Anthony gives Knicks more financial flexibility with decision to take less.
New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony reportedly signed a new five-year contract with the franchise worth $124m, $5m less than the maximum.
It is reported that Anthony’s contract also has a no-trade clause and has an early termination option after the fourth year, according to ESPN sources.
Nevertheless, the 30-year-old’s decision to take less than the maximum will give the Knicks a little more financial flexibility as they look to strengthen the roster this summer, and moving forward in free agency next year.
It is understood that Anthony will earn $22.458m in the first year of his contract with a slight increase in the second, but it will be enough to allow the Knicks to target big-name free agents in 2015 as they look to deliver on their promise of helping Melo win an NBA championship.
Rajon Rondo, Marc Gasol and Roy Hibbert are just a trio of the high profile stars that will likely test the market next summer, but ultimately Anthony will want to see immediate changes that will put the Knicks in a better position to compete in the Eastern Conference.
Having already traded Tyson Chandler’s contract to the Dallas Mavericks in return for point guard Jose Calderon, it remains to be seen what other moves team president Phil Jackson makes.
However, the pressure is on after Anthony opted against joining the Chicago Bulls who were believed to be the strongest competition for the Knicks prior to him re-signing, with the Houston Rockets, Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers all hosting Melo in the past fortnight.
The Knicks forward averaged 27.4 points, 3.1 assists and 8.1 rebounds per game last season, all improvements on his career statistics, but ultimately he will remember it as a failure given that the Knicks were unable to reach the playoffs.
Anthony will be desperate to return to the post-season next year, but with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Bulls strengthening in particular, the Knicks face a tough task of making it out of the East and reaching the NBA Finals if they harbour realistic hopes of winning a championship in the immediate future.