New York Knicks franchise player Carmelo Anthony has the option to opt out of his contract after the 2013-2014 season, but as early as now, he’s telling the New Yorkers that he’s leaning towards staying with the franchise.
“I’m not going nowhere,” Anthony said in an interview with Bloomberg Television and reported by Newsday.com.
“That is one of the reasons why I wanted to come here to New York, just so I could take on those pressures and those challenges,'' Anthony said. "A lot of people do not like to deal with the pressure. A lot of people do not know how to deal with the challenges they face. To me, it is everyday life.''
The pressure of New York came the day he was traded to the Big Apple. The 2011 Knicks team was gutted to the core in acquiring the six-time NBA All-Star, as the Knicks traded away Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, three draft picks and $3M cash to the Denver Nuggets.
Anthony is due to make $21.4M in 2013-2014 and $23.5M in the 2014-2015 season, according to Hoopshype.com. The latter year, however, he has a player option and can choose to be a free agent.
One of the interesting storylines this offseason is how the Los Angeles Lakers might have cap room in time for the 2014 free agent sweepstakes—depending on Melo’s decision, he could be part of that free agent class and could be one of the Lakers’ free agent target.
However, staying with the Knicks is the most financially rewarding option for Anthony. He can get a maximum 5-year contract worth roughly $129M if he stays with New York. Contract extensions can be done as early as February 2014.
Roster-wise, Anthony, who led the league in scoring last year with at 28.7 points per game, believes that the Knicks is an improved team in the new season.
"I actually see this team being better than last year,'' said Anthony. “That's just my opinion, that's the way that we feel. And if we feel that way as a unit, then there's nothing that can come between us.''
In the offseason, the Knicks acquired Andrea Bargnani in a trade with the Toronto Raptors and signed free agents Beno Udrih and Metta World Peace.
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