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Phil Jackson wants Carmelo Anthony to take less money to re-sign with Knicks

Apr 23, 2014, 4:58 PM EDT

Phil Jackson, James Dolan, executive chairman of the Madison Square Garden Company Phil Jackson, James Dolan, executive chairman of the Madison Square Garden Company

Replacing Mike Woodson as head coach was an easy and obvious first (major) move for Phil Jackson to make in his new position as president of basketball operations with the New York Knicks.

But for the one the franchise needs him to make next, the level of difficulty will increase significantly.

Carmelo Anthony will opt out of the final year of his deal to become an unrestricted free agent, and he’ll be touring teams to hear their sales pitches in much the same way we saw Dwight Howard go about things last summer.

Although he can make the most money by re-signing with the Knicks — a difference of more than $30 million and an additional season on the new contract — Jackson hopes to persuade Anthony to come back for less.

From Ian Begley of ESPN New York:

“I think [there is] a precedent that’s been set,” Jackson said of stars taking less money to join or remain with contending teams. “Because the way things have been structured now financially for teams is that it’s really hard to have one or two top stars or max players, and to put together a team with enough talent, you’ve got to have people making sacrifices financially.

“So we hope that Carmelo is true to his word and we understand what it’s going to take, and we will present that to him at that time.” …

Anthony suggested in February that he’d be open to signing a contract for less than the maximum allotment.

If Anthony wants to win in the immediate future, there are places like Chicago and Houston that present extremely enticing opportunities to do that. (The Rockets aren’t in position to sign Anthony to a four-year max at the moment, but it’s believed they could get there quickly if that scenario presented itself.)

If Anthony is all about the money, he’ll re-sign in new York for the five-year max that the team would almost certainly offer.

But he can definitely land somewhere in between by taking less than that, while giving the Knicks some dollars to use to lure another All Star in free agency. The problem is, that can’t happen until a year from now in part because of the horrific contracts of Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani that don’t come off the books until next summer.

Anthony’s decision will show us where his true priorities lie.

  1. bknowledge - Apr 23, 2014 at 9:46 PM

    I’d like to see Melo sign with the Cavs.
    Cavs could trade some combo of Varejoa /Tristan/Dion/Bennett/Jarrett/draft pick for Asik and Afflalo:
    Starting 5:
    I think that starting 5 is as good as any in the NBA.

    • campcouch - Apr 24, 2014 at 5:21 AM

      I’m a Cavs fan and I disapprove.

  2. apkyletexas - Apr 23, 2014 at 9:58 PM

    Goodbye Melo. Jackson probably wants to trade for Kobe and Gasol.

    • theromeo2k - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:14 PM

      This post gave me a chuckle when I read it.

  3. campcouch - Apr 24, 2014 at 5:32 AM

    hahahahaha,@take less money.unless he can guarantee a superstar signing with the team,no. the Heat players took a tad less because they have three stars on the team and there was no way that they wouldn’t win at least one title. Tim Duncan took less because he also has two other stars on the team and no doubt will receive a position in the organization once he retires. NYK can’t offer any type of guarantee. Not even for 2015. Get paid Melo, or leave for a team with talent…wait,LaLa loves New York and your money. Get paid.

  4. nokoolaidcowboy - Apr 24, 2014 at 7:19 AM

    Take less money? Lala is not going to let Carmelo take less money!

  5. mogogo1 - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    I saw this move coming. Say you really want the guy to stay, then ask him to accept less to make him look like the bad guy when he refuses. Sort of a win-win for Phil. They get a great deal if Melo stays and it’s Melo’s choice to leave if he wants more money. Where things would get interesting is if Phil’s true hope is that Melo leaves but he decided to stay.

  6. marcusfitzhugh - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:16 PM

    Has anyone noticed that all the teams that made the playoffs and are rumored landing spots for Melo are getting hammered? I wonder what that does for their desirability factor.

    As for the Cavs, it will never happen. You might as well hope Aldridge and LBJ and CP3 for unnamed draft picks.

  7. emdawt - Apr 24, 2014 at 6:04 PM

    Correct me if I’m wrong but the “least” amount that Carmelo can take is like $16 million. Is that right?

  8. packergator - Apr 25, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    Sounds like something Phil would do to get rid of Melo in the offseason. Seems like Phil sees the same thing we see – that Melo just couldn’t work as a cog in his championship machine.

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