Following his meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers, Carmelo Anthony held a meeting with New York Knicks brass, and like the meeting with Los Angeles, the two teams talked contracts: the Knicks are set to offer Carmelo Anthony a max contract.
Source: Melo’s meeting with the Knicks is over. They reiterated to him that they will offer him a max contract
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 4, 2014
Unlike the Lakers offer of four years, $90+ million, the CBA allows the Knicks to offer Melo a fifth year due to having his bird rights, making the deal a five year, $129 million contract. Each deal trumps the rumored offer of $16 million per year deal (or four years, ~$70 million) the Chicago Bulls floated out to Anthony during their meeting.
While the odds of being offered a max deal by the New York Knicks were high, Phil Jackson created a stir in the media when he openly asked for Anthony to take a pay cut in order to improve the roster around him.
The Knicks can offer Anthony the longest contract and the most money at five years and $130 million compared to the four years and about $96 million Anthony would earn if he were to leave for another team. Jackson has said that he asked Anthony to potentially take a pay cut to remain with the Knicks. But the source also said Jackson only talked to Anthony about the concept of taking a pay cut and that Jackson said he would be willing to offer a maximum contract if that is what it took to re-sign Anthony. The source added that Anthony, 30, viewed opting in to the final year of his contract for $23.3 million next season without signing an extension as risky at his age.
Now, all that matters is “where”. Where does Anthony want to play for the next four or five years of his career. He could contend with the Chicago Bulls now while being paid less or remain on a middling franchise like the Knicks or Lakers while he drives in the dollars.
If history tells us anything, money will be the answer, but since Anthony directly spoke on taking less to contend, we’ll provide the small forward the benefit of the doubt.