Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders doesn’t see a huge $$$ market for Carmelo Anthony should the Knicks forward opt-out of his contract following this season. There will be demand for Melo, but likely not at the price point he desires:
Sources close to the situation say that the Knicks are likely the only would-be suitor for Anthony willing to meet the full $22.45 million per year starting price on a new contract. Teams like the Chicago Bulls and L.A. Lakers that are constantly mentioned as possible free agent destinations are said to be unwilling to go that high in a deal for Anthony, who will turn 30 in May.
The Bulls are expected to be able to clear about $14 million in salary cap space if they use their one-time amnesty roster cut on Carlos Boozer’s final $16.8 million contract year. To get in range of the full MAX-level offer the Knicks can put on the table, the Bulls would have to basically give away an additional player like Taj Gibson or Joakim Noah to create the room to sign Anthony to a deal in that price range.
The Lakers may have enough salary cap space to sign Anthony to a full MAX offer, but that would all but exhaust their salary cap space and the word is the Lakers have eyes on a few smaller and slightly cheaper free agents to surround guard Kobe Bryant.
New York can give Melo the most money. And by most, I’m talking 5 years, $129 million.
Other teams can offer him a measly 4 years, $96 million.
What’s the soon-to-be 30-year-old Melo worth? I think 4 years, $70 million is a fair offer. That’s about $17-$18 mil per season. But I’m thinking pragmatically, a trait most GMs lack.
The Celtics will gain significant cap flexibility this summer, but I don’t see Melo landing Boston.
(photoshop courtesy Sean Reilly)