Will the Knicks Offer Melo the Max? And What Happens If They Don’t?

Adam Zagoria, Team Reporter

Perhaps lost in all the discussions about what Carmelo Anthony will do next is this fundamental question, will the Knicks offer him a full max contract?

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst raised this important question Monday on ESPN New York 98.7 radio.

The assumption throughout this whole saga is that the Knicks will offer Anthony a max contact worth approximately $129 million over five years and that the most he can make from another club is $96 million over four years.

If that is the case, then Anthony would obviously be leaving some $30 million on the table should he opt to take his talents elsewhere.

But what if the Knicks don’t make that offer? What if they offer something short of max money?

Then the difference between what the Knicks offer and what another team’s offer — the Chicago Bulls seems the most likely option, but the Houston Rockets and the Dallas Mavericks could also be possibilities– isn’t as great and therefore shouldn’t theoretically make as much of a difference to him.

Remember, Phil Jackson is already on record saying that Anthony should fulfill his initial promise to take less money so that the Knicks can add pieces around him going forward.

And according to some reports, Anthony wasn’t entirely thrilled with those sentiments.

“The way things have been structured now financially for teams is that it’s really hard to have one or two top stars or max players and to put together a team with enough talent you’ve got to have people making sacrifices financially so we hope that Carmelo is true to his word and we understand what it’s going to take and we will present that to him at that time,” Jackson told us in April.

Jackson also wanted Anthony to opt in for this coming season and Anthony went ahead and opted out as expected. So it’s not like the two of them are entirely on the same page.

“I’m all about moving forward,” Jackson said in April. “Just deal with what is and move forward. If [keeping Melo] is in the cards, man are we fortunate. If it’s not in the cards, man are we fortunate. We’re going forward anyway.”

Of course, Anthony met last week with Jackson and new coach Derek Fisher and called the meeting “great,” but it’s also clear that Anthony has said he wants to compete for a championship and Jackson still has to show Melo exactly what the path toward competing for a title in New York would entail.

It’s also possible — as the Daily News reported — that Knicks owner James Dolan could swoop in and demand that Jackson pay Anthony max money if the new Knicks’ President doesn’t.

The other important question — also raised by Windhorst — is, Would the Knicks deal Melo in a sign-and-trade?

Jackson doesn’t seem inclined to do so, but if he comes to the conclusion that he may lose Anthony to free agency without getting anything in return, he could opt to deal him in a sign-and-trade.

The Bulls, for example, could offer Carlos Boozer ‘s expiring contract and one of their two first-round picks, for Anthony, and then at least the Knicks would get something in return. (And they could have the Bulls draft a young point guard like Tyler Ennis or Shabazz Napier with one of those picks.)

The Bulls, as ESPN’s Marc Stein has reported, would rather deal Boozer, who is due $16.8 million next season, than amnesty him.

If the Knicks don’t offer Anthony max money and a sign-and-trade doesn’t happen, then Anthony could still sign as a free agent with Chicago for $17 or $18 million annually, as the Chicago Tribune reported.

Anthony said in this video interview that he wanted to do what’s right for his kids, and that he’s aware that moving them around while they’re still in a school can be disruptive.

In his ideal scenario, the Knicks would be competitive — read: having a chance to compete for a title — and he could just keep himself and his family in New York.

But if the money is relatively equal and he feels the Bulls offer a better chance to win a title, those could be critical factors in his decision.


Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider for NBA.com and SNY.tv. You can follow him on Twitter and read his blog.




268 comments
lindro88
lindro88

If the only way to keep him is to pay him, I'd pay him. Good luck finding a player to replace this guy. If they get creative and play a better system around him, along with the new regime, I'd take my chances on another 5 years with Melo.

Ralph Carlson Jr
Ralph Carlson Jr

please let him go, the Knicks would be better in the long run, they ain't winning any rings in the next 2-3 years when Melo has his few years of best basketball left

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

So Melo is leaving the 11th ranked offense in the league because his teammates can't shoot and he is looking at the Bulls with the 28th best offense in the league. No, I don't think so.

Kvdaone
Kvdaone

everytime somebody brings up the obvious about Melo, it gotta be hate. Dats girly ish. His accolades and numbers speak for themselves. We watch Bron go to the finals with Jamario Moon and Eric Snow. We watch WB go down and KD elevated his ALL AROUND game and earned MVP. KD had dudes like Lamb, sefalosha and steven adams ballin...I guess they was better than J.R, THjr and Tyson. Maybe i need to go rewatch some gms

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@JesusBlasTheKnickWay 

They want Jabari Parker, who is a Mormon. That would be huge in Utah. Sirius/XM radio did a big feature on Parker and mentioned that today.

theking
theking

@DaGawD @Kvdaone  should have been to the finals this year with that talent he had. should have won more games against the heat in the finals (same number we did) if he is twice the player melo is and had westbrook harden and ibaka but ehhhhh w.e

Chris
Chris

@OLDKNICK We are not talking about healthey people, we are talking about creeps

NoVaCaInE
NoVaCaInE

@Kvdaone This is just a silly ignorant post. 

1. LeBron is in a league of his own. Stop comparing him with Melo or anyone else for that matter. There is only 1 LeBron James and nobody compares to him. Wade was bounced early every year in the playoffs before and after Shaq. Enter LeBron, 4 straight Finals appearances. 

2. Durant without Westbrook did what in the Playoffs in 2013? Get bounced early. Durant and all his greatness did what in this years Playoffs? Get bounced by the Spurs. If Durant was on the Knicks with this current squad, are they contenders? Durant's supporting cast since he came into the NBA has been much better than Melo's. That is a fact.


theking
theking

@Kvdaone  you should. Durant had ibaka who stepped up .... stop making it seem like he didn't have anybody

Richard Alicea
Richard Alicea

@illmatix  I disagree...the back end of that contract will hurt us in the long run; I'd say let him walk...he has already demonstrated his lack of loyalty by opting out.

Chris
Chris

@theking @Knicks_Fanatic Need to win on both ends of the court. Can`t score can`t win. Bulls suck  in playoffs, Rose doesn`t want him he aint goin there, and I like Derick mo than Thibs, he sucks in playoffs

Chris
Chris

@DaGawD What do you know about games. Tell me specifically what about his game you don`t like. Cut the trite crap and come back with facts idiot

Kvdaone
Kvdaone

@NoVaCaInE @Kvdaone dont know when we stop comparin greats to greats or good players to other good players but okay. if KD was on the current knicks squad they woulda been in the playoffs

theking
theking

@NoVaCaInE @Kvdaone  I just want to know if he commanded them to troop behind them during the season why the hell wouldn't he demand they do it during the playoffs???


questions that go unanswered

Chris
Chris

@DaGawD @Kvdaone Still haven`t answered my question death breath, no balls or just no knowledge, I`ll go with both fool

theking
theking

@DaGawD @Kvdaone  damn you love talking about me if melo must be your grandfather then cuz you def my son

Kvdaone
Kvdaone

@theking @Kvdaone  im not sayin he didnt have anybody fool...im sayin he willed his team. the months of jan-feb is what earned him mvp. KD had his team ballin. they stepped up cuz he commanded it

Chris
Chris

@DaGawD @theking First losing season since he was 8 fool, do some research, on the way down had stat one of his best all around years, that is how bad Woody and the boys were

Chris
Chris

@DaGawD @Chris No fool a creep has been a creep for all time, it is universall accepted phraseology for one that has no life and must build up his poor self esteem by trying to bring down others , now answer my questions creep

theking
theking

@Chris @DaGawD  its just hate. if you don't like his game why do you talk so much about it? I never understood that

Chris
Chris

@theking @Chris @DaGawD He is a hating a hole, now lets see if he has some actual knowledge of the game instead of his trite crap generalizations that my 2 year old granddaughter can say

Chris
Chris

@DaGawD

looking in the mirror fool? You know nada about hoops and use trite hackneyed  phrases that you have no knowledge about. Can`t answer a simple question , so you digress into drivel. Come on a hole answer the efing question, lets get into what you don`t like about his game, his midrange, his post up???? Come back with some intelligent stuff, if you have the intellect, (which I don`t think you have ) 

theking
theking

@Kvdaone @theking @NoVaCaInE  so you are this good leader (according to you) get your second in command in line if you cant do that then you are not a leader

theking
theking

@DaGawD @Kvdaone  twice the player of melo but has top 5 pg and pf and still couldn't win I get it

theking
theking

@DaGawD @theking  how? he gets drafted there what can he do? nothing but play his rookie contract out then leave

Chris
Chris

@DaGawD @Chris None of your business, but my esposa is. Answer my question, you can`t because you are a fraud, a non player, a non knower, a hater that gets his rocks off being able to say things he doesn`t have the Bs too to a mans face

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@Chris @theking @Knicks_Fanatic 

69-70 Willis, Clyde, DeBusschere 1st Team All-NBA defense

72-73 Clyde, DeBusschere 1st Team All-NBA defense.

The 72-73 team had even more HOF players in Monroe and Jerry Lucas.

Those fella could play defense. The young guys have no idea.

Chris
Chris

@Knicks_Fanatic @Chris @theking We were real good thru the 50s, slipped in the early 60s because of poor draft choices (no free agency) and under Eddie Donavan put together one of the best teams of all time

Chris
Chris

@DaGawD @Chris You can`t deal with one of me fool, stop the trite crap and answer my question creep

theking
theking

@DaGawD @theking  that's true  but like I said if they draft him he can be unhappy all he wants if he doesn't play good that will make him luck like bust and teams wont want him

Chris
Chris

@DaGawD @Chris Dream on creep, she be a fine woman 6 1 and (none of your business) LOL

Chris
Chris

@DaGawD @Chris And you know that because, you were playing, you watched, you have no idea and are a BSter