Skip to content

Carmelo Anthony took $6 million haircut to give Knicks more cap flexibility

Jul 14, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT

Washington Wizards v New York Knicks Washington Wizards v New York Knicks

As haircuts go this isn’t exactly going the full Sinéad and getting your head shaved, it’s a pretty small trim, but it could matter to the Knicks.

Carmelo Anthony did take a little less than the max he could have gotten from the Knicks — around $123 million rather than $129 million — and that will leave Phil Jackson a couple million extra dollars in future years to help construct some kind of Knicks roster that can win.

Jackson spoke to Marc Berman of the New York Post about it.

Jackson confirmed The Post’s reports Anthony structured the deal to give the Knicks more cap space in 2015. It is believed he didn’t take his annual 7.5 percent raise in Year 2 and may have taken a tiny pay decrease. Under collective bargaining agreement rules, a player can receive as high as a 7.5 percent pay raise annually.

“He did exactly what we kind of asked him to do,’’ Jackson said. “Give us a break in the early part of the contract when we have some wiggle room — hopefully big enough wiggle room — next year when we can exploit it.’’

Anthony’s sacrifice in Year 2 likely opens up about $2 million more in cap space for 2015, but the rest of his annual wages suffer by not taking the raise.

What Anthony is making is still more than the Lakers could guarantee ($97 million) or the Bulls ($75 million).

And he gets to be the face of a rebuilt Knicks franchise, he gets to be the biggest star in the biggest market. That was always part of the draw, too.

  1. eugenesaxe1 - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    6mil on a 120mil+ contract isn’t exactly helping a whole lot.

    • apkyletexas - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:15 PM

      He’s giving up 5 percent of the max deal. You add that to the other 5 percent he’ll be paying in state income tax, and he could have made more money per year on a four year deal from Houston or Miami. Anyone who says he only did it for the money isn’t doing the math.

      • nykfanwakemeupin2015 - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:23 PM

        6 million isnt much and I am not a huge fan of Anthony BUT not only is there state tax but we also have NYC tax….

      • eugenesaxe1 - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:25 PM

        Dirk and Duncan took 8-digit pay cuts to help their teams out.

        Dirk and Duncan have rings.

        Do that math.

      • cruzan80 - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:31 PM

        @ apkyletetexas

        Doing the math??? Half of these trolls didn’t even read the article let alone try to understand what’s actually going on.


        Dirk & Duncan took those paycuts in their mid 30’s & on their THIRD max contract offer…..nice try though.

      • DonKellyBaby - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:38 PM

        Dirk and Duncan were also trending down the twilight of their careers when they signed those contracts. Both Dirk & Duncan also play in Texas which has no state income tax.

        Duncan 3 years $30.36 million signed at age 35.

        Dirk 4 years $80 million signed at age 33.

        Melo just turned 30.

      • apkyletexas - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:46 PM

        Also, his best deal would have been a 2-year contract like LeBron signed, and then re-up for much higher pay when the new TV deals get signed. The guy left a bunch on the table.

      • cruzan80 - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:55 PM


        Oh, Kobe & KG have NEVER taken a paycut to “help their teams out”.

        Kobe & KG have rings too.

        YOU do the math.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 14, 2014 at 8:36 PM

        Melo is taking bows… and saying…

        You’re welcome, you’re welcome for the money I gave back…

        Yes, when all is said and done with my career, both on court earnings and endorsements, I’ll now only have made about $294 million and not $300 million.

        I better start playing the Lotto now man…

    • obmig - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:16 PM

      $6 mil more than he was obligated to give up.

    • antistratfordian - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:39 PM

      He could’ve given up nothing. Stop whining.

      • eugenesaxe1 - Jul 14, 2014 at 6:24 PM

        Whining? You need to learn the difference between “whining” and “stating the truth”.

        He can’t stand there and say “I gave something back” when he basically didn’t.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 14, 2014 at 6:32 PM

        Sorry, I couldn’t hear you because of all the whining noise.

      • savvybynature - Jul 14, 2014 at 6:49 PM

        That wasn’t whining noise it was the sound of you slurping on Lebron’s genitals

      • antistratfordian - Jul 14, 2014 at 7:08 PM

        Cry more, whiner.

      • garlandchapko - Jul 14, 2014 at 7:15 PM

        eugenesaxe – 6 million isn’t exactly spare change.

    • genericcommenter - Jul 14, 2014 at 6:22 PM

      I don’t care who you are, when you give up $6 million that you could have demanded, you are giving up significant money.

      • shanelsweet - Jul 14, 2014 at 8:28 PM

        Folks seem to be forgetting the reason he was asked to give up some money. It was to get the team a better player. Can they get a better player for an extra $2M? Like who? That’s why folks don’t think he gave up enough.

    • bkbell3 - Jul 14, 2014 at 7:05 PM

      apkyletexas, that’s wrong, In your 42 away games each you pay the tax in what ever state you play the game in. If you play the lakers you pay cal. state tax etc. Even with your example he would of left almost 30mil on the table going to la. and almost 50mil going to the bulls.Houston couldn’t have given him the full 4yr max nor could of miami. Miami could excede the cap to resign lbj but melo would of had to fit under the cap.Giving up 6mil over five years and saving 6mil in tax is still only 12 mil over the life of the contract so your math doesn’t add up.

  2. Mr. Wright 212 - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:10 PM

    It will make a world of difference with the cap destined to increase over the life of his deal. That will eventually mean enough money to sign another player for $6-8 Million.

  3. illegalblues - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:12 PM

    EXPENSIVE HAIRCUT MY MAN, melo got those edges finally. blessed be this day

  4. zinger92 - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:15 PM

    He’ll be too old by the time they figure it out.

  5. 4thquartermagic - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:22 PM

    The Knicks will promptly use those savings to spend on an Amare Stoudamire caliber player.

    • antistratfordian - Jul 14, 2014 at 6:34 PM

      Those days are over.

  6. jvw1982 - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:48 PM

    He didn’t have to give up anything…..but he did….who cares what Dirk and Duncan have done, giving up money doesn’t guarantee a title….Knicks will have plenty of money to sign a big name next yr. I will never fault a guy for taking his money, this is a business first…the team owners can always pay a luxury tax to help the team too and they are billionaires …

    • realfootballfan - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:55 PM

      Also, never mind the fact that the MSG TV contract makes it an apples and oranges comparison anyway. Realistically, he shouldn’t have taken any kind of pay cut because they can pay the luxury tax unlike any other team due to that TV contract and not bat an eye about it.

      • bkbell3 - Jul 14, 2014 at 7:10 PM

        real, That’s true but they can only exceed the cap to resign their own free agents with bird rights. They can’t exceed the cap to sign other teams free agents. Dolen isn’t afraid to spend money but the new cba restricts a lot of things now. Cap room is hard to come by.

  7. dirtydavis - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    that haircut better be worth it

  8. spillz121 - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:53 PM

    How many people would take a pay cut so that their company would be number one in it’s field? I doubt many would. And people are saying he should have gone to Chicago and taken a 50 million dollar pay cut? That’s not being realistic at all.

    Anyway, that’s not what I care about, my check is going to look the same at the end of this week. What I wanna know is what Phil has in mind for the extra loot? Will he try to make any more moves this offseason or is this the team he’s going to battle with next year? They could use another quality big, you can’t rely on Stoudemire or Bargnani.

    • bkbell3 - Jul 14, 2014 at 7:14 PM

      I wonder if phil would take a pay cut if the rules allowed it to open up some cap space? Phil never took a pay cut in his life. It would be interesting to see what he would and how much he would give back.

  9. ronmagnifico - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    This allows Phil to add major pieces to the Knicks roster. Melo sacrificed for the greater good. LMAO

    • fanofthegame1 - Jul 14, 2014 at 6:54 PM

      This does allow to add a Marc Gasol/Kevin Love type of FA next year, if they come available. All this 6M is added to their 2015-16 cap number. Great troll post though.

      • bkbell3 - Jul 14, 2014 at 7:19 PM

        Fan, melo took about 6mil less over the 5 year contract not per year. That comes out to about 1.2mil per year. He is forgoing his 7.5% raise for next year so that will give them about 1.83 million more to spend next year. This is based on a 122mil contract.

      • fanofthegame1 - Jul 14, 2014 at 7:28 PM

        Look again, its all at the front of the contract, not even.

      • bkbell3 - Jul 14, 2014 at 8:03 PM

        The end of the quote in the story says forgoing his 7.5% raise in 2015 will open up about 2mil in cap space. His contract this year will be higher than it would of been if he had not oped out.

  10. SBoy - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:57 PM

    It is also 6 million more than the great Pat Riley got Chris Bosh to leave on the table. Time will tell if it makes a difference… But Melo, came through on his word here… And the Zen Master made it happen… Between the trade, draft, hiring of D Fish, getting Melo back with a little cap flexibility… PJ’s mocked career as an executive is off to a good start.

    • eugenesaxe1 - Jul 14, 2014 at 6:32 PM

      Miami had plenty of room to work with since LBJ walked and they had damn near an empty roster.

  11. azarkhan - Jul 14, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    OMG, he’s only making $123 million rather than $129 million. Let’s start up a collection for Carmelo!

  12. hurley711 - Jul 14, 2014 at 6:25 PM

    Sprewell promptly texted him asking him how he is going to feed his family in year 2.

    • Kevin S. - Jul 14, 2014 at 7:35 PM

      Not sure Spree can afford a cell phone right now.

  13. starks3 - Jul 14, 2014 at 6:29 PM

    Combine that with the 23-25 mill in Stat’s contract coming off the books next year, along with 11-12 mill of Bargani’s the Knicks will have 35+million to spend next off season. Then we make our run!

    • bkbell3 - Jul 14, 2014 at 7:25 PM

      Nice, but what happens if no one comes? Just ask dallas and houston about being the bridesmaid. I don’t see gasal leaving memphis if that team is not broken up. Aldredge isn’t leaving portland and love will probably be traded this year and i don’t see rondo fitting in with the triangle offense. It’s always a crap shoot,so what if you build a field and they don’t come?

      • realfootballfan - Jul 14, 2014 at 10:54 PM

        People always say this, and the big market teams always get whoever they want. We’ve watched the Lakers, Knicks, and most recently the Heat do whatever they want with their farm teams in the smaller markets.

  14. spliff219 - Jul 14, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    I cant wait to see melo get bounced out of the playoffs in the first round for the rest of his career. should of went to chicago and won multiple rings. Tell me who is new york gonna bring in for ya
    . L Aldridge is staying put. K love is gonna sign when he is finally dealt. M Gasol ??? good luck Bud

    • fanofthegame1 - Jul 14, 2014 at 6:59 PM

      Gasol is actually perfect for the Triangle Offense. All those guys mentioned would love to play in NY.

      • bkbell3 - Jul 14, 2014 at 7:28 PM

        When did they tell you that and what were they wearing when they told you? lol

      • fanofthegame1 - Jul 14, 2014 at 7:31 PM

        All players would love to play in NY. Love specifically said he would love to play under Phil in NY. Its a big stage and that enhances players brand. Who would turn down 41 games a year at the best venue the sport has to offer?

  15. andreboy1 - Jul 14, 2014 at 6:43 PM

    Don’t like Melo but he should have just taken the max.

    Phil Jackson has NEVER left a penny on the table but he wants the players to take less?


  16. fanofthegame1 - Jul 14, 2014 at 6:57 PM

    For all you money whores out there, don’t forget that when Melo was on a rookie deal he gave 3M back to Syracuse University to build an athletic center. He did that on his own, nobody forced him to do that. We should be congratulating him for not selling out like Lebron and building his own legacy.

    • bkbell3 - Jul 14, 2014 at 7:49 PM

      fan, By your theory wouldn’t melo be a sellout for leaving denver to join a then healthy statt? smh

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Rose (2305)
  2. K. Irving (1884)
  3. A. Davis (1700)
  4. L. James (1563)
  5. K. Durant (1505)
  1. K. Bryant (1489)
  2. T. Thompson (1310)
  3. A. Aminu (1303)
  4. R. Rubio (1299)
  5. M. Leonard (1268)