Apr 11, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) shoots a free throw against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. The Knicks beat the Raptors 108-100. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Carmelo Anthony has no-trade clause, early termination option in new contract with Knicks

The five-year max-level contract between Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks will pay out $124 million and include a early termination option prior to Year 5, reports Ian Begley of ESPN New York. It also features a no-trade clause, per Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, giving ‘Melo some added leverage should he ever decide to leave the Big Apple.

As an unrestricted free agent, Anthony considered a number of teams before ultimately committing to return to New York on a max-level deal. The Knicks were the only team capable of offering Anthony five years, and he took them up on the opportunity to continue starring in the country’s biggest market.

Anthony didn’t take the maximum amount of money, however, as the Knicks could’ve offered up to $129 million. It’s not much of a discount, of course, considering the team is only saving a bit over $1 million each season, but it’s still a concession the All-Star forward probably didn’t have to make.

There’s no doubt the Knicks wanted Anthony back at all costs this offseason, both because of their roster’s makeup and lack of financial flexibility. He’s also one of the game’s elite scorers, and his loss likely would’ve been devastating for a team that already missed the playoffs last season.

Anthony made his fifth straight All-Star team in 2013-14, averaging 27.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists to lead the Knicks. He was also pretty efficient as a shooter, hitting 40 percent of his three-pointers and 45 percent of his shots overall. That progress makes him a no-brainer as a max guy for the team, even as he nears his 30th birthday.

Anthony also has leverage now in case he wants to force a trade similar to the one that brought him to New York in the first place. With the no-trade clause and ETO, Anthony could potentially pressure the team to deal him in a couple years if things don’t improve on the court in New York.

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Tags: Carmelo Anthony NBA Free Agency New York Knicks