Phoenix killed them twice, GSW once, OKC destroyed them. Miami can easily beat Indy if they get PG rebounds and steals-leading to transition dunks. Something needs to change and Melo would fit perfect. He plays decent D and can actually depend on his team like when Denver went to the WCF in `08 and barely lost to LA.

    • turkbox420 - Mar 5, 2014 at 8:22 PM

      It is true D wins Rings but you have to put the ball in the basket too, Indy is bad at this area. I understand their system but is it possible to play awesome D and run `n` gun too? I mean Lance, PG, Hill, Turner are very young and freakishly athletic enough to run and not use a half court set for every single possession. I would like to see them change it up occasionally and just try and beat teams by scoring too. There has got to be a way to do this. Steph Curry and Paul G have really let fame get to them and it is affecting their games and teams negatively.

    • adagio4639 - Mar 11, 2014 at 11:08 AM

      Melo isn’t going to find life in Indy an attractive alternative to NYC. He needs Bright Lights, Big City, and Indy doesn’t fit that image. I think you’re being a bit harsh with the Pacers. I see them putting it together for the playoffs. They’re really hungry and want to take down Miami and I think they will…IF, they can get past Toronto or the Bulls. They’re the best defensive team in the NBA right now and defense always keeps you in any game.

  7. dolphindubs - Mar 5, 2014 at 9:33 PM

    @turkbox420

    “That pregnant chick is in his head”?!

    Off to Google I go…

  8. kwame410 - Mar 5, 2014 at 11:45 PM

    Best team for melo is the bulls they need a go-to guy that can score points.Chicago needs him because that are one of the worst offensive teams in the NBA

  9. norrinxartis - Mar 6, 2014 at 12:15 AM

    Is there any way Washington could make a play for carmelo? I think that John wall would be good for melo.

  10. jcrileyesq - Mar 6, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    Danny Ferry should work his magic and go hard at Melo. Atlanta has a good core-horford, milsap, teague, korver and schorder and they have cap room and may have a good draft pick

  11. ayochaser - Mar 6, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    I’d like to see him in Dallas or on either LA team next year. We hear the bulls a lot but I’d be hesitant to sign there with D. Rose’s recurring knee issues. And I’m not sure they’d be a legitimate contender w/o a healthy Rose. Rick Carlisle got Jet & Dirk to play defense so I fully believe he can get the same out of Melo. Either spot in LA would seem like a good fit but the lakers have their own rebuilding project to worry about & the clippers seem like a pipe dream at best so maybe Dallas would be the best option.

    • adagio4639 - Mar 11, 2014 at 11:13 AM

      Rose knees won’t be a problem. He’s fully recovered from the ACL, and the meniscus is the same injury that Westbrook had. Rose is going to be fine. He already jumps 5″ higher than before he had the ACL injury. Besides, the Bulls are a playoff team right now without him. I think Melo likes the way the Bulls play with the players they have. Adding Rose, just makes them that much better.

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