NBA AM: Anthony Wants To Retire In N.Y.
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Carmelo Anthony Would Prefer To Retire In New York
New York Knicks All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony caused an outpouring of emotion from fans during the preseason when he stated his desire to become a free agent next summer. Anthony said the lure of being courted by teams around the league was the driving force behind his decision. Anthony is on the books to make $23.3 million next season, but has an early termination option he plans to exercise.
It is normal for players to want to test the free agency market. Most only have one or two opportunities to do so during their playing careers. On the other side, fans have every right to hear about a player’s looming free agency and cringe with Dwight Howard and LeBron James as examples of stars bolting.
Anthony attempted to clear up the speculation that he’s already planning on leaving the Big Apple for greener pastures, saying he’d like to finish his playing career with the Knicks.
“I want to retire in New York, I mean, let’s just be quite frank,” Anthony told TNT before the Knicks’ Thursday night game versus the Chicago Bulls.
“I think a lot of people jumped the gun when I said I wanted to be a free agent. And yeah, I want people to come play in New York. I want them to want to play in New York. I want New York to be that place where guys want to come play.”
Anthony would be a coveted free agent target next summer should he choose to enter the market, but the Knicks also have a big decision to make. The question is how much is the team willing to pay Anthony, who will turn 30 next May, long term? Are they willing to max him out?
HOOPSWORLD’s Tommy Beer provided the particulars of how a new Anthony deal would look at max levels in New York earlier this month.
In year one of his new deal, Anthony can earn 105 percent of his 2013-14 salary. So, the first year (2014-15) of his new contract would pay $22.457 million (105 percent of $21.39 million).
Because the Knicks own Anthony’s Bird rights, they can increase his salary by 7.5 percent of his first year’s salary, and 7.5 percent of $22.457 million is $1.684 million. If they give him the maximum raise, his yearly salaries would be as follows:
2015-16: $24.141 million
2016-17: $25.825 million
2017-18: $27.509 million
2018-19: $29.193 million
Roughly $50 million will come off the Knicks’ books after next season with Amar’e Stoudemire ($23.4 million), Tyson Chandler ($14.6 million) and Andrea Bargnani ($11.5 million) expected to hit free agency. It should be noted that Bargnani and Stoudemire have early termination options, similar to Anthony’s, after this season, but both guys are expected to opt-in for the final year of their respective deals at this point.
The Knicks have opened the season 1-1, with a win at home versus Milwaukee and a loss on the road against Chicago.
Notable Extensions That Didn’t Get Done At Deadline
The deadline for extending members of the 2010 NBA Draft class still on their rookie deals came and went 11:59 p.m. ET on October 31. There was no activity.
So as it stands today John Wall (No. 1), Derrick Favors (No. 3), DeMarcus Cousins (No. 5), Paul George (No. 10), Larry Sanders (No. 15) and Quincy Pondexter (No. 26 ) were the only members of the draft class to receive contract extensions.
Approaching the deadline there was word of two more deals potentially in the works, but at the midnight hour the following guys will officially be taking a trip through free agency next summer (presumably restricted).
Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz: According to Marc Stein of ESPN, Hayward and the Jazz were discussing a four-year extension for the past month but the sides couldn’t close the financial gap. Hayward had a career year last season where he averaged 14.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and three assists per game on 42 percent shooting from three-point range. Hayward was reportedly seeking a deal in the $50 million range over four years.
Hayward’s agent Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports and Entertainment weighed in on the difficulty of getting an early extension done when max dollars aren’t being offered.
“The most difficult deals to do are extensions — other than the max,” Bartelstein told Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports. “When someone is offering you a max, then it’s easy. Those are easy. Other than that, they’re difficult because … there’s not a marketplace, so the teams sometimes have a view of wanting to get something for doing it early, and the player wants to get what he perceives his value to be, so they’re hard to do.”
Bartelstein also gave respect to Utah during the negotiation process.
“The main thing is that the Jazz put in a tremendous amount of time and effort into wanting to get something done, and we put in a tremendous amount of time and effort to get it done,” Bartelstein said. “It was not due to a lack of trying. That’s for sure. There was a lot of time and a lot of energy spent the last few months in working at it, but sometimes you just can’t come up with something that both sides feel good about. That doesn’t change at all — at all — how Gordon feels about the Jazz.”
Eric Bledsoe, Phoenix Suns: The Suns acquired Bledsoe this past summer as part of a three-team deal with the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers.
The team remains high on Bledsoe, recently named a co-captain, and view him as one of the centerpieces in their ongoing rebuilding project. However, the team opted to let the market set the value for Bledsoe next summer.
Here are other notable players from the 2010 draft class headed to free agency next summer: Evan Turner (No. 2), Greg Monroe (No. 7), Ed Davis (No. 13), Patrick Patterson (No. 14), Avery Bradley (No. 19) and Greivis Vasquez (No. 28).
As a reminder, teams still have the option to issue these players qualifying offers before the start of free agency. This will make the player a restricted free agent and give the current team the option to match any offer received for the player’s services from around the league. A failure to issue a qualifying offer will result in the player entering the market as an unrestricted free agent.