Carmelo Anthony‘s future has been one of the main topics of debate this NBA season. Will he stay in New York beyond 2014? Will he be traded before the deadline? What kind of money will he command in free agency next summer? You name it, it’s been discussed.
But now it appears that Anthony’s future isn’t so complicated after all. The All-Star forward did an interview on Friday, where he made some strong comments about his future with the Knicks. During the interview, he even mentioned taking a pay cut to help the building process in New York:
“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 Dolan’s steps saying take my money and let’s build something strong over here.'”
Melo would go on to say that it’s not about the money and that he knows he’s going to get paid either way.
So it begs the question — is he just saying the right things?
Earlier in the year, it seemed that Anthony’s decision to opt out of his contract following the 2014 season was purely money-driven. If he opts out and then re-signs with the Knicks, he stands to potentially put about $30 million more in his bank account.
The All-Star forward also added that he knows he’s not going to get traded:
“If they feel they want to get rid of me, we’d already have had that conversation. I don’t think that. I know for a fact I’m not being traded, and I know for a fact I’m not going in there saying I want to be traded.”
If you’re a Knicks fan, this is somewhat encouraging news. Melo sounds like he wants to stay in New York long-term and he might possibly do it for a lot less money than he’s making now. The only problem people are pointing to, is that the Knicks are already in deep salary cap trouble for next season due to large contracts like Amar’e Stoudemire‘s and Andrea Bargnani‘s. Unless they can deal one of those guys away, they’re still going to be in the same position next season. Regardless of whether or not Melo plays for less.
Still, wouldn’t it be interesting to see Anthony agree to a less lucrative contract to help his team in the long run? It would definitely change the perception that he’s a ‘me first’ player who cares about nothing but scoring.