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Report: Carmelo Anthony could take less than the max to stay with Knicks

Jul 5, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

Denver Nuggets v New York Knicks Getty Images

Carmelo Anthony has reportedly bought in to Phil Jackson’s vision for turning the Knicks into a contender, and that, along with the fact that New York is willing to offer up a max contract if Anthony were to choose to re-sign, would seem to be a strong indicator that the Knicks remain the favorites to retain Anthony’s services.

But just because the team offered a five-year max deal worth $129 million, that doesn’t mean that Anthony has to take it.

New York is going to be strapped from a cap perspective this summer anyway, but a max deal wouldn’t provide the help Jackson would be looking for moving forward, when the summer of 2015 will have more impact players available, and the Knicks will have more money to spend.

For that reason, Anthony could take the max this year when there is likely to be little help on the way, but agree to a lesser salary in the future that could give the team additional room to upgrade the roster.

From Marc Berman of the New York Post:

Knicks president Phil Jackson told Anthony during Thursday night’s meeting in Los Angeles he can have the team’s maximum 5-year, $129 million contract if he wishes. But The Post has learned there’s a distinct possibility Anthony will still decide to take a little less than the max.

One scenario would be Anthony starting at the max $22.4 million, but taking a 7.5 percent pay reduction in Year 2, as allowed by the collective bargaining agreement. That reduced salary for the 2015-16 season would give the Knicks a little more cap space next summer.

Jackson has said he prefers for Anthony to take less than the max to give him more salary-cap flexibility in 2015 and 2016 to sign free agents.

This seems like a viable option for both sides.

Anthony would get paid as he should in the upcoming season, which might be better than last but still figures to be another down year in terms of the Knicks being very far away from their stated goal of championship contention. Then, moving forward, he could take a relatively small discount that would allow for some increased cap flexibility, while painting Anthony as the good guy for leaving money on the table to try to help his team win.

If Anthony does indeed believe in Jackson’s long-term plan for the franchise, this would appear to be the best way for him to show it.

  1. clevelandrox - Jul 5, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    would be smart…you know, if you chasing rings…

  2. lakerade - Jul 5, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    Good, this makes way more sense than coming to the Lakers. Whew.

  3. scallops - Jul 5, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    Nobody will be able to compete with the Knicks for 2015 Free Agents if they clear up that extra 1.68 million. The next question is whether Melo can feed his family on only 20.68 million.

    • cantonb0und13 - Jul 5, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      Agree. It’s going to be interesting how he manage to do it.

    • khadeemw - Jul 5, 2014 at 2:39 PM

      Sprewell says no

      • eugenesaxe1 - Jul 5, 2014 at 4:47 PM

        I still laugh at his stupidity.

  4. luz56 - Jul 5, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    I like what Jackson is doing… Smart guy with credibility..not so sure CA is the guy to build around.. Maybe those bright lights if Broadway bring LBJ to NY??

    By the way as the Lakers continue to tank is their 2015 pick lottery protected? Nobody wants to play in LA and maybe the Black Mamba that cheats on his wife really is a POS!

  5. JT - Jul 5, 2014 at 3:28 PM

    Phil is working that Zen out in NY already huh?

  6. spliff219 - Jul 5, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    New york can keep melo. Cant wait till the bulls blow em out the next five years. rather add Mcbuckets-Mirotic-More depth on the bench

    • sportsfan18 - Jul 5, 2014 at 4:23 PM

      you’re a wise man spliff…

      Da Bulls!

  7. seanb20124 - Jul 5, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    Take the max, unless NYC endorsements make up the difference. Look no further than Antoine Walker, retirement is expensive.

  8. cruzan80 - Jul 5, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    “Without a doubt,” Anthony said Friday while in New Orleans for All-Star Weekend. “Any opportunity I have to build that up in New York, I’d do it. I told people all the time, always say, ‘If it takes me taking a pay cut, I’ll be the first one on [Knicks owner] Mr. [James] Dolan’s steps saying take my money and let’s build something strong over here.”

    Good job PBT, posting articles BS articles about the guy wanting to stay in N.Y. only for money for despite the FACT he cleary said he would do the exact opposite. You’ve made the trolls proud.

    • eugenesaxe1 - Jul 5, 2014 at 4:51 PM

      He’s still going to make more money in NY than he would elsewhere.

    • kinggw - Jul 5, 2014 at 5:05 PM

      Wow, you believe every cliched statement players make? What good would it have done Anthony in the middle of a dismal season for the Knicks, to say if they don’t pay me i’m gone? It was a good PR statement, I wouldn’t look to far into it.

      I don’t doubt that Anthony would take less if there was another free agent of substance that would sign, this year. That doesn’t mean he’s going to take a substantial pay cut just because Phil might add someone next year. Why should he leave money on the table for a free agent they probably won’t get? Knicks fans think that having a bunch of cap room means they are going to be players for Aldridge, Gasol, etc but those players are in good situations and probably won’t leave. Love will probably sign an extension with the team he’s traded to. Other than Rondo what big free agent should Melo take less for?

      • cruzan80 - Jul 5, 2014 at 5:54 PM


        “Knicks fans think that having a bunch of cap room means they are going to be players for Aldridge, Gasol, etc”

        ANY team with tons of cap space would believe that they will have a shot at top FA’s….that’s the point of free agency & teams working towards having cap room.

        “but those players are in good situations and probably won’t leave. Love will probably sign an extension with the team he’s traded to”

        You hope. What factual information do you have to support that???? Why is it impossible for Marc Gasol to look at the Knicks, money, big market, Melo & a weaker conference & say bye to Memphis??? Same with Aldridge??? As far as I see, unless the Blazers or Grizzlies win the championship next season both Gasol & Aldridge will be looking around…as they should.

        As for your point about Love…..based off what???? When Deron Williams got traded to the Nets, he dint sign an extension. When Dwight Howard got traded to the Lakers, he didn’t sign an extension.

        All you just did is give YOUR OPINION. Nothing you said was based off facts. I took the man at his word & surprise, surprise 6 months later there’s a “report” that he might do exactly what he said he would do.

        It wasn’t a matter of just believing whatever he says…what he said actually made sense. If you want to believe that he was just saying something for “PR” purposes then go right ahead but the FACT still remains that he’s about to do exactly what he said he would do.

      • kinggw - Jul 5, 2014 at 7:20 PM

        Not every team with cap space believes they are going to be players for the big names. Big names are only leaving comfortable situations for winning ones. The Knicks aren’t a winning situation, they aren’t even a stable one. Currently they aren’t even a top 4 team in the East.

        Gasol wont look at NY because the Grizzlies have a pretty good team. He went to high school in Memphis. He came of age as a player in Memphis. You think he’s going to leave town because Phil comes calling? The future in Portland looks a lot brighter than it does in New York. That’s not just my opinion that is a verifiable fact. Those guys aren’t coming to be the 3rd best team in the East.

        Anthony may like Phil’s vision, that doesn’t mean he’s not going to charge him top dollar for him to see it through.

  9. doncorleone17 - Jul 5, 2014 at 5:15 PM

    You guys kill me, how do you call someone stupid for taking more money. If some one offers me 129 million dollars to play in one of the best cities in the world I’m taking that money. You guys think it’s only about basketball as if Melo doesn’t have a life outside basketball! Like what’s so special about Chicago ? Yes you can’t take away the success that they have had much respect to that but your star player is injury prone, on top of that he is making no effort on getting one of the best players in the world to play with him. Then you have Noah who’s a beast but is getting older and plays through so many injuries. Melo goes to Chicago to team up with DROSE and Noah, DROSE gets hurt then what if Noah gets hurt then is Melo by him self what does he do from there ? He’s doing the right thing with going back home he’s staying true to his word, the Knicks will have cap space to bring in another superstar to team up with Melo on top of that they were able to trade Chandler and Felton for Shane Larkin, able to get Cleanthony Early who should of been picked in the first round and got the Greek Freaks brother.. Phil Jackson doing a good job so far

  10. philyeagles5 - Jul 5, 2014 at 6:47 PM

    There’s only 2 players in the league that deserves a max contract. Lebron and Durant.

  11. enigma2742 - Jul 6, 2014 at 2:09 AM

    20.8 million dollars isnt enough he wouldnt have enough to feed his family.He’ll be taking the train to work and living in a shelter I FEEL SO SORRY FOR HIM AND HIS FAMILY THERE GOING TO STARVE

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