Less money is more for Melo, Knicks in '15


Carmelo Anthony's contract with the Knicks is worth $124 million over five years, sources told ESPN New York.

That's $5 million less than the maximum. Here's what that discount means for the Knicks:

A little more $ to spend in 2015: Carmelo's contract starts at the maximum salary of $22.458 million. League sources told ESPN New York that Anthony's contract will increase "slightly" in the second year but less than the maximum increase of 7.5 percent.

If Anthony were to accept a maximum raise at 7.5 percent, his salary in Year 2 of his contract would be $24.1 million.

His exact salary figure for Year 2 of the deal is unavailable at this point. But let's say that Anthony accepted a salary increase of three percent. That would make his second-year salary $23.2 million.

Anthony's salary, combined with the salaries of Jose Calderon, J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert (qualifying offer), Tim Hardaway Jr. (team option) and Shane Larkin (team option) equal $43.4 million. Including a projected salary the Knicks would owe to their first-round pick and cap holds for five other roster spots, the Knicks would have $47.6 million in committed salary for 2015-16.

Assuming the salary cap is set at $65 million, which is a conservative estimate, the Knicks would have $17.4 million to spend in free agency. This is important because a player such as Marc Gasol may be angling for a max salary that summer. The max for a player with Gasol's service time started at $16.4 million in 2014-15. That number is likely to increase next season.

Big power with no-trade clause: One of the most important aspects of Anthony's deal is the no-trade clause. These clauses are extremely rare in the NBA. Entering the 2014 offseason, only four players had no-trade clauses in their contracts: Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Dirk Nowitzki.

It's unclear whether there are any stipulations in Anthony's no-trade clause, but it's fair to assume that the clause allows Anthony to veto any attempt by the Knicks to trade him. So if the Knicks for some reason wanted to move Anthony via a trade, they'd have to do so with his blessing.

The early termination in 2018-19: Anthony can opt out of the fifth and final year of his contract with the Knicks. So we could be facing the same Melodrama in the summer of 2018 that we dealt with this summer. But if we had to guess, Anthony won't exercise this opt-out.

Here's why: Anthony will make more than $25 million in the fifth and final year of his Knicks contract. It's highly unlikely that he'd be able to command more money than that on the open market at 35 years old, entering his 16th year in the NBA.

Question: How do you view the pay cut Anthony took?

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