Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, August 29, 2014

On Carmelo Anthony’s Free Agency Chatter. DO NOT PANIC. ALL IS WELL. REMAIN CALM.

If you recall, back on September 11th, our sterling smallish power forward/large small forward was asked about his future employment options.

He said:

I’m not. I’m just not going to do it,” he said. “I’m going to let everybody know the first day that I’m not going to talk about it. Hopefully you guys and your colleagues respect that, and that’s it.

 

Got it. Great. He will not discuss this issue. You can ask till you’re Phthalocyanine Blue, till you’re Blue-r than Tobias Fünke trying to get into the Blue Man Group, but Master Carmelo Kyam Anthony shall speak no further on this subject. When it comes to free agency, he’s a Benedictine ballin’ monk. Fin.

Of course, today we got to read this New York Observer  interview. I highly recommend perusing the whole thing, if only because the lede and the tag is a joke about Melo getting into an elevator with a Hasidic Jew, features tales of Melo dealing in foreign currency speculation (THERE’S NO RELATION BETWEEN MONETARY INVESTMENT AND THE PRESENCE OF THE SEMITIC PEOPLES. STOP THAT RIGHT NOW.), and is in general a fascinating read.

Of course, the part that is drawing the most attention is this juicy quote:

I want to be a free agent. I think everybody in the NBA dreams to be a free agent at least one time in their career. It’s like you have an evaluation period, you know. It’s like if I’m in the gym and I have all the coaches, all the owners, all the GMs come into the gym and just evaluate everything I do. So yes, I want that experience.

 

Hm. That would seem to contradict the prior statement, if not for the fact that the bulk of the interview seems to have occurred at around the same time frame as the first quote — September 10th or 11th.

I’m speculating here, but odds are, something this this occurred. Melo gave a freewheeling long-form interview with the Observer (He digs the pink newsprint. So do I!). There were one or two of Melo’s representatives present for this interview (they always are), either from CAA or his PR team. They heard the statement about wanting to be a free agent, about wanting to be wanted and/or needing to be  needed and courted and realized pretty quickly how badly that would play, that Melo’d come off sounding like Dwight Howard’s burbling id incarnate/any vague chatter about free agency would cause a media kerfluffle, so they whispered in his ear that a follow up quote should be issued tout suite, thus resulting in the, “I’m not talking about it,” line.

I.e., the first quote actually came after the Observer piece.

So my general advice would be not to freak out. That this doesn’t in any way represent a change of heart/sudden burst of wanderlust on Melo’s part. I think we’re all pretty settled on the fact that Melo will be opting out after this season. Whether he takes the full max or settles for less in the name of saving a few PabloBucks to spend on the rest of the roster remains to be seen.

But if Melo needs any confirmation about how badly the Knicks do want to retain him, I am more than willing to front JD and the Straight Shot for one song and sing this ditty, whenever and wherever he so desires. Melo’s a big Elvis Costello fan, right?

 

44 comments on “On Carmelo Anthony’s Free Agency Chatter. DO NOT PANIC. ALL IS WELL. REMAIN CALM.

  1. stratomatic

    Owen:
    The only thing worth freaking out over is the thought of locking up Melo 30-36….

    I have to agree with that. He’s a good ball player, but he’s overrated. IMO he’s not a particularly good value as a max player now, let alone well into his 30s. In fact, I would say that long term thinkers should probably be hoping the Knicks have a bad season and it prompts Melo to leave so NY can rebuild without both Amare and Melo in 2015.

  2. SeeWhyDee77

    Yup. Not concerned. Melo wants to be a Knick and the Knicks want him. Plus.. He is a viable star who’s game figures to age gracefully as he can skillfully play the 4 and 3 at high levels and he’s not and doesn’t need to be the ‘above the rim type’. Front office needs to make sure this team succeeds while we have such a capable top option.

  3. Donnie Walsh

    Unlike Robert, Elvis, and Fiona, I CAN live without Carmelo Anthony. So go ahead and get “evaluated”. (the reason to panic is James Dolan outbidding all evaluators!)

  4. hoolahoop

    So, Melo’s giving up on the knicks before the season starts – to see what he’s worth. Great team player.
    He said every player dreams about becoming a free agent. I thought they dreamed of winning championships and being a lifer with a legacy.
    Get ready to hear about this every day. It’s going to be a giant distraction this season.

  5. Nick C.

    I wonder how many in the print and talkradio media will catch on that the article references an interaction that took place @9/11. On a side note I never realized the Observer was a monthly.

  6. Frank

    hoolahoop:
    So, Melo’s giving up on the knicks before the season starts – to see what he’s worth. Great team player.
    He said every player dreams about becoming a free agent. I thought they dreamed of winning championships and being a lifer with a legacy.
    Get ready to hear about this every day. It’s going to be a giant distraction this season.

    Usually disagree with most of what hoola writes, but I’m on board with this one. Melo’s been on message for this entire offseason – just strange that he would go give an interview like this. It would’ve been one thing to say “My first, second, and third options are to stay in NY for life, but it’s never bad to have options” — but to say basically that he wants to be courted? That’s kind of…pathetic IMHO. Like he isn’t pampered enough. The beginning of that article says it all — surrounded by a bunch of fanboy Wall Street types playing fantasy currency-trading.

    And I’m on board with Owen also – I really like Melo and I think he’s clearly the best player the Knicks have had since Ewing. And I DO think that he CAN be the best player on a championship team. But giving him a max max contract into his mid-30s where he hamstrings our cap by almost 50% like Kobe’s contract does for the Lakers — that’s just insanity. One can only hope that he has the big picture in mind — that if you look at the Forbes top 25 paid athletes, the 2 that jump way out (ie. nearly 2x what anyone else including Melo, Durant, Rose, etc.) are Lebron and Kobe — and what they have in common is championships. If Melo wins a championship in NYC he will absolutely explode with endorsements — a source of income that will go on for much longer than his playing career.

    So — let’s just hope that he signs for a Pierce-like “discount” deal — I’d even give him the max 5 years at $20MM per to make an even $100M.

  7. Hubert

    This is the part that galls me about his statement:

    “I think everybody in the NBA dreams to be a free agent at least one time in their career.”

    Where was that dream in 2010, huh? All you had to do was make it to free agency and we could have gotten you and been able to swing a Chris Paul deal.

    What a dipshit.

    I like him as a player, can’t stand his other antics.

  8. Frank

    Hubert: Where was that dream in 2010, huh? All you had to do was make it to free agency and we could have gotten you and been able to swing a Chris Paul deal.

    Lol I completely forgot about that part of it. Good call. He totally had the chance to be a FA (and a chance to be on a team that had Gallo, Wilson Chandler, Amare, etc.) but wanted all his $ first. Not that I blame him since there was the uncertainty of the as-yet-undescribed CBA, but spare me the “dream of being a FA” stuff.

  9. Hubert

    And yeah, I expect him to bail now. With him saying this and LeBron saying the same stuff he said before his final year in Cleveland, I think the odds are high they plan on teaming up in 2014. Which could realistically happen in LA (if they renounce Kobe) and Dallas.

    And this should change how we go into this season. Sitting around and waiting for 2015 is not an option anymore. I would sit down with him figure out what he wants. If he’s not clear, and plays his “I just want options” card to us, then start the Carmelo Anthony trade auction immediately.

    If he indicates privately that he wants to team up with LeBron, give up your 2nd round aspirations for this year and start unloading guys to get cap room. I don’t think it’s as impossible as people make it out to be.

    (Watch as I panic below)

    1. Amar’e – showcase him early, find an idiot. There are always idiots in the NBA who will take someone you think no one will take. Ship him to a desperate Wizards team for Ariza and the injured Okafor ($22mm combined this year, expiring).

    2. Trade JR to the Charlotte Bobcats for Ramon Sessions’ expiring (or some move like that).

    3. Ship Tyson to Golden State for Bogut’s expiring, or try to work a three way trade that sends him to the Clippers for someone else’s expiring contracts.

    4. Ship Felton out with $3 million and bribe someone to take him.

    5. And that leaves the unmovable Bargnani. I would do everything in my power to make him look as good as possible this year, help him put up the best offensive numbers of his career, and then pray to god he opts out to cash in on it. If he opts in, stretch provision him so his $11.5 becomes $3.8.

    If you manage to pull all that off, factoring in Melo’s max salary, we’d have either $33 or $37 million committed and enough room to bring LeBron in.

    How was that for panic?

  10. Frank

    Hubert: And yeah, I expect him to bail now. With him saying this and LeBron saying the same stuff he said before his final year in Cleveland, I think the odds are high they plan on teaming up in 2014. Which could realistically happen in LA (if they renounce Kobe) and Dallas.

    FWIW I don’t think Melo is planning on leaving. His “legacy” and image took enough of a hit with the whole Melodrama thing, and if he runs to play Robin to Lebron’s Batman, his brand may never recover. And if there’s anything that was made clear by that NY Observer article, it’s that he’s all about his brand now.

    LBJ was able to overcome “the Decision” because he won championships being THE MAN even as part of the Heatles, and by playing the best basketball (by far) anyone has seen at least since MJ, and maybe ever. Melo would be Bosh or Wade – and neither of those guys are the kind of crossover stars that Melo seems to have aspirations to be. Wade maybe, but that’s because he won a championship on his own already — and even now, he’s fading from that perspective.

    And so I think this whole thing is about Melo getting courted, getting pampered, having even more people say “you’re the man Melo!”

  11. Hubert

    Since I’m sure no one agrees with me that Amar’e is movable, if we were to pull off the other moves and use the stretch provision on him this summer, we could reduce his number to $7.8mm carried over 3 years.

    If we also had to use the stretch provision on Bargnani to get him down to $3.8 over 3 years (which I don’t think we would, I think he’d be movable on a one year deal if he has a good year with us), and Melo opts out, and we renounce all our cap holds, and we waive Tyler, Leslie, and Chris Smith, that would give us $18,829,121 in committed salarie (Shumpert, Prigioni, MWP, Hardaway JR).

    So if we just move JR, Chandler, and Felton, we can sign Melo & LeBron in 2014 using the stretch provision.

    I think.

  12. Frank

    Or maybe/probably (please excuse me as a descend into wild wild totally unsubstantiated speculation) he’s doing this just so he really gets to be in the driver’s seat re: roster moves going forward – basically by holding the Knicks hostage into doing what he wants. And maybe that’s what the Grunwald move was about — maybe Melo and his inner circle (and not necessarily Dolan) didn’t think GG was the guy to make the pitches to FAs going forward.

    I dunno. One can only hope this isn’t just about stroking his ego.

  13. DRed

    Hubert:
    This is the part that galls me about his statement:

    “I think everybody in the NBA dreams to be a free agent at least one time in their career.”

    Where was that dream in 2010, huh?All you had to do was make it to free agency and we could have gotten you and been able to swing a Chris Paul deal.

    What a dipshit.

    I like him as a player, can’t stand his other antics.

    Well, he got more money the first time by not entering free agency, and he’ll get more money this time by entering free agency. Plus free agency has become more fun, what with the presentations by the teams, the twittering, etc. Follow your dream, Melo. (hopefully to LA)

  14. lavor postell

    Melo says stupid things. Not much of a surprise here. I think letting him go in free agency would be a really stupid move regardless of if he wants his max extension or not. The fact of the matter is we have little in the way of assets to rebuild with in that scenario and we would be losing a valuable trade chip.

    Melo will have value regardless of salary, contract length and age, at least for the next couple of years and if we are to lose him, I’d much rather have the option to trade him versus simply allowing him to walk and being a lottery team which has few draft picks remaining to reap the benefits of our crappiness. I think keeping Melo is the prudent play since as a trade chip Melo can help us replenish our draft picks and perhaps acquire some cheap, young talent on multiyear rookie deals.

  15. Hubert

    Regardless, I just talked myself into thinking Melo is going to bring LeBron to NY in 2014.

    My head is in the clouds.

  16. Hubert

    The stretch provision is interesting, though. We haven’t seen it used yet.

    If you don’t know how it works, you get to stretch the remaining salary owed on a contract over twice the length of the contract, plus one year.

    So, Amar’e at the end of this year will be owed $23.4mm over 1 year. We’d get to stretch that over 3 years, reducing his cap number to $7.8mm.

    Felton would be owed $7.75 mil over two years, we could stretch him out to $1.55 over five years.

    The downside is you have to carry the players’ salary on your cap during the entire time its stretched, but if you use it to sign free agents and then go over the salary cap, that doesn’t really matter in terms of flexibility because dead money on a capped out team only affects luxury tax.

    I got a little excited thinking we could stretch Amar’e, Bargnani, and Felton, thus reducing their $30mm commitment down to $13mm. But further reading revealed that the rule is you can’t have more than 15% of the salary cap used on stretched salary. So if you have a $60mm cap, we’d be limited to $9mm. So realistically we would just be able to use it on Amar’e.

    But it’s possible, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it come into play this summer.

  17. thenamestsam

    Love your posts Hubert. Who says Knicks fans spirits have been crushed by decades of failure? We still have our dreams damn it! From your lips to Lebron’s ears.

    Melo obviously has a bit of a penchant for putting his foot in his mouth, but I think these comments are pretty innocuous. We all basically assume he’s opting out but that he’s going to try to minimize the distraction that causes to the team during the year as much as possible. He probably just didn’t realize an interview given like 6 or 7 weeks before the start of the season would pop up so much later when it actually can cause a bit of a stir. I can’t get especially upset with him for this.

    As for the actual free agency, in a vacuum I certainly hope he comes back because I think he’s a great player. He has been a big part of making this team into a perennial (fringe) contender even without another real star on board, and while I think the Knicks path from here to a championship is rocky, I don’t see it as any clearer sans Melo. I like watching him play and I hope that he can stay a Knick.

    But what I want even more than for Melo to come back is to see an organization with a plan. If that plan is just to re-up Melo at a massive price and then see what we can squeeze on to the salary cap around him and sort of muddle forward, I would not be happy with that even if it keeps Melo here. If that plan involves settling on a price that allows the team to bring in the other pieces they need to be competitive and holding to that number even if Melo decides to take his talents elsewhere, I’ll be okay with that even if it means losing Melo. What happens with this free agency is going to be a huge factor in determining what this team looks like the next few years and I hope the Knicks approach it cautiously and with a clear sense of their options (my head is in the clouds too I guess).

  18. Hubert

    I do think there is one conclusion to draw from his comments, though:

    we can’t sit around and wait for 2015. We’re going to have to be aggressive. We should probably look into moving a contract this year that may hurt us come playoff time but will help us this summer. And we need to be ready to use the stretch provision.

    If we wait until 2015, I think everything passes us by and we’re stuck watching Melo by himself until he’s 36. I would, once again, put all the eggs in the LeBron basket. Except this time I would make sure Melo colludes with him first!

  19. Hubert

    Hubert:
    We’re going to have to be aggressive.We should probably look into moving a contract this year that may hurt us come playoff time but will help us this summer.

    For instance, what about:

    Clippers get Tyson Chandler

    Celtics get DeAndre Jordan and draft picks from the Clippers

    Knicks get Kris Humphries’ expiring, Reggie Bullock, and Avery Bradley.

    Or if I’m selling Bradley short and the Celtics will never give him up for D Jordan:

    Clippers get Tyson Chandler

    Celtics get DeAndre Jordan

    Knicks get Kris Humphries’ expiring, Reggie Bullock, a pick from the Clippers, and one (or more, if we’re lucky) of Brooklyn’s draft picks that Boston has.

  20. Hubert

    I’m sorry, I’m just using Melo’s innocuous comments as an excuse to play GM. You guys don’t deserve this.

  21. Hubert

    DRed:
    Avery Bradley sucks.

    I don’t disagree but the thought of him coming off the bench for Prigioni to team with Shumpert in the same backcourt with LeBron and Melo in the front was appealing to me earlier when I was clearly on some sort of caffeine high from which I am now coming down.

  22. Owen

    Good post. I agree. I think everyone agrees that a max contract for Melo for his age 31-36 years is a recipe for, if not disaster, then profound mediocrity. it’s not like Melo is Kevin Garnett, ready at age 31 to anchor one of the best defenses in history.

    I just don’t know what plausible plan Melo can bring to the Knicks is.

    “But what I want even more than for Melo to come back is to see an organization with a plan. If that plan is just to re-up Melo at a massive price and then see what we can squeeze on to the salary cap around him and sort of muddle forward, I would not be happy with that even if it keeps Melo here. If that plan involves settling on a price that allows the team to bring in the other pieces they need to be competitive and holding to that number even if Melo decides to take his talents elsewhere, I’ll be okay with that even if it means losing Melo. What happens with this free agency is going to be a huge factor in determining what this team looks like the next few years and I hope the Knicks approach it cautiously and with a clear sense of their options (my head is in the clouds too I guess)

  23. ruruland

    Kobe Bryant on foregoing the chance to re-up with LA after 2003 and hitting free agency in 2004 two years removed from a three-peat: “”It’s just about exploring options,” says Bryant, whose sexual assault trial is set to begin Aug. 27 in Eagle, Colo.

    Michael Jordan flirted with the Knicks in ’96 in the midst of a second dynasty run.

    Manu Ginobli entered free agency in 2004 and was courted by multiple teams before re-signing with the Spurs.

    Obviously there have been plenty of stars with better reputations on good to great teams who didn’t quickly re-sign with their original team and chose to explore free agency.

    Also, are we to only believe some of the things Melo says?

    How do we choose?

    He never said the following things about playing in Denver:

    “I came to New York for a reason,” Anthony adds. “I’ve been with you all my life, almost to a fault. I wanted to come here and take on the pressures of playing in New York. So one thing I would tell my fans: If you haven’t heard it from me, then it ain’t true.”

  24. ephus

    Hubert – the premise of your posts is wrong .

    Amar’e's contract is ineligible for the stretch provision, because it was signed under the old CBA. Only contracts signed under the new CBA can be stretched.

    http://www.cbafaq.com/salarycap.htm#Q65

    The remedy for a team that had a bad contract under the old CBA was the amnesty. The Knicks used their one and only amnesty on Chauncey Billups in order to create the room to bring in Tyson Chandler.

  25. Frank

    @Ruru -overall I’m fine with Melo exploring FA. And I feel internally comfortable that he’s doing this just to exert influence over what moves the Knicks make going forward. But still, “I think everybody in the NBA dreams to be a free agent at least one time in their career” is not a quote that should have come out of his mouth, for the reasons that have been posted above — namely:

    1) he had his chance to go to a stacked team (NYK) in FA and decided instead to sabotage the process and force the Knicks to give up much more than they would have had to if he just said “Knicks or nothing”. Instead, he let Prokhorov drive up the price (again, I don’t blame him for wanting his $ – just don’t tell me you “dream” of being a FA when you could’ve gone to free agency, made plenty of money and could’ve been on a team that would have been more than a “puncher’s chance” at a title). So when he says “I wanted to come here and take on the pressures of playing in NY”, what he really meant is “I want my cake, to eat it too, and get paid while doing so”.

    2) if his plan is to come back (barring something crazy like everyone else on the team suffers a disabling injury), then why bother with anything other than Kobe’s “it’s just about exploring options”? Why is this a “dream”? Because if it’s his “dream” to have everyone fawning over him (more than they already are), it sounds vain and downright pathetic (IMHO).

    And btw, I don’t buy @19′s argument – that he didn’t realize what said in an interview 6 weeks ago would be such a big story now. C’mon dude. This is NYC–media speculation capital of the world. He’s been here 3 years. He’s already been through MeloDrama 1.0. He knows that everything that comes out of his mouth about his free agency will be dissected over and over again.

    Now did he just stick his foot in his mouth? Maybe. But it’s obviously what’s in his mind. There’s no way this was PR speak, because it’s so tone deaf.

  26. DRed

    I don’t think it’s tone deaf by Melo. He’s going to be a free agent. So he can say “Hey, I want to get the most money possible so I need to be a free agent”. Or, he can say something like “I think everybody in the NBA dreams to be a free agent at least one time in their career. It’s like you have an evaluation period, you know. It’s like if I’m in the gym and I have all the coaches, all the owners, all the GMs come into the gym and just evaluate everything I do. So yes, I want that experience”, which is actually less mercenary sounding.

  27. Frank

    I usually agree with most of what Alan Hahn writes, but his last post on Sulia is way off IMO–

    http://sulia.com/channel/new-york-knicks/f/ef814b73-72ca-45b4-9add-4bbfee408fa1/?source=twitter

    The idea that Melo would actually be a draw for other marquee FAs at age 34-35 eating up 50% of the cap – that’s just a ridiculous idea. It’s exactly what Kobe is doing right now, and they just lost DH12 for less money and a worse market. Some of that is clearly a personality issue, true, but the best argument LA could make for DH to stay is that “Kobe and Nash are retiring soon and it’ll be your team”. NOT – “you and 35 year old Kobe will take us for 5 more championships”. So in fact, signing him to an extension through 16-17 would be PERFECT for an incoming FA after the 14-15 season — you’ll have 2 years with Melo still in his prime, and then after that, it’ll be your team.

    And even if Melo is still really good at age 35, having 40-50% of your cap tied up in one aging player is a good recipe for a low-ceiling team – something we’re seeing with the Lake Show right now.

  28. johnno

    Totally unrelated note — does anyone else think that it is absolutely hilarious that Dwight Howard is upset that the Magic haven’t retired his number? He just might be the most self-absorbed out of touch athlete I’ve ever seen. I’m trying to picture the number retirement ceremony as he walks out onto the court in Orlando in a Rockets uniform while the fans throw tomatoes at him. That might actually be funnier than the video of Dwight putting his arm around SVG and saying, “Who is starting these silly rumors that I am trying to get you fired,” right after SVG told reporters that Dwight was trying to get him fired.

  29. DRed

    johnno:
    Totally unrelated note — does anyone else think that it is absolutely hilarious that Dwight Howard is upset that the Magic haven’t retired his number?He just might be the most self-absorbed out of touch athlete I’ve ever seen.I’m trying to picture the number retirement ceremony as he walks out onto the court in Orlando in a Rockets uniform while the fans throw tomatoes at him.That might actually be funnier than the video of Dwight putting his arm around SVG and saying, “Who is starting these silly rumors that I am trying to get you fired,” right after SVG told reporters that Dwight was trying to get him fired.

    Wow. I thought you were joking. It’s really remarkable how oblivious that guy is to what people think about him.

  30. ruruland

    DRed:
    I don’t think it’s tone deaf by Melo.He’s going to be a free agent.So he can say “Hey, I want to get the most money possible so I need to be a free agent”. Or, he can say something like “I think everybody in the NBA dreams to be a free agent at least one time in their career. It’s like you have an evaluation period, you know. It’s like if I’m in the gym and I have all the coaches, all the owners, all the GMs come into the gym and just evaluate everything I do. So yes, I want that experience”, which is actually less mercenary sounding.

    That doesn’t explain why many star players have signed for below the available maximum after exploring their options.

    I’m not sure Melo would actually notice the difference in five million a year or 30-40 million in a contract at this point.

    It may just be, as crazy as this sounds, that Melo, like so many players before him, just wants to see what other situations are available — not just at the franchise level, not just potential teammate combinations, but the city, the area, the lifestyle, the business opportunities.

    I agree that Melo shouldn’t have said what he said because of the media environment, but Melo speaks his mind on occasion.

    When he does, it’s interesting that many people decide to attach another layer of meaning to his comments.

    I think like any human being, Melo wants to dream on the possibilities and see what’s out there, but I find it extremely unlikely he doesn’t re-sign with NY, and at a price that gives the Knicks a great chance to win a title.

    Melo played through a torn labrum and rotator cuff in the playoffs without saying a word. I sort of think that’s a pretty good indication of his competitive nature, of where his priorities lie.

    And it doesn’t matter if Melo gets one with the Knicks, there will always be Dred’s out there claiming Melo is only concerned…

  31. thenamestsam

    Frank:

    And btw, I don’t buy @19?s argument – that he didn’t realize what said in an interview 6 weeks ago would be such a big story now. C’mon dude. This is NYC–media speculation capital of the world. He’s been here 3 years. He’s already been through MeloDrama 1.0.He knows that everything that comes out of his mouth about his free agency will be dissected over and over again.

    Not saying he didn’t know it would be a story, just that if the story had come out 6 weeks ago it would have been a bit different in terms of distracting the team than it coming out today. Obviously Melodrama is going to be a story all season long for this team, I’m just saying I don’t think Melo had any intention to make this a distraction less than two weeks before the season starts. He probably viewed an interview given in mid-September as a “get this out of the way now so I don’t have to talk about it any more” type move, but now it’s bubbling up at a more important time simply due to the publication schedule of the observer.

  32. ruruland

    thenamestsam: Not saying he didn’t know it would be a story, just that if the story had come out 6 weeks ago it would have been a bit different in terms of distracting the team than it coming out today. Obviously Melodrama is going to be a story all season long for this team, I’m just saying I don’t think Melo had any intention to make this a distraction less than two weeks before the season starts. He probably viewed an interview given in mid-September as a “get this out of the way now so I don’t have to talk about it any more” type move, but now it’s bubbling up at a more important time simply due to the publication schedule of the observer.

    I really don’t think it’s going to be that big of a story. I really doubt Melo will comment on it much more, and there’s only so many ways you can speculate about it from November through June.

    There are very few similarities between this situation and his last year in Denver.

    There were substantiated reports the weeks after the George Karl-less Nuggets playoff loss to the Jazz that Melo was ready for a change and frustrated with the organization.

  33. Frank

    ruruland: I think like any human being, Melo wants to dream on the possibilities and see what’s out there, but I find it extremely unlikely he doesn’t re-sign with NY, and at a price that gives the Knicks a great chance to win a title.

    from your keyboard to the Basketball God’s ears. You certainly have more of a connection with Melo and his crowd than any of us do, so hopefully you’re right.

    He’d have the goodwill of NYK fans for a long time with a move like that, just like Pierce, Dirk, Duncan, etc. did before him. And he’d still be rich well beyond anything he dreamed of as a kid growing up in Baltimore.

  34. DRed

    What I’m trying to say is that what Melo said should not be controversial. It would be stupid for Melo to not be a free agent. Everyone should understand that. Whether it’s for money or just to dream some beautiful dreams it’s the smart decision, and it’s been obvious since the day he signed his contract that he was going to opt out unless his career had somehow fallen apart.

  35. Frank

    DRed:
    What I’m trying to say is that what Melo said should not be controversial.It would be stupid for Melo to not be a free agent.Everyone should understand that.Whether it’s for money or just to dream some beautiful dreams it’s the smart decision, and it’s been obvious since the day he signed his contract that he was going to opt out unless his career had somehow fallen apart.

    Totally right. I totally get his desire to go to free agency. In life it’s always great to have options, and I’m fine with that. It’s just unbelievably tone deaf to talk about it being some dream of his when he’s had the opportunity twice before and chosen to chase the most $ instead via extension.

    As a brand (since that’s what most of that article was about), Melo should be talking about championships, building a legacy, and nothing else. Everyone would (and does) understand keeping options open. But to baldly say he wants the experience of being courted like some high school sophomore girl is, shall we say, not befitting someone of his desired stature.

  36. ruruland

    You have 1000 honest conversations about it, and you’re doing a few interviews every day, at some point they overlap.

    A skilled reporter brings down the defenses.

    Melo has spoken ad nasuem about his life-long aspiration of bringing a championship to New York, he’s backed it up by playing through injury and taking on the biggest of post-season burdens without taking the peddle off.

    I don’t think the alternate dream for Melo is the attention, but envisioning new scenarios for his life, which is not mutually exclusive from wanting to be in New York.

    They are the same desire manifested differently.

    Even the happiest and conventionally most successful people imagine trying out different life paths, and I can’t think of many people who would turn down the opportunity to explore different companies/places/careers/lifestyles if they knew it wouldn’t put their current reality at risk.

    Frankly, imagining new opportunities is the same kind of thought process that has allowed Melo and other great players to continually re-invent and adapt their games.

    When a head coach at any level interviews for different jobs but eventually comes back to his old job (Chris Petersen, for example) you don’t hear the word selfish or status come up very often.

  37. mokers

    Ahh, and here I thought we Knicker-readers were going to have no other chance to clutch our pearls outside of Bargs’ USG% and TS%!

    It absolutely makes sense for Melo to opt-out. I have been saying this all along. If he makes it through the year relatively injury-free, then he is going to be able to sign his last big contract. Even though I am a huge Melo fan and I think his offensive game is likely to age well, I still think paying the max to him for the last 3 years of that contract is going to be a huge risk. The best case scenario is that he signs an extension at a Paul George level salary. If he gets a Kobe level max extension, the current CBA is going to make it very hard to build around. I think in the end he is going to sign a contract with the Knicks, but it will be hard to build an ECF of finals contender if there is not a bit of salary discount in there.

  38. Frank

    mokers: It absolutely makes sense for Melo to opt-out. I have been saying this all along. If he makes it through the year relatively injury-free, then he is going to be able to sign his last big contract. Even though I am a huge Melo fan and I think his offensive game is likely to age well, I still think paying the max to him for the last 3 years of that contract is going to be a huge risk. The best case scenario is that he signs an extension at a Paul George level salary. If he gets a Kobe level max extension, the current CBA is going to make it very hard to build around. I think in the end he is going to sign a contract with the Knicks, but it will be hard to build an ECF of finals contender if there is not a bit of salary discount in there.

    Maybe watching Grunwald roll over in negotiation after trade negotiation made Dolan uncomfortable about his ability to sell exactly this point to Melo. Hopefully Mills is that guy.

  39. Hubert

    ephus:
    Hubert – the premise of your posts is wrong .

    Amar’e’s contract is ineligible for the stretch provision, because it was signed under the old CBA.Only contracts signed under the new CBA can be stretched.

    http://www.cbafaq.com/salarycap.htm#Q65

    The remedy for a team that had a bad contract under the old CBA was the amnesty.The Knicks used their one and only amnesty on Chauncey Billups in order to create the room to bring in Tyson Chandler.

    Sometimes it’s nicer in the clouds.

    Thanks for saving me many future hours of playing GM on my spreadsheets, though.

    So, Washington. Want an Amar’e?

  40. Hubert

    johnno:
    Totally unrelated note — does anyone else think that it is absolutely hilarious that Dwight Howard is upset that the Magic haven’t retired his number?He just might be the most self-absorbed out of touch athlete I’ve ever seen.I’m trying to picture the number retirement ceremony as he walks out onto the court in Orlando in a Rockets uniform while the fans throw tomatoes at him.That might actually be funnier than the video of Dwight putting his arm around SVG and saying, “Who is starting these silly rumors that I am trying to get you fired,” right after SVG told reporters that Dwight was trying to get him fired.

    That was funny enough to help me get over all the time I wasted this morning not understanding the stretch provision.

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