Carmelo Anthony has made a decision in the knick of time…
The 30-year-old half-Puerto Rican basketball star has signed a new five-year contract with the New York Knicks worth $124 million, $5 million less than the maximum, according to ESPN New York.
Anthony’s deal also includes a rare no-trade clause and has an early termination option after the fourth year, according to league sources.
He was eligible to sign a contract for a maximum of $129 million but agreed to a deal worth $5 million less to give the Knicks more financial flexibility to pursue free agents in future summers.
Anthony will make a maximum salary of $22.458 million in the first year of his contract.
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.
This is pivotal for the Knicks because they hope to attract big-name free agents in the summer of 2015. Anthony’s taking less than the maximum in the second year of his contract will give them extra money to do so.
Anthony also has an early termination option after the fourth year of his contract, sources say. That will allow Anthony to test free agency in the summer of 2018 if he so chooses.
In addition, league sources confirmed Anthony has a no-trade clause in his contract, which is rare in the NBA.
Anthony first mentioned in February the possibility that he would accept a contract worth less than the maximum in free agency.
“Without a doubt,” Anthony said while in New Orleans for All-Star Weekend. “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 [Knicks owner] Mr. [James] Dolan‘s steps saying take my money and let’s build something strong over here.'”
The Knicks hope to be able to attract top-level talent to New York in the summer of 2015, when players such as Rajon Rondo, Marc Gasol and Roy Hibbert may test the market.