Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Knicks Morning News (2014.07.04)

  • [New York Post] Knicks offer Carmelo $129M, wait on decision (Fri, 04 Jul 2014 04:00:51 -0400)
    For the conspiracy theorists who thought Knicks president Phil Jackson only wanted Carmelo Anthony back for the right price, only wanted him if he took a paycut, the Zen Master…

  • [New York Times] AP Source: Cavaliers Meet With Agent for James (Fri, 04 Jul 2014 03:53:15 GMT)
    Four years after their messy breakup, the Cavaliers and LeBron James are at least talking about a reunion.

  • [New York Times] As Carmelo Anthony Makes Rounds, Knicks Hope to Be Final Stop (Fri, 04 Jul 2014 01:28:20 GMT)
    Anthony met with the final of four suitors, the Los Angeles Lakers, on Thursday before reconnecting with Phil Jackson, who hoped to persuade him to stay in New York.

  • [New York Times] AP Source: Knicks Offer Anthony Max Contract (Fri, 04 Jul 2014 00:56:19 GMT)
    The Knicks went coast to coast to let Carmelo Anthony know they want him to stay in New York.

  • [New York Daily News] Phil Jackson, Knicks offer free agent Carmelo Anthony max deal (Fri, 04 Jul 2014 04:28:24 GMT)
    Phil Jackson is hoping to finalize a contract extension with Carmelo Anthony Thursday night in Los Angeles following a scheduled meeting with Knicks officials. A source close to Anthony confirmed on Thursday that the free agent forward will meet with Jackson and head coach Derek Fisher following a meeting with the Lakers

  • 182 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2014.07.04)

    1. Frank O.

      Reporting on free agency has been horrible, again.
      I’ll believe the Melo max story when the deal is inked.

    2. Totes McGoats

      I…I don’t know how to feel about the reports of Melo bein offered the max. Half of me wants to be excited because he has more shooters and better role players around him it seems. But the other half is lookin at the last 2 years of that deal and is very apprehensive. Listen..I am of the minority that believes dude is worth the max- if that max is 18-20 mil/yr. I don’t think any player should get more than 20 mil…but if I was an owner and I HAD to give out that much, the only current players I would give it 2 are: LeBron and Westbrook (if Westbrook didn’t have Durant on his team). In fact, here’s my list of players I think are worth the max of 18-20 mil:
      LeBron
      Durant
      Kobe
      Melo
      Westbrook
      CP3
      Duncan
      Steph Curry
      Those are the guys I think are the transcendent talents in the league. Guys u can build around if u have a great plan and the means to carry it out. Guys like Love, George, Harden, D12, Bosh, Aldridge, Lilliard, Boogie Cousins, Griffin, Parker, Kyrie, Dirk, Wade, Rose, D-Will, and Anthony Davis are all guys who can be alpha dogs but are probably better suited to be 1A’s and therefore are part of my ‘as close to max as u can get’ list. But, as we all know the market is out of control so u see guys like Joe Johnson, DeAndre Jordan, Chandler, Bargniani, Avery Bradley and such get HUGE contracts.
      But in any case..I hope Melo settles for around 20 mil/yr. The closest everybody else can get is around 18, unless they agree to a S&T right? The good news is if we retain Melo, we won’t struggle to find points as often. I think it would be wise for Fish to manage his minutes way better than Woodson did, should Melo return. Given that he’s gonna be paid so much in the final years of the reported offer, we can’t run him for 39 minutes a game regardless of who’s on the team.

    3. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      In terms of production, LeBron and Durant are definitely worth more than $20M. It’s just good for their teams that they cannot be offered much more than that. And especially good for their middling teammates.

      I think Zach Lowe or someone recently wrote an article about the inflated middle class of NBA players. The rookies and undrafted FA get shafted, the star players are underpaid, and everyone else (Gordon Hayward!) gets more money than they’re worth.

    4. stratomatic

      If the reports are true, I am already shifting my mindset to the 2019 rebuild.

      The moment the Melo trade went down a few years ago, I was all over Twitter and Knicks basketball forums suggesting that I had mentally shifted towards the 2014/2015 rebuild. I explained why I thought we had almost no chance to build a serious contender around Melo. I was mocked and ridiculed. I lost dozens of Twitter followers. But the reality then was no different than the reality now.

      Melo is a very good player. There little doubt about that.

      But despite that, we will never overcome the disadvantage of having a max player that is not among the very elite players in the league, but that gets paid more than them. Nor will overcome the fact that players like Ginobili, Parker, Duncan, Dirk, and other star players are now willing to accept less than they are worth to fit a 4th all star with them or to create a deeper and higher quality bench.

      I don’t begrudge Melo for asking for or even taking the max. I might very well do the same thing even if I was already wealthy. I’m happy for his success. I don’t think he’s a bad guy at all. However, if he does sign off on a max contract, I don’t EVER EVER EVER want to hear him talk about how winning is the most important thing. That would clearly be BS.

      1. He forced the Knicks to gut a popular young team to ensure he would get the max under the old CBA. That crippled our (and his own) chances of winning a championship. He could have come the following year.

      2. He would be taking the max after he claimed winning was the most important thing and that he’d be willing to play at a discount so the Knicks could build a better team.

      His legacy should be “He wanted to win, but he wanted the money more”.

      Our only hope is that this is all a scam. The Knicks offer the max and then Melo willingly take less despite the offer and sets himself up as sacrificing. It would work wonders for his image.

    5. Brian Cronin

      I think the odds are extremely good that he does take some sort of discount. I think it is just the fear that he takes, like, five years/$125 million instead of five years/$129 million and tries to sell it as “See? I took a discount to win!”

      He’d have to give up $13 million for the new deal to be even kind of sort of a real discount. $24 million for it to really be a discount.

      We shall see what happens! I’m still pulling for him to do the unlikely! Come on, Melo!

    6. Z-man

      One difference between Melo and others who are perceived to be overpaid at or near the max is that he has the “potential” to be a true max player; not LeBron, but maybe a Dirk or Durant. Admittedly, he hasn’t put up the stats to move his WS 48 into the +.200 range, but he’s certainly capable of doing it at a high shot volume…just not as high as he is at now. But a big part of that is coaching, system and complementary players. Granted, a max contract hinders the ability to surround him with good complementary players, but that’s where management comes in. The Spurs excel at that.

      Jackson has more gravitas than anyone in the league, except maybe Pops. Re: Chandler, maybe he determined that he was not a good complementary player for Melo and/or the triangle with his horrible offensive game.

    7. Brian Cronin

      Jackson has more gravitas than anyone in the league, except maybe Pops.

      That he does. So let’s see him use that gravitas to actually get Melo to take a real discount. If he doesn’t, then what good is that gravitas? It sure didn’t help him get the first coach he wanted. It didn’t help him to get Melo not to opt out. And now he’s offered Melo the super max, so it doesn’t even look like it’s going to get Melo to take a real discount.

      If he does get Melo to take a substantial discount, of course, then woohoo, gravitas away! He’d be the man and all would be more than forgiven.

    8. Eyal

      As a politically inclined person I’m not saying anyone should give these owners a discount. On the contrary, take as much money as you can away from them.

      But if Duncan and Nowitzky earn 10 million a year in San Antonio and Dallas, and LeBron takes a discount in Miami, than it is nothing less than shameful for Melo to take 20 million plus in New York, where his commercial contracts are so much higher. Shameful and short sighted. I hope it doesn’t happen. It would be really hard to root for this SOB in the coming years.

      btw. what’s his shoulder situation? Wasn’t he injured twice last year? Are we going to see him signing a destructive contract and then going on the injured list for 6 months?

    9. Brian Cronin

      The shoulder isn’t a degenerative thing, but the problem is that both injuries he’s suffered to the shoulder came from him banging with the tough power forwards out there (KG injured him the first time and West injured him the second time). Perhaps the Triangle would have him playing the 3 more? I dunno.

    10. Farfa

      Our only hope is that this is all a scam. The Knicks offer the max and then Melo willingly take less despite the offer and sets himself up as sacrificing. It would work wonders for his image.

      ‘Tis true. But.

      How come we don’t have any single source today (ok, 4th of July, but still) leaking info about Melo staying here? Theoretically, his prom queen tour has ended for good. The only thing that is leaking is that he’ll take all of this long weekend to weight his options and then decide. This is obviously ok, as most of us would reflect very carefully about our last massive contract. The thing is, if this was really a PR move (and a smart one at that, even if everyone would have already figured it out), we would already see at least a Marc Stein tweet about “Melo is giving pole position to Knicks, close sources suggest he’ll take slightly less than the max”. These things don’t stay hidden for much, if they are kind of orchestrated; also, it would be a spectacular PR move for Melo to come out on the 4th of July saying “Hey y’all, I’ll be a Knick for the next 5 years at 112 (or whatever) mln/yr”. It would demonstrate that 1) he wants to stay a Knick (it would ring like this even if it was only about the money); 2) he asked for a discount (15-25 mln $, but it would seem like he renounced at least twice); 3) he doesn’t care at all where Bron ends up. All in all, a wonderful move for him and a goodish-to-good one for the Knicks, which would slightly increase the chances of attracting here some valuable contributor this year already.

      This “long weekend” stuff, instead, seems to suggest that he’s gauging the market, for him and for LeBron. So, I think there’s no hope: Melo walks away or becomes Melo Mega Max.

      I hope I’m wrong as I’ve been a lot of times before.

    11. Count de Pennies

      Phil Jackson made his bones in this league by consistently aligning himself with the transcendent superstar of the day. That, more than anything, is his true M.O. All the talk of Triangle this and Triangle that is beside the point. Jackson’s real genius has always been managing outsized egos.

      Like it or not, Jackson did not sign on in New York to build a team of no-name WP48 studs. He was paid big $$ to come here because Starfucker Dolan believes that wherever Phil be, big names will surely follow. Phil understands that. His history also teaches him that any names that do not include today’s one transcendent superstar won’t be enough. He’s angling for LeBron and signing Melo to a max deal is simply the first step in his process.

      From the outside looking in, it sure appears Quixotic as hell. All we in the public have to go on is an unsourced report that LeBron really wants to play alongside his BFF Melo. Perhaps Phil is privy to more substantial information than that. Or perhaps not. Whatever the case, there’s no doubt in mind that LeBron is the endgame here. Because that’s just how Phil roll.

      As for the size of Melo’s deal and how it will allegedly “hamstring” the team going forward, Phil don’t care. Far as he’s concerned, it shouldn’t preclude Dolan from offering max deals to LeBron and possibly a third “superstar” if need be. That the penalty for such extravagance would be nothing more than the payment of a ginormous luxury tax is no concern of Phil’s. He had no problem putting his future father-in-law in the luxury tax in L.A. and he’ll have even less problem doing so here. He don’t give a shit about the sanctity of Guitar Jimmy’s coffers and, for that matter, neither do I.

      Anyone who thought the hiring of Phil Jackson meant the dawning of a more measured, less “name”-driven approach to team building was fucking delusional. Phillip luvs big names as much as Dolan. A max deal for Melo was no surprise.

    12. flossy

      But if Duncan and Nowitzky earn 10 million a year in San Antonio and Dallas,

      Those guys are 38 and 36, respectively! Are you kidding me with this?

      and LeBron takes a discount in Miami

      LeBron left about $15 million on the table to sign with Miami. Melo could easily do the same and still make more than $20 mil per. Would that be “shameful?” By the way, most reports these days are that LeBron wants the max this time around.

    13. Owen

      Man, I can’t believe Melo is coming back for the max. Turns the stomach.

      It’s probably a good couple of years to take a break from the Knicks anyway.

    14. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      Where’s ruruland? Beat writing in Idaho or something? I think that’s what he actually does.

      Come back! Enlighten us! Tell us how it’s gonna be!

    15. flossy

      Man, a lot of you seem to miss this distinction between “Melo has been offered the max” vs. “Melo has demanded nothing less than the max.” Maybe we’ll see in 3 days when it’s announced he’s signing for $129 mil, but I don’t buy it.

      Phil Jackson was never going to just say “I’ll give you $100 million over five years” (or $60 mil over 5, less than Gordon Hayward money, as some of the WP blowhards on this board would have preferred).

      Re-signing someone that Phil Jackson (and, by the way, every other GM in the league) considers to be a building block player was always going to be priority number 1. I’m sure Phil would be able to pivot to plan B if Melo was adamant about leaving, but the Knicks were never, ever, ever, going to at least offer him the full max if that’s what it takes.

      Now, where Jackson is going to earn his money is if he can convince Melo that despite being offered the max, he should take a contract that is still large but at a substantial enough discount that it could actually help the team build going forward. That’s been his game all along, starting with repeating Melo’s own promises to do exactly that back to him via the media. Jackson has already succeeded in setting up the expectation that Melo should and will take some kind of discount, but he’s not going to sit there and dictate the exact dollar amount, particularly since the Lakers have already offered their full max, no questions asked.

      Frankly, all I really care about is that we preserve enough flexibility to add a solid core of players this time around, and I trust Phil Jackson to do that. Giving up too many assets for Melo was one mistake last time around, but so was adding him to a team that already had Amar’e at the max, so was burning the amnesty to bring in Chandler at the expense of a point guard, Bargnani, etc. the list goes on.

    16. Z-man

      Brian, I think it’s unfair to judge Phil on whether or not he signs Melo for the max or not. If he doesn’t get a fair return in a sign-and-trade (as he surely did for Chandler) then the choice is to sign him for what Melo wants, let him go for nothing, or let him go for a paltry return. None of those are great options.

      One thing is for sure: unless he stupidly includes a no-trade clause, Melo will be moveable on a max contract for the next couple of years. So in that sense,

      I think a better way of judging Phil’s impact is on what he does with the remaining cap space and draft picks and whether the team plays a better brand of basketball with the players they have. For example, Melo shouldn’t be able to do to Jax or Fisher what he did (and Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard did) to D’Antoni.

    17. Owen

      “Where’s ruruland? Beat writing in Idaho or something? I think that’s what he actually does.”

      Coaching basketball overseas from what he said…

    18. flossy

      All that is to say that I have no doubt it’s possible to field a contending team (particularly in the East, where the Heat dynasty appears to be falling apart, the Pacers and Bulls seem like pretenders, and nobody else is worth worrying about just yet) with Melo as a highly-paid centerpiece. It’s not possible to build a contending team when you blindly blow through assets in an attempt to throw together as many redundant max contracts and other ill-fitting parts as possible, but I have no reason to believe that’s what Phil Jackson intends to do. Starting next year we’ll have Melo and virtually a blank slate aside from him. If that situation is really less appealing than just tanking 2015 and 2016 in an attempt to rebuild through the draft, then I don’t know what sport you guys are watching. Everyone loves the tank once it’s over and you turn into OKC, but just ask Charlotte or Cleveland or post-Sloan Utah how well it’s going.

    19. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      No, he’s a football beat writer for Boise State.

      And flossy, haven’t we already seen enough of Carmelo rebuilds to see that this is not going to work?

      It’s a little disingenuous to call the following year a “rebuild” when you’ve got a guy possibly making $27M who does not produce in accordance with his salary. This isn’t baseball. This is a league with a prohibitive luxury tax and a de facto hard cap. That kind of contract can end a rebuild before it starts.

    20. Z-man

      Can’t disagree with you Jowles, the evidence is in your favor on both points. But as fans, there’s not much we can do but hope that things work out, as we did even during the darkest days of the Isiah regime.

      That said, I think there is a reasonably good chance that we will at least be watching a much better brand of basketball in the next 5 years than we have watched for the last 40. Even the best Ewing years were tainted by ugly basketball, bad trades and the burden of Ewing’s max salary. At this point, I would take a return to true respectability as a franchise, and I don’t think Melo on a near-max deal is a barrier to that. Melo-max or not, it is unlikely that we will win a championship in the next 5 years unless LeBron or Durant decides to come here or we get lucky in this year’s draft.

    21. swiftandabundant

      @22 Question. How come in your posts where you say it’s impossible to build a contender around Melo with him making over 20 million/yr and use the last couple of seasons with The Knicks as an example…how come you never mention that we have another player who makes just as much as Melo but has always been injured and is now on a minutes restriction?

      I love STAT. Bought his jersey the day he signed with The Knicks. But it’s a little disingenuous to say we can’t build a real contender around a max Melo when the fact is the real wasted money these last few years has been Stoudemire. Take his 20 million/yr and spend it on another superstar or spread it out among two or three really good players and don’t you think that team could really compete?

    22. flossy

      And flossy, haven’t we already seen enough of Carmelo rebuilds to see that this is not going to work?

      No, we’ve seen Carmelo added to a rebuild that had already gone off the rails with the awarding of a 5 year max to Amar’e Stoudemire, and was subsequently further bungled at virtually every opportunity. I resented Melo for the circumstances of the trade that brought him here, but at a certain point you have to just acknowledge that the Knicks were run with shocking incompetence over the past four years, and that trade was a symptom of the problem and not *the* problem itself.

      The fact remains that virtually every team in the league with max or near-max cap space is offering it to Melo, including the one run by Dork Elvis. Awarding a big contract to Melo is only a problem insofar as it limits our ability to build out a roster around him. Last time, we did it the wrong way. This time, a guy with 13 championship rings is running the show, and I trust he will not make the same mistakes.

      Whether Melo is worth his salary in the last years of his deal won’t really be pertinent unless he gets injured and we’re getting zero production out of him a la Amar’e. By 2017, we’ll have already added the other major pieces of this rebuild, and we’ll most likely be over the salary cap anyway and improving at the margins via exceptions. So the difference between Melo making $19 mil in 2017 vis $25 mil will be moot.

    23. Farfa

      Re-signing someone that Phil Jackson (and, by the way, every other GM in the league) considers to be a building block player

      I politely disagree. If every other GM in the league considered Melo a building block, why Orlando hasn’t asked anything about Melo (which they did about LeBron, obviously getting bounced but still, a due diligence wasn’t going to hurt them)? Why the Suns have asked a meeting to LeBron and not to Melo (saying that LeBron could choose between Bosh or Melo)? Why all the teams that talked to Melo apart from us already have a legitimate superstar (old and/or injured as they may be)?

      Melo is not a building block. Melo is a star, a very good offensive player in terms of skills (not so much in terms of efficiency, but being the #1 option in a Woodson system does that to you), and a great secondary offensive option. But not a cornerstone. If we were in the verge of contending, I wouldn’t mind breaking the bank for Melo. He has skills you can’t easily replicate. But we are not, and we have to be careful unless we want to get stuck, which is exactly what we will do if we sign Melo to the max.

      The Prescient Cock Jowles

      Wow. Going full Minority Report.

    24. flossy

      If every other GM in the league considered Melo a building block, why Orlando hasn’t asked anything about Melo (which they did about LeBron, obviously getting bounced but still, a due diligence wasn’t going to hurt them)?

      I presume because NBA GM’s don’t want to waste their time chasing players who have already ruled out playing in NBA/media backwaters. If Melo said “I’m super into the idea of playing in Orlando!!” you better believe that the checkbook would open up real fast.

      If you’re going to try to make an argument that Melo’s not LeBron, don’t bother… we’ve all heard it a million times and it’s obviously true. The NBA free agency market dictates that there is more than one or two players worthy of a max deal. Do you think I don’t know Melo isn’t the best player in the NBA? The only issue with Melo is the opportunity cost of signing him to a large deal vs. not signing him and rebuilding around bunch of question marks. We don’t have the option of choosing between him or LeBron.

      As for the semantic distinction between “building block” and “star,” I don’t particularly know or care to parse that too carefully. Was Paul Pierce a building block or a star in Boston? I don’t know or care. I guess ideally a player of his skill set would have been the “final piece” of the puzzle for the Celtics but he was actually the first piece, the building block, around which that core was built. And I don’t think you see any Boston fans complaining.

    25. Farfa

      Was Paul Pierce a building block or a star in Boston? I don’t know or care. I guess ideally a player of his skill set would have been the “final piece” of the puzzle for the Celtics but he was actually the first piece, the building block, around which that core was built. And I don’t think you see any Boston fans complaining.

      Yes, but he was there at under 17 million dollars per year. Anyway I get your point, but honestly, giving the max to Melo is going to bite us in the ass because you won’t have much flexibility going forward (ok, ok, everyone says the cap is going up, which probably is… but it’s not good business management operating under assumptions). Also, the Celtics and the Lakers swung their luck around making super lopsided – at the time – trades. Let’s hope Phil will pull one of those in the next two years, but I don’t know who can we use as a trade bait.

    26. lavor postell

      @Farfa

      Every business operates under assumptions. It’s the foundation f those assumptions that’s relevant. The assumption that almost every single team in the league seems to be making right now is that the cap is going to continue to rise even greater than the league estimates and that after 16-17 when the league negotiators national tv rights again it’s going to explode.

      That is relevant when discussing player salaries. In terms of the percentage of the cap Melos salary would take up on 20m initially with the 7.5% raises I’d think it’s very close to the percentage pierces 17m salary took back in 2006 or whatever year it was.

    27. Farfa

      That is relevant when discussing player salaries. In terms of the percentage of the cap Melos salary would take up on 20m initially with the 7.5% raises I’d think it’s very close to the percentage pierces 17m salary took back in 2006 or whatever year it was.

      Yes! 20m initially would be pretty tolerable (it was 2008 anyway – 30% of the cap for 2007-08 Pierce, 31,65% of the cap for a 20mln Melo in 2014-15), maybe.

      Lavor, when you say that every business operates under assumptions that’s true… but you have to operate under prudential assumptions. You can’t just say “well, the salary cap is going up anyway, so let’s throw money around and let’s wait for the new TV deal or whatever”. This is not a prudential assumption. For Melo Mega Max to fill the 30% of the cap in 2016-2017, that would mean that 2016-17 cap should be 86 million, which means a 36% cap increase in just two years!

      Again, I’m all for retaining Melo at a reasonable price. I’m not an anti-Melo assolutist, nor I will ever be. It’s just that we can’t see Melo signing the Mega Max as anything other than failure from our management.

    28. stratomatic

      One difference between Melo and others who are perceived to be overpaid at or near the max is that he has the “potential” to be a true max player; not LeBron, but maybe a Dirk or Durant.

      IMO his primary problems are:

      1. Holding the ball too long before making a move and unnecessarily running off shot clock. That in turn occasionally forces him to take bad shots (or his teammates to take them if he passes).

      2. Voluntarily taking bad shots

      3. Not taking advantage when he draws double teams by finding and passing to open players. Instead, he often tries to make the play on his own anyway.

      Those are not talent or skill issues. They are trust, basketball IQ, and style issues. So I agree with you. It’s theoretically possible he can improve his TS% to the 60% range and pass more out of the triangle. That would override everything I am saying. The problem with that hope is that he played for George Karl and Mike D’Antoni before this. Both coaches are very geared towards appropriate shot selection and moving the ball. Yet Karl had to negotiate the offense with him to get him to do the right thing “SOME” of the time and he refused to play within D’Antoni’s system. It’s hard to be confident he’ll do the right thing on a consistent basis now.

    29. Donnie Walsh

      The fact remains that virtually every team in the league with max or near-max cap space is offering it to Melo, including the one run by Dork Elvis.

      Melo makes a lot more sense on a team that already has Dwight Howard or Joakim Noah on the roster. You can afford to pay him because the complimentary pieces are in place.

      In NY, you’re paying him and then left to hope that a perfect complimentary piece falls from heaven.

      A few extra bucks to spend in 2015 is great if you think Al Jefferson is on the same level as Howard and Noah.

      If a team is going to tie up 40% of the cap in a player like Anthony, it is absolutely imperative that they hold onto their draft picks. The only way to have success with a contract like that is to fill the roster with upside talent on controlled rookie contracts. But, of course, that’s not the Knicks, which is why this contract is doomed to fail.

    30. d-mar

      It really all comes down to whether we trust Phil or not, and whether we believe that he really has 100% autonomy (with no Dolan interference). We’re talking about a guy who has had success at every level of his basketball career, who probably doesn’t need the money and who certainly doesn’t want to end his career as a failed GM. I think if Dolan started meddling Phil would be out of here in a heartbeat.

      So I’m putting my trust in Phil to do the right thing with Melo. I would be shocked if that was giving him the Mega Max.

    31. swiftandabundant

      Jowles, so you’ve kind of proved my point though. You were against signing STAT bc you knew he probably wouldn’t hold up. I’m just saying that if we sign Melo for near the max, this time around we won’t have another max contract with an injured player holding him back.

      I’m in the camp of you resign Melo for near the max and build the team around him as the main star. No more trying to create our own big 3. Just get great role players, a deep bench and a good system and coach and I think that’s enough to compete. Get some quality signings in the 5 to 12 million dollar range.

    32. stratomatic

      Re-signing someone that Phil Jackson (and, by the way, every other GM in the league) considers to be a building block player

      IMO, there is a huge difference between already having Howard and Harden for less money (plus several young and improving players) and trying to add Melo to it as the final piece, then starting with Melo at the max and trying to build the rest of the team.

      The same can be said of Chicago with Noah, Rose, Gibson, Butler etc..

    33. Alecto

      I’m in the camp of you resign Melo for near the max and build the team around him as the main star. No more trying to create our own big 3. Just get great role players, a deep bench and a good system and coach and I think that’s enough to compete. Get some quality signings in the 5 to 12 million dollar range.

      That only works when you have a player who is better than Carmelo Anthony. It worked for Dallas because of Dirk. Melo is a good but overvalued player and he’s certainly not Dirk Nowitszki.

    34. flossy

      Yes, but he was there at under 17 million dollars per year.

      Yeah, in 2008 dollars and relative to the 2008 cap. $20 mil amounts to the same thing in 2014.

    35. flossy

      giving the max to Melo is going to bite us in the ass because you won’t have much flexibility going forward

      We’re gonna have like $30 mil in cap space next summer! Are you serious?

    36. Farfa

      @40

      Quoting myself:

      (it was 2008 anyway – 30% of the cap for 2007-08 Pierce, 31,65% of the cap for a 20mln Melo in 2014-15)

    37. flossy

      IMO, there is a huge difference between already having Howard and Harden for less money (plus several young and improving players) and trying to add Melo to it as the final piece, then starting with Melo at the max and trying to build the rest of the team.

      The same can be said of Chicago with Noah, Rose, Gibson, Butler etc..

      Well, that’s your opinion, but I strongly disagree considering we’re going to have max++ cap space next summer, too.

      Giving Melo the max will make it harder to win relative to those other teams this coming season, but that was always true. Past this season we have room to sign Marc Gasol, Kevin Love, etc. or the flexibility to take on large contracts in trades if someone good becomes available.

      Having less than half your cap space allocated past this coming year is like… the definition of flexible.

    38. flossy

      Also, anyone counting Rose as an asset at this point need to pump the breaks. I look at him and see max money tied up for the next three years in a PG who hasn’t had a productive stretch of injury free basketball since 2012.

      Would it make more sense to give Melo the max (or a large, but sub-max) deal if we already had Harden and Howard? Uh, sure… but we don’t, and we won’t, whether or not Melo comes back or not. And I honestly have a hard time believing we’re going to have a much easier time landing players of their caliber if Melo does *not* come back than if he does.

    39. Z-man

      strat, Karl and D’Antoni are really bad examples. Are we really going to compare them to Phil Jackson? Neither has won anything significant in the NBA. Karl was dealing with a younger, less mature Melo. D’Antoni hasn’t done anything w/o 2-time MVP Nash or since being run out of Phoenix, other than alienate Melo, Pau and Dwight. Melo is now on the back 9 of his career and thirsts for a title. He certainly has improved (even statistically) and has played extremely hard in his time here. If you read back to when was first acquired, the career numbers did not predict that he would put up even decent WS48 numbers. Last year he had career highs in Block%, OReb% and 3pt% and career low in turnover%; no significant drop-off in any category. He also led the league in mpg. Like everyone else, he watched the Spurs play beautiful team basketball. Maybe Phil/Derek can keep bringing him along to a better place.

    40. Farfa

      @41

      Yes, I am deadly serious. First, we won’t have that sum if we sign our two second round picks (not the french guy) and add our first round pick in 2015 (I’ll project it as the 18th pick – I’m in Brian’s camp for 2014/15 with Melo). As of now, with Melo Mega Max we’re projected to have 25 mln in cap space without signing anyone else (no Cole, no Tour’e, nobody). So our 2015/16 situation with 25 mln in cap space is this one: Calderon-Jr-Melo-?-?. Bench: Pablo-THJ-Thanasis-Early-Larkin-2015 18th pick. Don’t you think we’d have a lot of holes to fill with 25 millions (plus the mini-MLE and maybe the BAE)?

    41. flossy

      You don’t think you can get two quality frontcourt players to play for Phil Jackson, in NYC, alongside Melo, for somewhere in the neighborhood of $25 million/year? Because I do. I also believe that Phil could probably unload one or both of JR or Calderon if they were standing in the way of the cap space we needed to sign someone we wanted. Signing Melo to a $100+ mil contract absolutely does not preclude adding players like Marc Gasol, Dragic or even Kevin Love (I question how well he fits next to Melo, though there are worse problems to have I suppose).

      In any case, I’m going to defer to Phil freakin’ Jackson here, and believe that Melo won’t be taking the entire $129 mil until I see it. I know that this is a stats-focus blog, but people who think that an 8x All-Star and Olympian is going to take $12-15 mil/year at the age of 30 are just not reality testing.

      And those who believe that it will be easier to build a championship-contending team starting from nothing than it will be with a blank slate + star player under contract are entitled to their opinions, but both Phil Jackson and I disagree.

    42. Brian Cronin

      Can’t disagree with you Jowles, the evidence is in your favor on both points. But as fans, there’s not much we can do but hope that things work out, as we did even during the darkest days of the Isiah regime.

      Definitely with you there. Like I say every time they make a terrible decision, it’s not like I’m going to stop liking the Knicks because they make terrible decisions. Hell, at this point it is practically part of their charm (okay, no, not at all, but it sounded funny to say).

      That said, I think there is a reasonably good chance that we will at least be watching a much better brand of basketball in the next 5 years than we have watched for the last 40. Even the best Ewing years were tainted by ugly basketball, bad trades and the burden of Ewing’s max salary. At this point, I would take a return to true respectability as a franchise, and I don’t think Melo on a near-max deal is a barrier to that. Melo-max or not, it is unlikely that we will win a championship in the next 5 years unless LeBron or Durant decides to come here or we get lucky in this year’s draft.

      They’ll definitely be a lot more fun to watch in 2014-15, even with a mega max Melo.

    43. Brian Cronin

      Yes, but he was there at under 17 million dollars per year.

      Yeah, in 2008 dollars and relative to the 2008 cap. $20 mil amounts to the same thing in 2014.

      Definitely. And if Melo signs for $20 million next year, I’d be quite pleased. $20 million you can sort of kind of work with. That $5 million extra he would get if he took the mega max would be such a game-changer. Look at what Miami is dealing with with an empty cap and guys already willing to take pay cuts – they still can’t work out room for major extra pieces, and if they had an extra $5 million to work with it would be huge for them, as it would be huge for the Knicks.

      $5 million is what took the Knicks out of the running for Chris Paul a few years back (they were already in poor shape when it came to Paul, but the lack of $5 million is what took Paul out of even the possibility of being acquired the following season).

    44. swiftandabundant

      @38. Just want to point out that before 2010 people said Dirk could never be the centerpiece on a championship squad bc he choked in 06, lost to the warriors in the first round the next year. Dallas had kind of fallen back behind the contenders the few previous years before 2010. Then all of a sudden they win it all in 2010. That squad was deep. Chandler, Kidd, terry, Marion, Barea. They had two centers backing up Chandler…Haywood and Mahimi. Dirk was great but that Dallas squad had a huge payroll and Cuban couldn’t keep them together in the new CBA. So I think it’s a little unfair to say Melo isn’t Dirk. Dirk is not a great defender or rebounder and has never tallied a ton of assists. How is he so much better than Melo? Because he has a ring? Would that same Dallas team beat the heat the next year or last year after they added Birdman and Allen and Lebron took it to the next level? I don’t think so.

    45. Brian Cronin

      Melo has never had a season as good as Dirk’s 2010-11 season (this past season would be his closest), and as you note, Dirk’s 2010-11 season was nowhere near his best season.

      That’s not even a shot at Melo. Melo’s great, but Dirk is one of the greatest forwards of all-time.

    46. Donnie Walsh

      George Karl has never won anything significant? He’s 7th all time in wins and 10th all time in winning%. He’s been coach of the year. He’s been to the NBA finals. He’s literally made every team he’s ever coached better. But he has no value in a discussion because he “never won anything of significance”? His opinions and decisions are irrelevant to Carmelo Anthony’s success?

    47. Donnie Walsh

      Phil Jackson is has 11 rings because he coached the best player in the NBA 11 times. His system is great because his players are great. His system is not what makes them great. His Zen Master persona of handling big personalities is a great narrative, but it hasn’t always worked. When he had a “Big 4″ (including two guys who took MASSIVE paycuts to play for him) the team garnered the nickname “Team Dysfunction”.

      Phil’s “powers” being somehow more relevant than George Karl’s (or Jerry Sloan’s, or Rick Addelman’s, or Hubie Brown’s, or Don Nelson’s) is ridiculously small minded. If Phil had been saddled with Carmelo Anthony his entire career, Melo would still have no rings.

    48. Farfa

      Patterson comes back for the Raptors at 18mln/3yrs. Another little piece away from the Heat (and I’d say at a slightly high salary for a bench player – a quite good one, but still).

    49. flossy

      When he had a “Big 4? (including two guys who took MASSIVE paycuts to play for him) the team garnered the nickname “Team Dysfunction”.

      Gary Payton was 35. Karl Malone was FORTY. Adding two ancient, ring-chasing HoFers to two players in their actual prime does not a “big 4″ make. This is completely disingenuous.

    50. DRed

      Phil wasn’t coaching the best player in the NBA on those late LA title teams. Kobe’s been a terrific player, but he’s never been the best player in the league. If you want to be optimistic you can say that Phil has shown he can win titles with an overrated superstar led team before. I’ve never liked Phil Jackson, but he’s probably the best coach in NBA history.

    51. Brian Cronin

      I think Karl and D’Antoni are both good coaches (Karl more so than D’Antoni, as Karl can at least somewhat relate to his players), but Jackson is better than both of them.

    52. ephus

      Until Lebron reveals what he is doing, it is hard to have a definitive view on the current crop of FA moves. If he can opt out again next summer, it makes having Carmelo much more important. It also holds open the possibility of Lebron to the Clippers once Donald Sterling is completely out of the picture.

      With that transition, here is a link to my piece on CNBC previewing the Sterling trial. http://www.cnbc.com/id/101811614

    53. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      Oh, and Karl Malone was awesome that year. He had some sort of a knee injury during the playoffs, right?

    54. JK47

      The current debacle the Miami Heat are going through should make it obvious that you can’t just fill every hole in one offseason, especially when you have one dude making the max. The Knicks might have a lot of cap space in 2015-2016 but they’re gonna have what, like 10 roster spots to fill? The only guys under contract for 2015-2016 (assuming Melo returns) are Melo, JR Smith and Calderon, three awful defensive players. Maybe Cleanthony Early and/or Thanasis pan out but they’re both long shots. Maybe the Knicks hit a home run on a mini-MLE player this year and that guy becomes a rotation piece, but they’re playing a dangerous game if they think they’re just going to fill out the whole roster with 2015-2016 FAs.

      When LeBron does whatever LeBron’s gonna do, that will dictate the Knicks’ future. If LeBron signs a long-term deal somewhere, the Knicks need to focus on bringing in serviceable rotation players– defensive-oriented ones preferably– on reasonable contracts. Going all in on 2015-2016 cap space seems like a bad idea unless you have some inside information that LeBron is just punting 2014-2015 so he can join Melo in NYC the following year.

    55. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      Also, I never said that he WOULD take $12M a year. I said that’s what I’d want him to take. But better yet, I’d like to give him a reasonable “max” contract and trade it for, like, 2 1st rounders, 3 2nd rounders, and a decent young player on a rookie contract.

    56. Donnie Walsh

      I agree that Phil has earned the title “best coach in NBA history”. But I don’t think that the gap between Phil’s abilities as a tactician and motivator and Karl/Sloan/et al’s abilities is as wide as the 11 championships between them seem to imply.

    57. Farfa

      Oh, and Karl Malone was awesome that year. He had some sort of a knee injury during the playoffs, right?

      Yes, and was quite good even at hunting little Mexican girls.

    58. Farfa

      The only thing I don’t get is why LeBron should be “punting” one of the last 3 years of his prime. Unless his punting is to go wherever he pleases for little money. But if I were him, I’d consider strongly the Suns’ offer (if Sarver is willing to spend – though I hope for them even Sarver understands that getting LeBron for multiple seasons in Phoenix would render him a local hero).

    59. Z-man

      Karl has been a very good coach, but not in the league with Jackson. There’s a reason the Lakers hired Phil, and he didn’t disappoint.

      Already, Phil has put his stamp on the Knicks by making a thoughful trade for better triangle players on balance, more cap room, and draft picks. He hired coaches of his choosing that match his system.

    60. Donnie Walsh

      The failure of that 2003 Laker team in the playoffs isn’t the blight on Phil’s record that I’m pointing at. It’s the fact that that team was thoroughly dysfunctional, despite having Phil “Zen Master” Jackson as the spirit guide.

      Phil is an impressive person, no doubt about it. But he’s not a God. Sometimes he’s not able to control the big personalities. He’s made mistakes, and his decisions haven’t always led to success.

    61. JK47

      The only thing I don’t get is why LeBron should be “punting” one of the last 3 years of his prime.

      I mean, wherever LeBron goes, they are an instant contender, unless he goes to Cleveland I guess. So it wouldn’t be “punting” necessarily if he signed a one or two year deal to go to Phoenix or to stay in Miami. NYC will have the cap space to get him in 2015-2016 and the Lakers will have the space the following year, and it’s possible LeBron has his eyes on one or both of those openings.

    62. Donnie Walsh

      Phil Jackson is the most successful coach in NBA history.

      Nobody is disputing that.

      But a) Phil isn’t coaching the Knicks, and b) even if he was, that doesn’t mean he could turn Carmelo Anthony into a champion.

    63. Z-man

      Phil ‘s last two titles were pretty awesome. Keep in mind that he had to get through the stacked western conference which included excellent teams coached by Pop, Karl and D’Antoni and Adelman.

    64. ephus

      My point, and I do have one, is that Phil Jackson’s tremendous success has earned him my complete faith in making basketball judgments. If he thinks the Knicks’ best option is to offer Carmelo Anthony the full 129 max package and ask him to take less to assist in bringing in talent, I am on board.

      I think the Knicks and Carmelo would be best served if he took 5/103, but I trust Phil that his route is the most likely way to get there.

    65. flossy

      Yeah, and so has nearly every GM who tried the “tear it all down and try to build a contender from nothing but draft picks” method. My money is on Phil Jackson doing things his way.

    66. Kahnzy

      Phil Jackson has made mistakes, you know.

      Well, duh. Of course he has. Who hasn’t?

      He’s had a lot more success though. Can he make mistakes with the Knicks? You bet. In fact, I expect him to as he learns his new role. However, I think in the long run the odds are in Jackson’s favor. The odds are always in his favor.

    67. BigBlueAL

      Latest from Woj on Melo, at this point I would be absolutely stunned if he doesnt return:

      Yahoo Sources: After meeting, Carmelo Anthony left comfortable with Phil Jackson’s vision for shaping a contender. http://yhoo.it/1qvP2Ql

    68. DRed

      “Melo, my vision for shaping a contender starts with paying you the max”

      “I’m comfortable with that”

    69. MSA

      If we are gonna make this huge mistake and give Melo the supermax, let’s just follow the 76ers “Allen Iverson approach”.

      Surround your overpaid star with high-efficiency, defensive minded role players and no more super team.

      They will probably never win anything but at least we can have some fun with a couple of good playoff runs.

    70. er

      They will probably never win anything but at least we can have some fun with a couple of good playoff runs.

      lol. So your hope if Melo left was what? Wasnt it to try rebuild the roster and to make some playoff runs and try to win. But because Melo is staying, they will never win? K

    71. MSA

      Er, I don’t understand how you have such a hard time understanding others opinions.

      The plan WITH OR WITHOUT Melo in a capped league is to have a coherent team with no overpaid players. Almost everybody in this blog is saying this everyday.

      Is that so hard to get?

      Melo is not a supermax player, that’s for sure. The lower is his salary the better are our odds. Isn’t that true for every single player in the league, Lebron included?

    72. BigBlueAL

      Whatever Melo does the criticism he will get from non-NY media will be annoying. He and his wife obviously love NYC, he gets a shitload of money and at least Phil Jackson is there now so he can justifiably have some faith in the front office going forward. But all we will read Im sure will be how greedy he is and he doesnt care about winning.

      Criticism towards the Knicks I could see (even though I may not totally agree with it) but I mean shit, get paid 100+ mil to live in the greatest city in the world. Is it really that hard to see why he would want to stay with the Knicks??

    73. DRed

      I agree Al. It’s fucked up that players get criticized for not taking less money when there’s a salary cap and the owners are making truckloads of money.

    74. max fisher-cohen

      Man… If Melo takes the max to stick around, I might have to tune out until summer 2019. Or at least until this new non-plan fails and Jackson is fired or decides to tear the team apart again. It’s not fun to root for a team that doesn’t particularly care about winning championships, and I’ve already spent much of my Knick hope the last couple years on this summer rather than the team itself, which depresses me.

    75. max fisher-cohen

      I agree Al. It’s fucked up that players get criticized for not taking less money when there’s a salary cap and the owners are making truckloads of money.

      Yeah, there are plenty of teams for which it makes perfect sense to pay for Melo in a sign and trade. The Knicks aren’t one of them. He can get paid and have a title chance, or he can stay in NY and make the same money on a worse team. Why Chicago isn’t boning up and offering a package of something like Boozer, McDermott, Mirotic, 1st round pick (maybe with reverse protection to guarantee it’s top 15 or something) is beyond me. Or maybe htey already have, and Jackson doesn’t care.

    76. ephus

      I think Phil Jackson is making an interesting wager. It’s clear he has told Carmelo Anthony (1) you can have the max contract and (2) we hope you will elect not to take the max because you will enjoy playing with the teammates we can bring in if you leave cap room for others more than you will enjoy having the extra money. The choice is yours.

      My guess is that Carmelo was so frustrated by this past season that he is ready to take less. Phil is giving him agency in that decision, rather than trying to impose it through adversarial bargaining. Does not mean that Phil thinks it is wise to give Carmelo the mega max. I certainly think that Phil is the best equipped man on the planet to evaluate how to get buy-in from a NBA mega-scorer.

    77. JK47

      Melo is just kind of a hard guy to like. “Just wants to win,” so he says things that make him seem like he’s all about the team, but when it comes down to brass tacks it’s always about squeezing every penny out of every contract. This time he added the wrinkle of going on some obnoxious phony tour, obviously flirting with several franchises with which he had no intention to sign, just for some extra “baller” factor.
      At then at the end of the whole thing of course he just goes and signs with… the team that can offer him the most money. And really, I don’t believe it’s even about the money– after this contract the guy will probably surpass $250M in career earnings– it’s about the ego stroke that comes with being Mega Max Melo. You could deal with all of this if he was a great player, but his combination of somewhat decent volume scoring and mediocre basketball IQ, mixed with mostly indifferent defense does not add up to a truly great player, and it’s kind of annoying that he gets treated like one.

      I’ll be kind of shocked if he doesn’t take every penny of the $129M. He hasn’t learned that you can’t have your cake and eat it too; instead he’s learned that you can eat all your cake and somebody will just bring you another cake.

    78. BigBlueAL

      DRed its not just the money, I mean its playing and living in NYC too you know. His wife is a celebrity (not that she really deserves to be but thats a different issue lol) who actually has family and roots in NYC and Melo was born there and semi grew up there. From everything I read they obviously love living there and Melo loves playing at MSG. Why isnt that enough of a reason (along with the money obviously) to wanna stay?? People always say thats one of the huge advantages of the NYC sports teams is people wanna live and play in NYC yet Melo will be criticized for wanting to continue to play and live there??

    79. d-mar

      - It’s not fun to root for a team that doesn’t particularly care about winning championships

      Max, just curious, what is your plan for winning a championship? Draft the next Tim Duncan? Assemble the next big 3, and make sure you include a player who may go down as one of the best in the history of the NBA? What is it about re-signing Melo that suggests to you that the Knicks don’t care about winning championships? If they cared, they’d take the sure fire route of tearing the whole thing down and building through the draft and free agency, which has worked so well for teams like the Bobcats, Kings, etc.?

      The sky is not falling.

    80. JK47

      My guess is that Carmelo was so frustrated by this past season that he is ready to take less. Phil is giving him agency in that decision, rather than trying to impose it through adversarial bargaining. Does not mean that Phil thinks it is wise to give Carmelo the mega max. I certainly think that Phil is the best equipped man on the planet to evaluate how to get buy-in from a NBA mega-scorer.

      This may be true, and if Melo does come back for a meaningful discount, he’ll win a lot of people back over. It would be really something new for Melo, who has never shown any inclination to do things that are better for the team rather than for himself. It could be a watershed moment for him and it would really make Phil Jackson look like a Jedi Master genius.

    81. er

      Er, I don’t understand how you have such a hard time understanding others opinions.

      The plan WITH OR WITHOUT Melo in a capped league is to have a coherent team with no overpaid players. Almost everybody in this blog is saying this everyday.

      Is that so hard to get?

      Melo is not a supermax player, that’s for sure. The lower is his salary the better are our odds. Isn’t that true for every single player in the league, Lebron included?

      According to Larry Coon
      The 2014-15 salary cap is now projected to be $63.2 million and the tax level is projected to be $77.0 million. The numbers for 2015-16 are now projected to be $66.5 million and $81.0 million, respectively.

      In 2015 the Knicks have a minimum 15 Million and a maximum of 22.6 Million in committed salary with all options picked up. http://hoopshype.com/salaries/new_york.htm

      If Melo is making 20 million in 2015 add that to the MAX of 22.6 million and that gives you 43 Million with 23 million to spare to hit the cap and 37 million to hit the apron…..

      So how exactly does melo cripple the Knicks?

    82. er

      it’s kind of annoying that he gets treated like one.

      I’ll be kind of shocked if he doesn’t take every penny of the $129M. He hasn’t learned that you can’t have your cake and eat it too; instead he’s learned that you can eat all your cake and somebody will just bring you another cake.

      You sound bitter

    83. ephus

      I have seen a lot of maturation from Carmelo Anthony since he first arrived.

      1: Retreats quickly on defense, even when he thinks the refs missed a foul. In his first seasons, he would often pout and complain, leading to a 5-on-4.

      2: Seems to take fewer technical fouls. I could not find stats.

      3: Looks to pass more frequently when doubled.

    84. thenoblefacehumper

      That Woj article gives me at least a small hope that he isn’t taking the mega max. I mean, if he was, would Phil really have to convince him of anything? I really don’t think ‘Melo would have to be convinced that we can build a contender as long he’s getting $129 million dollars. If he’s taking some kind of discount (and not a token 5 year/$124 million discount), it makes sense that he’d have to inquire as to why.

      Or maybe we’re just screwed. I’m definitely in the crowd who think making Carmelo Anthony the highest paid player in basketball is not a good idea.

    85. JK47

      The thing is, I have every reason to love Melo. I’m a Syracuse grad, and considering the teams I root for (Knicks, Mets, Raiders, Rangers, ‘Cuse) he brought me the only championship I have enjoyed in any sport in 20 years. I met him in person, right after ‘Cuse won the title and he was super cool, and I still have my signed ‘Cuse championship SI cover with Melo, Gerry McNamara and Jim Boeheim’s signature on it. At the time, I said this to him: “Now we just need you on the Knicks.” I rooted for him his whole career and I was excited when the Knicks got him.

      But the guy is an expert at doing things that just rub you the wrong way. I can’t say I hate the guy, and I can’t say I blame him for coming to the Knicks the way he did or even taking the mega-max now, but his likability factor is not really all that high. It’s all kind of a package– the desire for the megamax contracts, the over-reliance on iso ball, the undermining of coaches, the CAA infestation, the lack of hard work on defense… Maybe he’ll change, and this is the turning point in the kuntslerroman. We’ll see.

    86. er

      t’s all kind of a package– the desire for the megamax contracts, the over-reliance on iso ball, the undermining of coaches, the CAA infestation, the lack of hard work on defense… Maybe he’ll change, and this is the turning point in the kuntslerroman. We’ll see.

      Hey i think he is a better defensive player than he gets credit for, especially one on one. Help defense is not his biggest strength. Iso ball i think is a combination of factors including the need for a true pg like Calderon :) CAA i dont care about, arent they one of the biggest agencies in the world? I dont even like melo as much as you would think, i just think the criticism is just harsh. And its not like Arod, where everyone hated the guy including players, All of Melo’s peers seem to love him. Its a weird dichotomy around the guy and i dont really get it. I think his bball iq could be a little higher. Thats my biggest gripe with him. which is why he needs a pg

      But hey i could be wrong and he could just be an asshole

    87. BigBlueAL

      I will say this about Melo, ever since he has become a Knick he has certainly worked hard in the off-season on his game and fitness. He has become an excellent 3pt shooter at a very high volume which is pretty amazing considering how bad a 3pt shooter he was early in his career. People can no longer say he is fat and in not very good shape, he just lead the league in minutes per game w/o having it affect his play.

      He certainly isnt an All-NBA defender but is he really that bad?? When do we ever see another player attack him and score at will against him?? Never. Now does he fall asleep at times off the ball and not play good team defense usually?? Absolutely. But Melo is nowhere near as bad a defender as Bargs, Amare and Novak for example. He also has games where he rebounds his ass off especially the times when he is basically forced to play Center. You dont rebound that well w/o trying especially since its not like Melo is a 6’10 athletic freak who should be able to rebound easily.

      I get the off the court, behind the scenes stuff that shed a negative light on him. I hate when he holds the ball too much and then takes a stupid ass shot. But I dunno, maybe because I never thought he was a great player before he came here that seeing him every game the past 3 1/2 years (especially the last 2 years) Ive grown to appreciate how good a player he is.

    88. hoolahoop

      There was a crucial play late in the fourth quarter that the Nets were in dire need of a basket. Pierce drove to the hoop and was picked up by a second defender. He picked up his dribble about three/four feet from the basket desparately seeking his shot. Then passed to an open man. Instantly, I thought, Melo would never make that pass. Covered by two guys, three guys, doesn’t matter. He’s going to shoot. That’s not the type of guy to build a team around.

      Selfish players are cancers on a basketball team. Sure, Melo will go out and score. He’s a great scorer. So was Larry Bird. But Bird made all his teammates better. Melo makes his teammates worse.
      Ever play on a team where one guy took all the shots? What happens when someone else gets the ball. They shoot. Then, everyone is playing for themselves. And the defensive effort won’t be there.
      Selfish players, especially team leaders, destroy cohesiveness and eliminate any chance of going deep in the playoffs.
      Has anyone learned anything from watching the Spurs? Has Melo?

    89. ephus

      Toronto just salary dumped Steve Novak on Utah for a player with a non-guaranteed contract to be waived. Rumors are that Indiana is looking to salary dump Chris Copeland.

    90. JK47

      Seems like LeBron is sort of tacitly telling the Heat to dump Wade or he’s gonna bail. Wade at $15M or whatever is a huge hindrance to that team winning anything even with LeBron. Riley’s hands seem kind of tied. At this point there is nobody really worth spending the Wade money on even if Riley decides to cut ties with Wade.

    91. hoolahoop

      @ er. Coming from this sites biggest Melo ass-kisser, I’m flattered.
      Are you a knicks fan or a Melo fan? I’ve always wondered, what is it about him that makes you love him so much?

    92. MSA

      @91 – If Melo is making 20 million in 2015 add that to the MAX of 22.6 million and that gives you 43 Million with 23 million to spare to hit the cap and 37 million to hit the apron…..
      So how exactly does melo cripple the Knicks?

      What are you talking about?

      The latest news are that he’s getting the max offer. Not 20 million.

      And if you think that Melo worth between half to 1/3 of the salary cap, that 23-37 million is enough for eleven quality players (2,1 to 3,4 per) and still give us some flexibility in the future than we should probably not continue with this conversation.

    93. er

      nd if you think that Melo worth between half to 1/3 of the salary cap, that 23-37 million is enough for eleven quality players (2,1 to 3,4 per) and still give us some flexibility in the future than we should probably not continue with this conversation.

      Someone didnt read. lol please click the link and comprehend a little before you make an ass out of yourself.

      If the Knicks have 22.6 mill on the books that would mean that they have 7 players on the team already. melo would make it 7

    94. er

      @ er. Coming from this sites biggest Melo ass-kisser, I’m flattered.
      Are you a knicks fan or a Melo fan? I’ve always wondered, what is it about him that makes you love him so much?

      Hey i think he is a better defensive player than he gets credit for, especially one on one. Help defense is not his biggest strength. Iso ball i think is a combination of factors including the need for a true pg like Calderon :) CAA i dont care about, arent they one of the biggest agencies in the world? I dont even like melo as much as you would think, i just think the criticism is just harsh. And its not like Arod, where everyone hated the guy including players, All of Melo’s peers seem to love him. Its a weird dichotomy around the guy and i dont really get it. I think his bball iq could be a little higher. Thats my biggest gripe with him. which is why he needs a pg

      But hey i could be wrong and he could just be an asshole

      Please see my earlier post. In 2014 not shitting on a player at every chance is being an ass kisser.

    95. ephus

      In 1989, Strawberry was the center of all sports talk in NY. Was Darryl worth bringing back once he became a free agent? Had he done enough to tap his talent? Could he be a team leader? Was he a coke head?

      I literally remember 11 straight calls on WFAN (only show in town) discussing Darryl when it was supposed to be open forum.

    96. Z-man

      Anyone see that WP superstar Steve Novak was traded to Utah for peanuts? Man, Toronto must be dumb and Utah must be smart, very smart. Anyone can see he’s clearly a better player than Melo, his WS 48 with the Knicks was higher than Melo’s.

      I don’t get it, he MUST be great! THE STATS SAY SO!!! Who needs a washed up Gasol when you can have Novakaine on pennies on the dollar?

    97. d-mar

      @109 if you could build a team around Novak, Chandler and Jordan Hill, now you’re talking a
      WP48 dynasty

    98. MSA

      For someone who doesn’t like Melo, you enjoy some serious ass kissing.

      The only thing slightly bad you said is that maybe he could have a batter IQ and that he is an underrated defender.

      And you didn’t answer my question before you starting calling me an ass.

      You really think that Melo value is half of the cap?

    99. flossy

      Man… If Melo takes the max to stick around, I might have to tune out until summer 2019. Or at least until this new non-plan fails and Jackson is fired or decides to tear the team apart again. It’s not fun to root for a team that doesn’t particularly care about winning championships, and I’ve already spent much of my Knick hope the last couple years on this summer rather than the team itself, which depresses me.

      Wow. Can someone post the number of a suicide hotline for you people? WTF? You think Phil Jackson came to just dick around? You think that re-signing one of the consensus (except here) best players in the NBA to a perhaps slightly above value contract is a reason to tune out for five years?!

      But the guy is an expert at doing things that just rub you the wrong way. I can’t say I hate the guy, and I can’t say I blame him for coming to the Knicks the way he did or even taking the mega-max now, but his likability factor is not really all that high. It’s all kind of a package– the desire for the megamax contracts, the over-reliance on iso ball, the undermining of coaches, the CAA infestation, the lack of hard work on defense…

      I agree with you, and I used to be a lot more sour on Melo. The inane cricticms and melodrama (heh) coming from the anti-Melo camp have somehow endeared me to him.

      There was a crucial play late in the fourth quarter that the Nets were in dire need of a basket. Pierce drove to the hoop and was picked up by a second defender. He picked up his dribble about three/four feet from the basket desparately seeking his shot. Then passed to an open man. Instantly, I thought, Melo would never make that pass. Covered by two guys, three guys, doesn’t matter. He’s going to shoot. That’s not the type of guy to build a team around.

      Like the time Melo passed to a wide-open Jared Jeffries under the basket at the end of a crucial game in the playoffs?

    100. yellowboy90

      There was a crucial play late in the fourth quarter that the Nets were in dire need of a basket. Pierce drove to the hoop and was picked up by a second defender. He picked up his dribble about three/four feet from the basket desparately seeking his shot. Then passed to an open man. Instantly, I thought, Melo would never make that pass. Covered by two guys, three guys, doesn’t matter. He’s going to shoot. That’s not the type of guy to build a team around.

      Selfish players are cancers on a basketball team. Sure, Melo will go out and score. He’s a great scorer. So was Larry Bird. But Bird made all his teammates better. Melo makes his teammates worse.

      Melo actually made a similar play/s this year. One I remember was a kick out in the lane to Felton and another one was in the corner to shump. Does he need to do it more, yes but to say he never does it is an exaggeration.

    101. er

      @111 Bruh…. 20 mil/66 mil is half the cap? and the apron is 77 mil. I never said i dont like Melo. I said i dont like him as much as you think. I think he has flaws but hes a very very good player, and if he did a few things better he would be great. I hate the low iq plays he makes sometimes. I just dont enjoy they seemly NYC birthright of shitting on your best players all the time

      I also think alotta people have grass is greener syndrome

    102. flossy

      At least not what’s in the news.

      Why don’t you un-twist your underwear until Melo actually signs for a certain amount. All we know is that he can have up to the max if he wants, not how much he’ll actually take. Jackson has done a great job setting up the expectation that he should take less than that, so we’ll see.

      But no matter what, even at the absolutely max, he’s not taking up half the cap.

    103. Kahnzy

      Anyone see that WP superstar Steve Novak was traded to Utah for peanuts? Man, Toronto must be dumb and Utah must be smart, very smart. Anyone can see he’s clearly a better player than Melo, his WS 48 with the Knicks was higher than Melo’s.

      I’d actually love to get Novak back. Not because I think he’s better (or a better value for his price) than Melo, far from it in fact.

      But I gotta admit every time Novak shot an open 3, I’d throw up my hands in a “TOUCHDOWN!” pose fully expecting to be proven prescient (as I was about half the time). That was fun. I like fun.

    104. Totes McGoats

      I don’t want anyone to take what I’m about to say as a diss to Kobe. The guy’s an all time great. But…all this talk about Melo holding the ball and hero-ballin it up…doesn’t Kobe do the EXACT same thing. And hasn’t he always? Melo’s not as good as Kobe and that’s obvious. But…give Melo Phil as coach, Shaq or Pau and Bynum as teammates. If in a situation with a great coach and great teammates who can play off of him very well Melo still screws his chances of winning by doing things people criticize him for, THEN condemning him is fine. His best teammate was Iverson- who was great in his own right, but not a great fit. No knock on Karl, but his strengths as a coach aren’t what Phil’s is. I sound like a Melo apologist right now lol. All i’m trying to say is Melo’s lack of postseason success are as much a fault of his circumstances as it is his shortcomings as a player. Barkley was an INCREDIBLE player..no rings. Ewing, Malone, Stockton, Mitch Richmond, Mullin..all elite. No rings. Robert Horry..a million rings lol. I just don’t think it’s fair to look at a player’s shortcomings and use it as the base of an argument for lack of titles. Sure it’s frustrating as hell to see a team, particularly the Knicks, to have a player as talented as Melo and not win. Especially when, in Melo’s case, he has seriously busted his hump these past 2 seasons. As of right now, if he returns, he has a better fitting supporting cast around him (ie: better PG, shooting, youth that can/is willing to play D, role players that are more coachable). So there’s hope, if only just a little. So let’s just hope Melo takes around 5yr/100 mil and Phil can fill in the pieces accordingly and give Melo a better shot. Oh, and Phil brings Cole back :) . Melo doesn’t get a pass..but he deserves more fairness and respect for how he’s played as a Knick. King didn’t win either..

    105. ephus

      If Carmelo takes his max, he would make 24.2 next year.

      If he agrees to take “only” 20 next season, his contract would be 21.6/20/21.6/23.2/24.8 for a total of $109.2 million. That would be $23 million less than a full max contract.

    106. Totes McGoats

      If he agrees to take “only” 20 next season, his contract would be 21.6/20/21.6/23.2/24.8 for a total of $109.2 million. That would be $23 million less than a full max contract

      But still more than another team can offer without a S&T, right? Melo has to be sensible. He’s already made a TON of money. Why does he need nearly 30 mil at age 35? If he really wants to win as a Knick, then he should already see a fault in taking the full max from the Knicks. Hopefully. Please, Melo?

    107. Totes McGoats

      Now that I think about it..Melo should get more than STAT got so 5/110 sounds about right.

    108. Farfa

      Just one thing.

      Is it possible to be express light criticism veered not to Melo but to management and not to be classified as anti-Melo?

      Thanks.

      I’ll be very happy if Melo stays at ephus numbers (see post 120). I’ll be very jaded if Melo Mega Max happens. That’s it. I’m pro-Melo, but anti-front office if said front office kickstarts the amazing adventures of Melo Mega Max. And I think that some of you (I’ll make names: er, flossy) are somehow rage blinded by the fact that the vast majority of this board feels the same, starting from some of the featured contributors.

      No need to argue vehemently about this. I guess. And I don’t see the urge to take cheap shots at Jowles with that Novak thing. If we were in the position to take Novak for nothing, you can bet that I’d be welcoming him with open arms. Is he a great player? Not by chance. Does he deserve to be a scapegoat in the name of an anti-WS48 crusade? I think not.

    109. Farfa

      Typo. Should say $20 million discount, not $23 million.

      Ouch. Today your calculator must be broken :-)

    110. Totes McGoats

      Despite his “shortcomings” as a player, my biggest issue wit Melo is the way he seems to see his earning potential. And I use “shortcomings” because only OKC, MIA, LAL and SAS would rather have who they already have as their best player than Melo. Outside of Durant, LBJ, Kobe, and Duncan is there really any better star level player, skill for skill, than Melo? Anyway..Melo seems to believe that his best chance to maximize his earning potential in NY is by signing a huge contract. No. WIN IN NY and maximize your brand. “Hometown hero comes home and leads Knicks to a title”. No one can convince me that a player of Melo’s ilk won’t be immortalized and forever rich if he wins a title as a Knick.

    111. er

      @125 I don’t think there was one person on this board advocating for the max for Melo. so I don’t know what u are referring to

    112. Farfa

      Outside of Durant, LBJ, Kobe, and Duncan is there really any better star level player, skill for skill, than Melo?

      I think so: Nowitzki, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis, Steph Curry, Dwight Howard. One tier down (very near to Melo, but still better than him): Love, Harden, Westbrook.

    113. Farfa

      @125 I don’t think there was one person on this board advocating for the max for Melo. so I don’t know what u are referring to

      I didn’t say someone was advocating the max for Melo. I did say that someone probably didn’t understand what some of us are saying. After all, what are we arguing about?

    114. Totes McGoats

      I think so: Nowitzki, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis, Steph Curry, Dwight Howard. One tier down (very near to Melo, but still better than him): Love, Harden, Westbrook.

      I can dig it. I can definitely make a case for Dirk an Davis. Seems I was a tad short sighted. And i’m starting to believe Blake is underrated

    115. er

      @131 my only thing is that at ~20-22 million next year (the only year that matters) Melo doesnt hamstring the team

    116. ephus

      Blake Griffin finished third in MVP voting last year. I do not think he is being undervalued.

      If the Clippers clean up their ownership situation, they could be the best roster in the league by the summer of 2015.

    117. stratomatic

      Er,

      Melo’s salary will not cripple the Knicks. If Phil does his job well, he should be able to put together a team that wins 50 or more games starting in 2015. The problem is unless we get incredibly lucky or Melo starts peaking in his 30s (neither likely), it is very likely that there will always be several teams better than us.

      His salary will put the Knicks at a huge disadvantage against every team that has a superstar making less or several star players taking a discount to be together. That’s quite a few of the current top teams. It’s also very likely that new ones will pop up over the next few years depending on who comes up with the next superstar on a great contract and builds around him well.

      The idea that the cap will be rising so his salary won’t hurt us going forward is a fallacy. It will be rising for everyone. We will still be starting off with the same disadvantage. They will still have more room to fit more or higher quality pieces on the team.

    118. stratomatic

      @109 if you could build a team around Novak, Chandler and Jordan Hill, now you’re talking a WP48 dynasty

      If you put some play makers and scorers that measured well on WP48 around them they’d sure beat the crap out of the Knicks from last year. WP48 doesn’t build teams for you. It just measures what you do on the court in your current circumstances.

    119. Totes McGoats

      Blake Griffin finished third in MVP voting last year. I do not think he is being undervalued.

      I made the underrated comment based on the perception that Blake’s not much more than a dunker. But this guy has real skills. I was once blinded by his aerial show, but then I paid attention to the other aspects of his game. Post game developing, jumper developing, and he has really good ballhandling and passing for a power player. At his age..if LAC were really interested in a Blake/Melo swap at one point, then the Knicks were fools not to take that deal.

    120. MSA

      @218

      My whole point at post 78 was that Melo at the supermax is overpaid and we should surround him with high-efficient/defensive players.

      140 posts later you said basically the same thing.

      smh

    121. Totes McGoats

      My whole point at post 78 was that Melo at the supermax is overpaid and we should surround him with high-efficient/defensive players.

      140 posts later you came and say basically the same thing.

      Yea..sorry dude..I didn’t read every post. By the time I got home it was just too many comments for me to read each one. My bad. Is it too late to say “what he said?”

    122. MSA

      No problem dude,

      I was refering to Er.

      Who can’t control himself to troll someone saying anything slightly bad about Melo.

    123. Z-man

      Seems like Toronto made the playoffs w/o playing Novak at all. I suppose if they played him they’d be NBA champs.

    124. flossy

      The problem is unless we get incredibly lucky or Melo starts peaking in his 30s (neither likely), it is very likely that there will always be several teams better than us.

      It is very likely there will always be several teams better than us, regardless of whether or not Melo stays, or at what price. With the East being what it is (Miami appearing to fall apart, BK completely falling apart, the Pacers looking like pretenders, Rose’s health being an unknown, and Phil/Mil/Cle all needing a few years for their young studs to acclimate), starting a reload in 2015 with Melo and no other unmovable long-term commitments offers by far a better chance at contention during Phil’s 5-year window than the alternative (hoping against hope that LBJ/Durant decide to come here or that we draft the next consensus top-3 superstar in 2015).

    125. Z-man

      Also amazing how with all the Novak hype, he couldn’t even get a shot off in the playoffs vs. the Heat with his whopping 6% usg%. But he was very efficient on the shots he took. Love those low-volume, high-efficiency scorers!

    126. Donnie Walsh

      at ~20-22 million next year (the only year that matters) Melo doesnt hamstring the team

      How on earth is 2015 the only year that matters? Because the Knicks have cap space? They could easily have cap space in 2015 and 2016 and 2017 and 2018 and 2019 if they let Melo walk. Melo making $30 mil when he’s 35 doesn’t hamstring the team?? You can say that with even the slightest bit of certainty? (Did you also argue that the last year of Stephon Marbury’s contract wouldn’t hamstring the team? Or the last year of Eddy Curry’s?).

      How quickly Knick fans choose to forget…

    127. MSA

      What about the last year of Amare’s?

      We could have a meeting scheduled with Lebron this week…

    128. Donnie Walsh

      Nobody thinks Novak is a better basketball player than Anthony, so y’all can quit wasting time arguing against it. He’s better at one thing: shooting. And because of it, he has value. But nobody wants him to get $129 million either. Only two guys in the league should get that kind offer.

      But Dred is right, we would have made the playoffs if we had Novak, even if Novak never got a shot off all season long, because Bargnani would have been screwing up Toronto’s season instead of ours.

    129. Kahnzy

      Also amazing how with all the Novak hype, he couldn’t even get a shot off in the playoffs vs. the Heat with his whopping 6% usg%. But he was very efficient on the shots he took. Love those low-volume, high-efficiency scorers!

      Yeah, but that 6% sure was a fun 6%.

    130. Kahnzy

      But Dred is right, we would have made the playoffs if we had Novak, even if Novak never got a shot off all season long, because Bargnani would have been screwing up Toronto’s season instead of ours.

      +1

    131. flossy

      Are you seriously comparing a 30 year-old 8x All-Star and gold medal winner to a vaseline-eating sociopath or the poster child for being an unmotivated, fat loser?

      The Melo derangement is strong today.

    132. Donnie Walsh

      What about the last year of Amare’s?

      We could be having a meeting with Lebron this week…

      Exactly! The reason we got Amar’e is because Phoenix wasn’t willing to give him that 5th year. How that work out for us? (And which team has tons of picks, tons of cap space, and still won ten more games than is this year?!)

    133. ephus

      Why is 2o15 the only year that matters? It is not. But if Melo goes down to 20 mm (or 18.5 mm) in 2015, he will be at a reasonable number for 2016.

      I am not worried about 2018 because I expect the CBA will change in the summer of 2017. Amnesty is likely to be an option if Carmelo no longer plays at the same level.

    134. flossy

      Exactly! The reason we got Amar’e is because Phoenix wasn’t willing to give him that 5th year. How that work out for us? (And which team has tons of picks, tons of cap space, and still won ten more games than is this year?!)

      Again, what other team in the NBA wanted to give Amar’e 5 years $100 million fully guaranteed? As far as I can recall, only the Knicks, because his medical records came festooned with red flags.

      That is in no way comparable to Melo, a player who has been pretty healthy by NBA standards and for whom there are multiple other suitors offering as many years/dollars as they can (including the CBA max allowed, in the cast of the Lakers).

    135. Donnie Walsh

      Amnesty is likely to be an option if Carmelo no longer plays at the same level.

      Yes, and it will be called the “Carmelo Anthony Amnesty Provision”, and the Knicks will use it to waive Wayne Ellington :)

    136. stratomatic

      It is very likely there will always be several teams better than us, regardless of whether or not Melo stays, or at what price

      I don’t buy this kind of thinking.

      Let’s say I eat poorly, don’t exercise, drink heavily, work in factor with asbestos and lead paint, weigh 300 pounds, and refuse to take my medication. I’m probably going to die younger than the average guy. Despite all that, I’m still better off not smoking.

      So yea, it’s going to be tough to win a championship no matter Melo is making. But we are still better off if he’s making less.

    137. Donnie Walsh

      Again, what other team in the NBA wanted to give Amar’e 5 years $100 million fully guaranteed? As far as I can recall, only the Knicks, because his medical records came festooned with red flags… that is in no way comparable to Melo

      You’re right. It’s not. But that’s because Anthony has logged twice as many minutes in his career as Amar’e had when the Knicks signed him. He was only 27. Anthony is going to be 35 at the end of this contract. And, though his outside shooting has gotten better with age, his mobility, his explosiveness, and his shoulder have not.

    138. er

      Sorry I misspoke when I said that was the only year that matters. I meant to say he could take more this year and have the decrease next year to help the cap space.

    139. stratomatic

      I like Novak. Granted, he’s a very limited player. But I think he adds enough value as a hyper efficient 3 point shooter to make up for his short comings defensively and on the boards. On a net basis he’s probably at least neutral. A good thing about great spot up shooters that doesn’t get discussed too often is that they rarely turn the ball over because they don’t put it on the floor trying to make plays or themselves. If you can get a guy like that open often enough, you can generate a lot of points on very few possessions without giving possessions away. It seems to me there’s a lot of potential value there. There’s probably even some value when he’s not scoring because the defense is glued to him. I think the Knicks missed him last year.

    140. flossy

      So yea, it’s going to be tough to win a championship no matter Melo is making. But we are still better off if he’s making less.

      Um, obviously. The less Melo makes, the better. That’s a given. I’m talking to the many people here who think Melo is overpaid at any price, or should be S&T’d away if he wants more than $12-15 million/year, or who are seriously comparing him to Eddy Curry or Marbury (?!), or who are proclaiming they might as well cancel their cable subscriptions if Melo comes back at the max.

      I don’t want Melo to make the max, either. But I realize that asking him to take a $90 million contract is not happening. I hope he gives us enough of a discount to help. I think that if he ends up taking the full max, it’ll be disappointing and less helpful to the Knicks than it would have been if he took less. But it seems Phil Jackson clearly believes that Melo at the max is better than letting him leave for nothing, or than any of the S&T offers that I’m sure he’s received. Given the microscopic odds of pulling of an OKC-style rebuild (not that they’ve even won anything yet!), I’m inclined to agree.

    141. flossy

      You’re right. It’s not. But that’s because Anthony has logged twice as many minutes in his career as Amar’e had when the Knicks signed him. He was only 27. Anthony is going to be 35 at the end of this contract. And, though his outside shooting has gotten better with age, his mobility, his explosiveness, and his shoulder have not.

      If you think Melo at 30 is as much of a health risk as Amar’e at 27, after multiple major knee surgeries, you’re out of your mind. Yeah, everyone in the NBA eventually declines, but he’s highly unlikely to fall off a cliff at the age of 33. I’m sure people said the same thing about players like Pierce or Dirk at the age of 30, too. The fact of the matter is that if the Knicks do this right and build around Melo, by the 4th and 5th years of his deal the Knicks will be well over the cap, so $3-4 mil difference between a realistic discount and the full max will hardly matter, if at all.

    142. stratomatic

      I don’t think there is any doubt that the Amare contract was a huge blunder. I said as much as soon as it happened. IMO the reason Amare has gotten more of a pass than Melo despite a disastrous few seasons is that he came here when no one else seemed to want to and didn’t start off by gutting a popular team for money to get here.

      At the time Melo came, that Knicks team was still playing above .500 ball despite slipping badly when the rumors started really heating up and players names started showing up in the newspapers. Gallo was wildly popular. People generally liked Chandler. We had our picks. Eddy Curry was coming of the cap the following year. They were playing a fast style with a lot of passing. Even if they weren’t contenders, that was a very popular group and people were generally feeling great about the future.

      When that team was blown up, a lot of people were upset because they really liked some of the players that left. Melo forcing it created a lot of resentment. It’s a factor with me. I started out not liking him for reasons other than thinking teaming him with Amare was a catastrophic error.

    143. er

      When that team was blown up, a lot of people were upset because they really liked some of the players that left. Melo forcing it created a lot of resentment. It’s a factor with me. I started out not liking him for reasons other than thinking teaming him with Amare was a catastrophic error.

      Great points. I think this is exactly where it still stems from almost 4 years later even though none of those players are much to look at. But my question is this. That was the only healthy year of Stat, how long would it have taken for the wolves to come out on him and the rest of the team for not being contenders?

    144. stratomatic

      That was the only healthy year of Stat, how long would it have taken for the wolves to come out on him and the rest of the team for not being contenders?

      Who knows. There are a lot “what ifs” involved. He would have taken way more heat as the #1 player than he did behind Melo. That’s for sure.

      I think Walsh knew he was taking a giant risk with Amare, but he pulled the trigger anyway because he felt they had to come away with something after that rebuild. It was also his only chance to get Lebron. I actually read a few years later that D’Antoni was against it. He wanted to keep Lee.

      I have a soft spot for D’Antoni. I think he takes a lot of heat for things that are not true. I also think people do not understand the strategic trade-offs he makes. He got really raw deals in NY and LA. I am almost certain he was also against the Melo trade but he paid the price when they couldn’t make it work.

      Thibs teams can’t score at all but somehow he’s still considered among the best coaches. They say he just needs a couple of scorers. No one considers the fact that the reason he has no scorers is that he builds his teams with defenders first. It’s the same with D’Antoni. Given a choice between a defender and scorer MDA always goes with the shooter. Thibs and MDA are opposite sides of the same coin. They try to build the #1 offense/defense and sacrifice on the other side to get there instead of building a more balanced attack. But only MDA gets trashed for it. I’d be willing to bet that if either was lucky enough to get a couple of great 2-way players (which is rare), they’d coach both ends just fine.

    145. The Ghost of Ted Nelson

      I saw that the real Ted Nelson re-emerged this week, so I will gracefully retire this screen pseudonym so that there is no confusion as to what I think and what Ted thinks…

      (and go back to creating confusion between what I think and what Z-Man thinks…:)

    146. Z

      Unfortunately, most fans were (are?) hoping that Anthony would opt out as Paul Pierce did in 2010 and re-sign for 4 years, $60 million. I’m not sure if Pierce was offered a max deal and politely declined for the good of the franchise or not, but it appears that is what Anthony will have to do to follow in Pierce’s footsteps.

      Anthony can still opt to take less. At which point the precedent would be Dirk Nowitski, who in 2010 opted out of his max contract and re-signed for 4 years and $80 million. (Nowitski was eligible for a 4 year, $96 million deal, but left $16 million on the table (his deal started at $17.25). The Mavs were capped out with or without Dirk trimming a few million, but Cuban asked his star to help him out because he needed a bit of flexibility to make a potential trade. Nowitski obliged, and a week later Cuban traded for Tyson Chandler. The Mavs went on to win the championship.

      So, there is still a glimmer of hope.

      But Melo at the Max isn’t good for anybody except Carmelo Anthony’s agents.

    147. Frank

      MDA’s problem was always communication and getting his players to buy in. Actually that’s not quite right – he has not problem getting role players to buy in but a hard time getting his stars to buy in. That’s the difference between MDA, who is undeniably talented at offensive X’s and O’s, and guys like Phil and Pop, who are just as talented with x’s and o’s but are able to connect with their star players at a deeper level. He had the perfect group of players in PHX with so many selfless guys — Nash, Amare, Marion etc. But it’s rare to find that in today’s NBA unless you specifically go looking for it like Pop and Buford have.

    148. flossy

      I don’t think there is any doubt that the Amare contract was a huge blunder. I said as much as soon as it happened. IMO the reason Amare has gotten more of a pass than Melo despite a disastrous few seasons is that he came here when no one else seemed to want to and didn’t start off by gutting a popular team for money to get here.

      At the time Melo came, that Knicks team was still playing above .500 ball despite slipping badly when the rumors started really heating up and players names started showing up in the newspapers. Gallo was wildly popular. People generally liked Chandler. We had our picks. Eddy Curry was coming of the cap the following year. They were playing a fast style with a lot of passing. Even if they weren’t contenders, that was a very popular group and people were generally feeling great about the future.

      When that team was blown up, a lot of people were upset because they really liked some of the players that left. Melo forcing it created a lot of resentment. It’s a factor with me. I started out not liking him for reasons other than thinking teaming him with Amare was a catastrophic error.

      Completely agree with all of this. I definitely resented Melo/the way Melo got here. I don’t think that resentment should cloud people’s judgement about his talent or whether it’s worth keeping him here now, however, when we have a chance to construct a team around him in a way that makes sense. Letting him leave is not going to bring back the halcyon days of December 2010.

    149. flossy

      Anthony can still opt to take less. At which point the precedent would be Dirk Nowitski, who in 2010 opted out of his max contract and re-signed for 4 years and $80 million. (Nowitski was eligible for a 4 year, $96 million deal, but left $16 million on the table (his deal started at $17.25). The Mavs were capped out with or without Dirk trimming a few million, but Cuban asked his star to help him out because he needed a bit of flexibility to make a potential trade. Nowitski obliged, and a week later Cuban traded for Tyson Chandler. The Mavs went on to win the championship.

      Great point. I had no idea how closely Dirk’s situation paralleled Melo’s. I hope Phil has brought up this exact story to Melo. And I wonder who our Tyson Chandler could be (if not… you know. Tyson Chandler).

    150. ess-dog

      Jesus, I hope Melo takes the Mega Max and also asks for limo service to games and free cable.
      I’m sorry, who the hell here has ever gotten a promotion, raise or salary but then said “you know, I think for the good of the company, I’d like to take 10% less than what you’re offering me.” GTFO MFers. Leave 20 mil on the table??? Do you people live in reality?
      Look, I get the frustration, but really I think er described Melo very well: Works damn hard, at least average on D, great offensive game, average bball iq… He is not the problem here. If he was, why are a gaggle of GMs/owners lining up to also overpay him, including uber nerd Morey?
      The fact is, our management has royally fucked us – particularly this past Bargnani year. This team needs to lure stars AND grow talent AND scour the leagues for role players AND have a coherent system for longer than a year. Not just one of those.

    151. Brian Cronin

      Hawes to the Clippers. Wow, that’s a perfect pick-up for them.

      A fascinating thing about the restrictive CBA and the increased salary cap is that now more and more good teams are going to have access to the full mid-level and I think we’ll soon see a lot of teams use it and then you’ll see a lot more of the contracts like Shaun Livingston got. The same contracts the league had to protect owners from giving out back in the day.

    152. Brian Cronin

      If he was, why are a gaggle of GMs/owners lining up to also overpay him, including uber nerd Morey?

      Morey specifically is not looking to give him the contract that the Knicks have offered him. It’s not signing Melo that’s the issue, it’s signing him to the cap-crippling mega max. Only the Lakers are offering him a similar deal.

      But yes, I absolutely agree that it is not Melo’s fault that the Knicks are offering him a terrible contract. It’s all on the Knicks.

      Also, while I agree with the basic idea that we shouldn’t begrudge Melo for wanting the max…

      I’m sorry, who the hell here has ever gotten a promotion, raise or salary but then said “you know, I think for the good of the company, I’d like to take 10% less than what you’re offering me.”

      this happens all the time in all sorts of different fields. Workers take pay cuts all the time for the good of their company. It doesn’t mean Melo should do it here, but it does happen often.

    153. nyk8806

      Pardon me if this is a dumb question, but what other player has ever been offered $X by a team, and ended up taking a smaller amount from that team (not another team)?

      I hope against hope that the max offer was just to give melo’s ego a lift as part of the whole dog and pony show.

    154. yellowboy90

      So let me try to understand, Rose said he will not recruit FAs to Chicago but is surprise he was not involved in any recruitment. He is upset that there is no one else who can score around him but doesn’t do anything to help Chicago surround him with talent.

      What am I missing here?

    155. Z

      Great point. I had no idea how closely Dirk’s situation paralleled Melo’s. I hope Phil has brought up this exact story to Melo.

      The only minor difference is that Nowitzki, like Pierce, was a year older then than Melo is now. (He won his ring the first year of the reduced contract, when he was 32 years old); however, Nowitzki was coming off of his first max contract, and Melo, I think, is coming off of his second (technically his first may have been an extension). Still, Nowitzki is a great “role model” for Anthony. He is loyal, committed to winning, and works with his owner to maximize the product he’s a part of (hence the 3 year, $30 million Duncanesque deal he just agreed to).

    156. max fisher-cohen

      @d-mar

      Max, just curious, what is your plan for winning a championship?

      There is no surefire way to become a millionaire. But if you never invest a dollar, and you stay at your $35k/year job, well, you’re preventing yourself from ever being a millionaire. You’re ruling it out.

      It’s the same in the NBA. There is no path to winning a title. But there sure are ways to guarantee you won’t win a title. Signing Melo guarantees the Knicks can only build through free agency. THey won’t bottom out. Free agency, unless you’re signing a true superstar — someone worth more than the max — is predictable. Above-the-max players virtually never leave their teams as free agents.

      Twice since restricted free agency began a superstar has left his team via free agency (or something near it in Lebron’s case). Twice in 15 years: Lebron and Dwight Howard. You wanna talk about really foolish gambles?… Gambling on getting value (i.e. getting talent at a discount) in free agency is possibly the worst gamble a team can make.

      A commitment to Melo is a commitment to winning now, and every team would prefer to win now rather than later, so guess what? You overpay for win now talent, which is why good veteran teams without players worth more than the max never get better without first getting worse.

      So what do I mean when it comes to a plan? Make trades that prioritize the future. Cash in on teams looking to win now because they’ll overpay. The specific moves a team can make to prioritize the future vary, but those moves are always out there. Take a look at the trades the Rockets made over the years preceding their acquisition of Harden for examples of the many ways one can capitalize on desperate GMs.

      TBH, this has nothing to do with Melo for me. It has to do with the Knicks’ lack of valuable assets.

    157. Brian Cronin

      What am I missing here?

      It’s a fine question to which I have no idea what the answer is.

    158. Brian Cronin

      Pardon me if this is a dumb question, but what other player has ever been offered $X by a team, and ended up taking a smaller amount from that team (not another team)?

      Not a dumb question. No, as far as I can tell, this is the first time a player has ever been offered a max contract and asked “Please don’t take what we’re offering you.” But Phil Jackson, if anything, is a unique guy. So hopefully he knows what he is doing.

    159. Z

      Twice since restricted free agency began a superstar has left his team via free agency (or something near it in Lebron’s case). Twice in 15 years: Lebron and Dwight Howard.

      Huh? I’m not sure when restricted free agency began, but it must be since the 1999 cba (or before). So, there have certainly been more than two star players change teams via free agency during that time: Amar’e, Bosh, Boozer, Nash, Lewis, Chandler, Odom, Martin, Brand, Davis, Johnson off the top of my head, and that doesn’t count the players that got traded due to their imminent free agency (and/or desire to change teams): Anthony, Garnett, Harden, etc…

      Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you’re saying, but building through free agency is a possible route to success (even if it’s not the greatest path to building a championship).

    160. iserp

      What i don’t understand is the “championship or bust” mentality. And the idea that a a team that loses every year in the 2nd round is really really bad. As a fan, i would rather have a team that wins every year, even if it does not win it all. And seriously, that was the state of many franchises that then went on to win the title. Where were Dallas doing before getting Tyson Chandler, or Lakers before getting Gasol? There has been many teams that were just playoff teams before making the last step. I know everyone wants to hit the jackpot as Miami did, but that is not gonna happen again in lots of time. So why keep ourselves to the same chances to win it all than Charlotte, Milwaukee or Cleveland? While sucking for lots of years? I think NY has better opportunities to win than sucking and hoping for the next Jordan to land in their lap? How many No.1 picks have won a title since Lebron? I think Davies will win one in the future… but the rest, i am not so sure.

      Of course i would prefer Melo to a huge discount than Melo to the Mega Max. But i think Mega Max Melo is much better option than letting him walk for nothing. Even if lose in 1st round or 2nd round by default for some years. Maybe then, we can make some move that will put the team on the top. And that move would have much more chances to haapen than winning the draft and drafting the next Duncan while avoiding the next Greg Oden.

      I don’t know, that is my opinion at least.

    161. Brian Cronin

      I do think it is fair to say that judging teams solely on whether they win a championship or not is likely unfair. I think conference finals is probably fairer. If a team makes the conference finals a number of times, then that’s a good sign that they’re legitimate contenders who will possibly sneak in and win a title here and there. The Pistons of the 2000s, the Dirk Mavericks, the Nash Suns, the Durant Thunder, the Kidd Nets, the Lebron Cavs, the Miller Pacers, the Stockton/Malone Jazz, the Karl Sonics, the Riley Knicks, these are all teams worth aspiring to.

      And I think those teams were mostly formed around the draft. Build around the draft and then spend the money. And the Knicks luckily are very different than Milwaukee, Charlotte and Cleveland in that players actually want to come play here. After all, Melo wanted to come here in the beginning based pretty much just on the fact that it was New York.

      The Knicks haven’t tried to build around the draft in thirty years, but the last time they did try it, it resulted in one of those teams mentioned above. I think it is worth another shot.

      Then again, if Melo takes a real discount, that way works, too. Melo at the mega max won’t, but yes, at the very least we likely wouldn’t ever have to watch anything worse than a 9th place team in the East while he’s here (and almost certainly at least a playoff team every year now that Woodson is gone), so if that’s what you want, then, well, fair enough.

    162. massive

      I think a huge part of the plan has to be Tim Hardaway JR’s development as a player. Defensively, he’ll probably never become elite, but he could truly be an offensive juggernaut in terms of scoring the basketball. A 55.4 TS% on a 19% USG suggests he could both get more efficient and at a higher usage. If Tim Hardaway could get to a 58% TS and around 22% USG, that’s a great young player to have between Calderon and Melo next season.

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