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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

While Knicks Wait for Carmelo Anthony to Make Up His Mind, Cole Aldrich is “Coming Home”

Lamar Odom’s attempt at an NBA comeback came to a screeching halt before ever playing even a scrimmage for the New York Knicks, as Phil Jackson revealed today that “Unfortunately, Lamar was unable to uphold the standards to return as an NBA player.We found it necessary to free up the roster spot” (might I once again note how pleased I am to have a Knick executive who is actually willing to be candid with the media?).

This was big news for Cole Aldrich and his many, many fans, as he was caught up in a roster crunch and the Knicks were looking unlikely to re-sign him. However, with Odom now out of the picture, the Knicks had a roster spot for Aldrich (who had a great first game in the Knicks Summer League, although obviously he is a veteran NBA player at this point so he should so he was re-signed today.

Congrats to Aldrich and congrats to the Knicks for making the right call! My apologies to Lebron James, though, for having his spotlight blocked a bit by this major free agent news.

33 comments on “While Knicks Wait for Carmelo Anthony to Make Up His Mind, Cole Aldrich is “Coming Home”

  1. Kahnzy

    Do we know the details to this deal yet? Is this the beginning of the Cole “Mega Max” Aldrich era?

  2. Brian Cronin Post author

    No details yet, but I presume it’s for the full mini-MLE. ;)

    Seriously, though, it is almost certainly just a 20% raise on his salary from last season (as anything more actually would cut into their mini-MLE money), but that is likely more than he would have gotten from anyone else, so the Knicks were helped by the salary cap rules in that regard (other teams more or less just had the vet minimum for him – the Knicks get to offer him the vet minimum plus 20%).

  3. Brian Cronin Post author

    The newest rumor (which is likely just as made up as the other rumors) is Chicago will try to get Melo to agree to take a one-year deal for $16 million and then re-sign him to the max next season. I don’t think that actually works, hence it being, you know, the latest made-up rumor.

  4. BigBlueAL

    Ive read a couple of things saying the reason the Bulls are pushing real hard for Gasol now is because they dont think Melo is going there so really who knows at this point. Still believe Melo returns just because going to Chicago seems like will take so many moving parts to occur for it to happen.

  5. lavor postell

    @BC

    Wouldn’t they only be able to offer him the non-Bird exception 20% raise on his deal from this year? After 2 years they’d have Early Bird Rights, but then would they want to extend Melo at the max at that point? Also if Melo took a 1-year deal to re-sign a max with Chicago after this season he’d look like an even bigger asshole since he turned down basically the same opportunity with the Knicks this season which Phil laid out for him.

  6. Jack Bauer

    Too bad they didn’t sign Cole earlier. LeBron would have definitely come to The Knicks to play with Cole Aldrich..

  7. Brian Cronin Post author

    Wouldn’t they only be able to offer him the non-Bird exception 20% raise on his deal from this year? After 2 years they’d have Early Bird Rights, but then would they want to extend Melo at the max at that point? Also if Melo took a 1-year deal to re-sign a max with Chicago after this season he’d look like an even bigger asshole since he turned down basically the same opportunity with the Knicks this season which Phil laid out for him.

    I believe the theory is that they’d clear out the cap space for him the next season (aided by the cap rising). But yeah, I don’t see how they’d ever get more money than they currently have, so it was a ridiculous pipe dream.

  8. Brian Cronin Post author

    The fascinating thing about this latest Gasol rumor is that it is Boozer and Taj for Gasol (which, by the way, is a freakin’ steal for the Lakers if it is true). The interesting thing about that is that it still could leave the Bulls with some room to sign Melo to the same $16 million offer, only now with the promise of having Gasol as his teammate, which bizarrely seems to be something Melo is interested in.

    Let’s figure that it’s Gasol for, hm, let’s say $12 million (that might be high, but let’s call it $12). The Bulls send off $16.8 million plus $8 million. That’s $24.8 sent out and $12 coming back in, for a net $12.8 million. The Bulls then dump Dunleavy to somebody and that’s $3 million. All they’d need to do is dump Snell and they’d have $16 million once again to offer Melo only with Pau Gasol on the team, as well.

    Meanwhile, if Melo turns them down, they still have Gasol, who they apparently like, but if Melo is not involved, why would they deal Gibson? The upgrade from Boozer/Gibson to Gasol cannot be that much, can it? Of course, in that scenario, they also have money left over to spend on someone like Born Ready or someone else.

  9. Brian Cronin Post author

    Vince Carter to the Grizzlies for 3 years/$12 million. The NBA is insane. Dude’s 112 years old!

  10. nicos

    Maybe Hollinger (is he still in Memphis?) is a believer in Real +/- as Carter was actually the second rated shooting guard behind Manu on a per minute basis. Still three(!) years? I think the owners have seen what Milwaukee and especially the Clippers fetched and have collectively gone a little crazy. Or maybe they figure if they spend now they can just cry poor again in a couple of years and stomp on the union so they can get the unguaranteed deals they really want.

  11. JK47

    So if Melo’s contract starts at $16M, that means the most CHI can offer him is something like 4/70, correct? That doesn’t seem like a very “baller” contract for such a fabulous individual as Melo. That’s practically Gordon Hayward money.

  12. Jack Bauer

    Gasol is 34 years old and while he’s still a good player, trading Gibson to get him doesn’t seem like such a great idea basketball wise anyway. I guess if it nets them Melo @ 16 mil per then maybe it makes some sense ( along with not having to pay Boozer of course). Losing Melo for nothing would kind of suck for NY at this point.

  13. Brian Cronin Post author

    Oh yeah, if that’s the deal then it is a steal for the Lakers. But if the Bulls think they need Gasol to get Melo it makes sense.

  14. Brian Cronin Post author

    So if Melo’s contract starts at $16M, that means the most CHI can offer him is something like 4/70, correct? That doesn’t seem like a very “baller” contract for such a fabulous individual as Melo. That’s practically Gordon Hayward money.

    I believe the idea is that he can opt out after two years at which point they’ll clear out enough cap room to give him a max deal. Or wait three years and have his Bird rights. But yeah, it really doesn’t seem to make much sense to me either. The thing is, if the Cavs don’t get Love, wouldn’t a Melo-led Bulls team be the best team in the East by far? That has to be tempting to him.

    An issue for Melo is if Gibson and Boozer leaves, I don’t believe the Bulls would have anyone left that they could trade to the Knicks in a sign and trade.

  15. JK47

    I’ll be pretty blown away if Melo leaves more than $50M on the table so he can go play with Pau Gasol. I mean, that is just not the Melo I know.

  16. BigBlueAL

    From what Ive read the Bulls can only sign Mirotic with the MLE so if Gasol signs for that they cant sign Mirotic. Sure seems like its a sign-and-trade for Gasol or just outright amnesty of Boozer. Cant imagine Gasol signing for the MLE considering he turned down 10m per year and 11m per year from Lakers and Hawks plus can get the MLE from the Spurs I believe.

  17. BigBlueAL

    NOBODY would leave 50mil on the table to play with any other player let alone a 34yo Gasol.

  18. BigBlueAL

    Hell Bosh didnt leave roughly 30mil on the table to play with Dwight Howard and James Harden.

  19. yellowboy90

    I think Melo told the Bulls he is signing and they are moving on. You can’t sell the importance of Gibson then trade him. Well I guess you can but it doesn’t makes since. Is Pau that much better than Gibson?

  20. Brian Cronin Post author

    Hopefully for the Bulls’ sake they didn’t include Gibson in the deal and just future draft picks along with Boozer.

    That’s the annoying thing about the current era of reporting. People just want to report a deal – the facts of the deal is not important, just so long as they can report something.

  21. BigBlueAL

    Apparently a sign and trade could be put together with Dunleavy and 3 players who the Lakers would cut immediately. Also a sign and trade for Boozer would mean the Lakers would have to cut Nash. This is all based on calculations by Eric Pincus of the LA Times on Twitter. At least he is actually trying to figure all the math out lol.

  22. Brian Cronin Post author

    He even doubled down from his original headline, which was that Melo was “leaning” towards re-signing. Now it is he is “expected” to re-sign.

  23. Brian Cronin Post author

    I think the biggest sign that Melo is coming back (besides the fact that he’s obviously been coming back for months now) is that Isola suddenly started kissing his ass on Twitter.

  24. BigBlueAL

    I will say this, Isola has always been very complimentary of Melo on Twitter. Actually aside from Felton he never really takes shots at Knick players on Twitter. He worships at the altar of JVG, Oakley and Ewing too lol. Now Dolan and the rest of the front office is an entirely different situation.

  25. BigBlueAL

    Also it sure seems like Isola had personal access to Melo this week which not sure any other writer had. Looks like Isola actually talked to him on Wed in LA and Isola only made that public knowledge tonight. In fact the reason Isola wrote that Melo was announcing a decision on Thurs was because Melo apparently told him that personally but Isola I dont think mentioned that in his article, he only mentioned that tonight on Twitter. We rank on Isola and especially Berman alot but Ive actually always liked Isola.

  26. Brian Cronin Post author

    Isola’s much better than Berman.

    I don’t have a problem with Isola, I just don’t think that he has any inside knowledge here besides Melo telling him he would decide on Thursday – which he then promptly didn’t do, ya know?

    All they’re reporting is what we all knew already – that Melo is leaning towards re-signing with the Knicks.

  27. Farfa

    At this point, though, it’s not clear what Melo is waiting for, unless this is just a ploy to have his own day of free agency attention-seeking on Saturday.

  28. hoolahoop

    Now that Chicago is making a deal with Gasol, Melo appears to be out of their picture. That leaves zero suitors for Melo.
    The knicks offer the mega max, and he’s still sitting on it.
    Sign and trade in the works, or PJ really screwed up the most important signing in the next five years.

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