Carmelo Anthony has stated that he would take a pay cut with the New York Knicks to help the team build toward a championship.
Well, Knicks president Phil Jackson expects to hold the superstar forward to his word.
Speaking to the New York press on Wednesday, Jackson cited players such as Tim Duncan with the San Antonio Spurs, and the Miami Heat's Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh as successful examples of superstars who’ve signed for less than the league maximum to chase a championship. The Zen Master hopes that Melo will follow suit to taking less money as he said he would back in February.
“That’s, I think, a precedent that’s been set,” Jackson said speaking of players who have restructured their deals to allow their teams more financial flexibility to win. “Because the way things have been structured now financially for teams is that it’s really hard to have one or two top stars or max players, and to put together a team with enough talent, you’ve got to have people making sacrifices financially. So we hope that Carmelo is true to his word and we understand what it’s going to take and we will present that to him at that time.”
During the NBA All-Star Weekend in February, Anthony expressed that he’d be willing to take a lower salary to remain a Knick.
"Without a doubt,’’ Anthony told the New York Daily News. "Any opportunity I have to build that up in New York, I’d do it. I told people all the time, if it takes me taking a pay cut, I’ll be the first one on [Knicks owner] Mr. [James] Dolan’s steps saying: ‘Take my money and let’s build something strong over here.'"
Anthony, who sources say wants the Dwight Howard-type of full free agency experience, can opt out of the final year of his contract on July 1. The Knicks can offer him a maximum deal of $129.1 million over five years. The most other teams can offer is four years and $95.8 million.
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(Photos from left: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, Harry How/Getty Images)