New York Knick fans have been dreaming that if we strike out this summer, perhaps next summer we can lure Carmelo Anthony here. It’s time to wake up. When Melo last visited the media asked him if he thought he’d enjoy playing in New York. Unsurprisingly, he didn’t respond, “Honestly, this city sucks, so I bet I’d be miserable.” Even a player who feels that way would be well-versed enough in Media 101 to avoid saying that. That’s why it’s news when someone like Joakim Noah states that Cleveland’s boring and he’s never heard anyone say they want to go there for a vacation. Is that information about Cleveland news to you? But because a player’s actually honest for once, it wakes us all up. It’s why everyone loves Charles Barkley. Unlike most sports commentators, He’ll call out players, saying when they suck.
All of which goes to say, of course Carmelo said it’d be cool to play in New York, as any other player (except perhaps Noah) would say. However, with the sports media always looking to drum up material, they turned an innocuous comment into a story. Look, if we’d asked him if he’d like to play with Kobe, he’d've said yes. Would we then persist in speculation about him joining the Lakers for the next two years?
Okay, we probably would. But the point is it’s due to an insubstantial comment. However, with the high likelihood that LeBron ain’t coming in through our front door with a cavalry, we Knick fans have talked about ‘Melo as possible back-up plan to soothe our nerves. Today there came proof that we’re dreaming about pipes (huh, where does the expression pipe dreams come from anyway? If anything, I’m thinking if I have a dream about pipes that it’s pretty boring, not that it’s something great that’ll never happen).
As the article states, some people in Melo’s camp think he should hold off on the extension, take a lap in the free agency waters next summer, and keep pressure on Denver to improve the roster. The reason to do it now is that a new collective bargaining agreement will be decided next year, and due to our country’s economic downturn, max salaries are expect to be lowered. The owners will push hard for this and the players don’t know how low this limbo stick will go.
Say the max drops from next year’s $17 million to like a starting salary of $13 mill. Suddenly a player with a five year deal is only gonna make like $73 mill (it’s not just 13 x 5=$65 ‘cuz there are percentage increases each year). Versus signing an extension now Melo will make nearly that much in two less years. Okay, the max might not drop that much since that would be more than a 20% decrease, but the concept still holds. Doing this deal could easily earn him $10-20 extra million (maybe even as much as $30 mill? More?) over the course of his career. That’s a lot of cash to toss away just for a free agency swim.