Carmelo Anthony has said all season long, he would exercise his early-termination option this summer to become a free agent. The move allows him to be feted by other teams in free agency (something he’s never experienced), and he can still re-sign with the Knicks for $33 million more than any other team. Now comes word he might actually opt in for the final year of his deal with the Knicks.
Knicks president of basketball operations Phil Jackson told reporters, including the Wall Street Journal‘s Chris Herring, that he asked ‘Melo to considering opting in for the final year of his deal. ‘Melo told him he’d think about it:
Phil says he asked Carmelo to consider opting in for the final year of his deal. Melo told him he'd think about it.
— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) May 30, 2014
Opting in would be nice for Anthony in the short-term, since he stands to make over $23.3 million next season, but it might even be better for the Knicks if he opts out so they can sit in the driver’s seat this summer with his Larry Bird rights allowing them to offer $33 million more and an extra year in a new deal.
The risk for the 30-year-old Anthony, is if he opts in for the final year of his deal, then isn’t offered a max salary in the summer of 2015. The most he could make as a max salary player if he opts in and then becomes a free agent next summer would be $22.5 million from the Knicks or any other team.
‘Melo’s getting older and there have been questions about his ability to lead a team to a title. Some even feel the Knicks would be better off without him returning next season, though it appears Jackson isn’t one of them. ‘Melo has intimated he’d take less to stay with the Knicks, but not if they’re going to perform like they did this season, when he missed the playoffs for the first time in his career.
Phil isn’t losing sleep over ‘Melo, but he is “definitely concerned” because “it only takes one bidder.” That bidder could be the Bulls, as they seem like the ideal fit, and 2014 DPOY of the Joakim Noah has reportedly been selling ‘Melo on the prospect since the all-star break.
Then again, Phil says if ‘Melo leaves, the Knicks “Will survive it.”
Phil says he's "not losing sleep over it" but is "definitely concerned" about losing Carmelo in free agency. If so, "we will survive it."
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) May 30, 2014
Phil says he is concerned with Carmelo going into free agency because "it only takes one bidder."
— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) May 30, 2014
Will ‘Melo opt in next season?
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