In their meeting earlier this week, Knicks president Phil Jackson told Carmelo Anthony he can have the team’s maximum 5-year, $129MM contract if he wishes. However, Marc Berman of the New York Post has learned there’s a distinct possibility Anthony will still decide to take a little less than the max.
One scenario would be Anthony starting at the max $22.4MM, but taking a 7.5% pay reduction in Year 2, as allowed by the collective bargaining agreement. That reduced salary for 2015/16 would give the Knicks a little more cap space next summer.
A source close to Anthony said he has confidence Jackson and General Manager Steve Mills will make the Knicks top-flight contenders in the future, but was unsure about their ability to upgrade the team for this season. Anthony understandably does not want to go through another 37-45 campaign.
“I don’t think the money ever was the most important part,’’ the source said. “I think his concern was, could they make the team better this season? He is comfortable in the outer years, but needed to be convinced about the upcoming year.’’
It was reported yesterday that Anthony left the meeting with the Zen Master feeling like the two men had a shared vision for the future of the club.