Jun 17, 2014, 9:31 AM EDT
Unlike the Bulls and Rockets, Dallas can offer Melo a full max contract outright. Of course, the Mavericks will save some of that space for Dirk Nowitzki, but it sounds as if re-signing him will go smoothly.
How much will Nowitzki get? That’s one of the biggest questions about Dallas’ pursuit of Melo. It will depend on what Nowitzki desires, including how much he wants to play with Melo.
“If Carmelo would really love to come here,” Dirk says, “we’d love to have him.”
“Listen, I think I’ve showed over my 16 years that I can play with anybody,” the UberMan says. “The only tough season I think we’ve had is when we had (Antawn) Jamison and Antoine Walker and myself who are all three kind of the same 4-men, but other than that I think I’ve shown over my career that I can play with anybody. I’ll adjust, whether I have to get out of the way or go to the corner more, post up, pass — I’ll do whatever, really, that needs to be done out there to win or for this franchise to be a winner.”
Obligatory note that Melo is still technically under contract with the Knicks, and by the letter of the law, this is definitely tampering. However, the NBA has clearly decided to look the other way on players tampering – which means Nowitzki isn’t doing enough.
He should speak to Melo directly, just as Joakim Noah has done and Chandler Parsons did with Dwight Howard. For some reason, the league has essentially granted Nowitzki authority to act as an agent for the Mavericks before free agency begins. Dallas should have him take advantage and gain information about how to best pitch Melo.
There are a lot of moving parts here. Is Melo insistent on a full max contract? Should the Mavericks decline the team option on Jae Crowder? Should they waive Samuel Dalembert – or better yet, trade him while they still can?
Melo can help answer those questions, and Nowitzki can apparently ask them on behalf of management, which can’t speak to Anthony until July 1.
Expressing fondness for Melo on the radio might help, but I bet Nowitzki would accomplish much more by picking up the phone and calling Melo.
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