NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Nobody knows anything.
That should be the mantra from now on when it comes to prognosticating about Carmelo Anthony’s future.
The Knicks’ leading scorer told reporters during All-Star game media availability on Friday in New Orleans that he would take a pay cut if it meant helping New York improve its roster in the future.
So much for Anthony supposedly being dead-set on testing free agency this summer. Right?
“Without a doubt,” Anthony said. “Any opportunity I have to build that up in New York, I’d do it. I told people all the time, always say, if it takes me taking a pay cut, I’ll be the first one on Mr. [James] Dolan’s steps saying: ‘Take my money and let’s build something strong over here.'”
Those comments seem to fly in the face of popular opinion, which has stated repeatedly that Anthony could seek his big dollars elsewhere. That’s mostly because the Knicks have been a train wreck this season, going 20-32 prior to the All-Star break, coupled with the fact that during his tenure he has failed to carry them in the manner many feel he should — like really deep into the playoffs.
The Knicks can offer Anthony $30 million more than any team. He can receive around $96 million over four years if he chooses to go elsewhere, so it stands to reason he’d be smart to stay in New York if money is his bottom line.
However, he may now able to enjoy the best of both worlds — a massive contract and the Knicks building around him.
If Anthony is indeed true to his word and willing to give the Knicks a hometown discount they would be in a better position to add impact players, especially since they will have salary cap flexibility in the summer of 2015 once the contracts of Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler and Andrea Bargnani expire.
“As far as the money, it don’t really matter to me,” Anthony said. “If I go somewhere else, I get paid. If I stay in New York, I get paid. As far as the money goes, it’s not my concern. My concern is to be able to compete on a high level, a championship level, coming in this last stretch of my career. I want to compete at that level. ”
Where this will go from here is anyone’s guess — and they will probably be wrong.
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