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Carmelo Anthony took small pay cut to help Knicks

Carmelo Anthony KnicksEven though Carmelo Anthony was completely deserving of a max contract from the New York Knicks, team president Phil Jackson tried to guilt his star player into taking a less money.

Phil was trying to challenge ‘Melo and make him feel greedy for taking max money instead of taking less in order to help the team. When faced with the threat of losing Anthony, though, Jackson changed his tune and told the forward the team would be offering him max money.

Luckily for the Knicks, Anthony didn’t take all that he could; he took a small pay cut to give the Knicks more flexibility in 2015. Instead of the maximum $129 million over five seasons, the NY Post’s Marc Berman says ‘Melo will be paid between $122 and $123 million.

Here are the details of the discount ‘Melo gave the Knicks via the NY Post:

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.

Taking a $6 million discount probably doesn’t sound like much when you’re due to earn $122-123 million, but it’s still significant. That amount could be the difference between signing a player and not.

‘Melo isn’t exactly sacrificing money to play for a winner — he would have signed elsewhere if that were his priority — but it still should be recognized that he took less than what he could have and deserved.

Report: Carmelo Anthony finally settles on Knicks

Carmelo Anthony KnicksEarlier this week, the NY Daily News quoted a source who said Carmelo Anthony had decided to re-sign with the New York Knicks and would inform the team of his decision on Thursday. Half of that report was accurate. Don’t worry, Knicks fans — it was the important half.

According to various NBA writers on Twitter, Anthony was in the final stages of negotiating a five-year deal with the Knicks on Saturday and told the Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets — the two other teams that were courting him — to move on. The deal is believed to be a maximum contract of $129 million.

Phil Jackson claims he made five different contract offers to Carmelo, so he seemed confident the two sides would be able to work something out. Anthony supposedly believes in Jackson and is on board with the plan he has for the future of the Knicks.

There was some speculation that Carmelo was waiting for LeBron James to make a decision to see if it would be possible for the two to play together, and there is probably some truth to that. But like the rest of us, I’m sure Anthony knew it was unrealistic. His wife La La loves New York and probably didn’t want to move, which made the decision even easier.

Carmelo Anthony’s wife LaLa was center of James Worthy’s Lakers pitch

Carmelo Anthony wife LaLa

James Worthy was among the personnel present for the Los Angeles Lakers’ free agent meeting with Carmelo Anthony last week, and the three-time champion says his pitch to ‘Melo focused on the forward’s wife.

“I told Carmelo, I said, I wish your wife were here because she’s more popular than you in Los Angeles. We’re trying to recruit her, because if you can get LaLa, Carmelo has no say-so. So, we’re trying to get her to Hollywood. Hollywood is right here. She can do whatever she wants,” Worthy told SLAM.

There’s a reason the saying “happy wife, happy life” exists. And from everything we’ve heard, LaLa wants her husband to stay in New York. That’s a big reason why he is likely to re-sign with the Knicks. But at least Big Game James had the right idea in trying to recruit her.

Carmelo Anthony reportedly will re-sign with Knicks

Carmelo Anthony KnicksCarmelo Anthony reportedly plans to re-sign with the Knicks and supposedly will let everyone know of his decision on Thursday.

The New York Daily News quotes a source who informed them of ‘Melo’s plans.

“He will have something for everybody on Thursday,” a friend told the Daily News Wednesday. “He is really torn because this is the biggest decision of his career. But he wants to get it done in New York. He told me he believes in Phil.”

Free agents can sign contracts as early as Thursday. ‘Melo visited with the Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Lakers and Knicks during free agency, but the Knicks were said to be the favorites to retain him all along. Anthony supposedly believes in new team president Phil Jackson and Phil’s plans for the club.

This should not at all come as a surprise. Though being pitched by teams creates intrigue, ‘Melo’s family is in NY and they have had some success since he’s been there. The Knicks also can offer him a five-year max deal, which no other team can. For a guy getting into his 30s, that extra guaranteed money could make a difference.

Report: Phil Jackson trying to pair LeBron James with Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony LeBron JamesIt is realistic to think that Carmelo Anthony is delaying his free agency decision to see if there is any possibility that he can play alongside LeBron James. It is not realistic, however, to think that it will actually happen. That doesn’t mean Phil Jackson isn’t giving it his best shot.

According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, Anthony’s “dream” is to play in New York with LeBron next season. While calling that a longshot would be an understatement, Jackson is reportedly exploring ways to move the expiring contracts of Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani.

One report said Jackson conceivably can move $40 million under the cap with a flurry of moves — as long as he doesn’t take back salary.

“He really wants LeBron to come to New York,” the source said. “That’s his dream right now. Phil is trying to get it done.”

Jackson probably wants to move Stoudemire’s and Bargnani’s contracts if he can anyway, so that doesn’t necessarily mean he is exploring trade possibilities just to make a run at LeBron. Jackson said on draft night that while the Knicks are limited by their salary cap situation, he would not rule out a “chance to do something special.”

Earlier this week, Berman reported that Anthony is delaying his decision to see if there is a possibility that he and James could play together with the Miami Heat. The Knicks are said to be willing to give Carmelo a max contract of five years and $129 million, but he would have to take much less than that to play with LeBron in New York.

These whacky Carmelo-LeBron scenarios sure are fun to talk about, but there’s about a 1% chance of any of them actually coming to fruition.

Carmelo Anthony waiting to see if he can join LeBron James in Miami?

Carmelo Anthony LeBron JamesThe Miami Heat are going to need Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade to take less money in order to keep their Big Three intact. LeBron James will likely command something very close to a maximum contract, and deservedly so. If the Big Three all return, those crazy rumors about the Heat potentially signing Carmelo Anthony will disappear. But what if Bosh leaves?

Bosh has reportedly been offered a max contract from the Houston Rockets, and there has been word that he may prefer that over taking a pay cut to stay with the Heat. And if he does, there might be an opportunity for LeBron and Carmelo to join forces in Miami. Marc Berman of the New York Post has more:

However, that scenario became trickier with Miami agreeing to terms with Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger on Monday, though not impossible. If Wade takes a significant pay cut, Riley can be creative in fitting James and his buddy Anthony under the salary cap.

The Lakers, too, would have to be creative in fitting in James and Anthony. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak met with James’ agent in Cleveland on Friday and their pie-in-the-sky plan was adding both stars and creating more cap space by dealing Steve Nash’s contract.

Having LeBron, Carmelo and Kobe Bryant on the same team seems way too over-the-top to even consider. However, Anthony could feasibly end up in Miami if he was desperate enough to play alongside LeBron. He would have to take much less money than the New York Knicks are willing to offer, but stranger things have happened and teams are reportedly talking about it.

While I’m sure the thought of playing with LeBron excites ‘Melo, I don’t see why he would want to do that. Anthony was supposed to rescue the Knicks and lead his team to a championship. If he teamed with LeBron, he’d just be along for the ride.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

Knicks, Lakers and Bulls reportedly the finalists for Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony military

This should come as no surprise, but Carmelo Anthony reportedly has finalized the list of teams he is seriously considering, and those three teams are said to be the Knicks, Lakers and Bulls, according to the New York Daily News.

‘Melo visited with representatives from the aforementioned three teams as well as the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets. The Knicks have reportedly been the favorite to re-sign Anthony all along. They can offer him a fifth year and more guaranteed money than anyone else.

The Bulls were Anthony’s first stop in free agency and reportedly went all out with their pitch. Of the three teams Anthony is reportedly considering, they are by far the best and closest to being a championship contender. Even though they can only offer him somewhere in the range of $75 million for four years, they have the most complete roster and have grabbed his attention because they can win.

The Lakers reportedly are in serious consideration for Anthony too after their pitch was well received. They can offer him the max, which would be around $97 million for four years. Anthony lives in LA in the offseason and is close with Kobe Bryant.

One team that should not be discounted, though, is the Miami Heat. The Daily News’ Frank Isola says the Heat could be a contender for ‘Melo if Chris Bosh chooses to sign with the Houston Rockets. The Heat could then take that money saved for Bosh and use it on ‘Melo.