NY Knicks Reportedly Willing to Let Carmelo Anthony Build His Own Team in 2015. The New York Knicks are already starting to think about how to keep Carmelo Anthony once his massive contract expires. Melo has a player option after the 2013-14 season comes to a close, and he is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in 2015 even if he chooses to stay with the team for another season.
If he's willing to wait that long and doesn't consider leaving in 2014 for a team like, say, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Knicks are prepared to make it worth his while.
According to Hoopsworld's Steve Kyler, New York is set to let Anthony pull a Dwyane Wade:
On the Anthony front, there is a chance he looks at greener pastures in 2014, but sources close to the process say the Knicks have already let Anthony know that their books will be basically clear in 2015 and he can pick his teammates much as Wade did in Miami.
With the New York market behind him and the almost unlimited checkbook of the Knicks, Anthony will have a lot of options in 2015 and while teams like the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers might be tempting in 2014, Anthony has a lot of influence in New York and they are willing to let him build his own team in NYC in 2015.
There's a chance the books could be completely cleared in 2015, allowing 'Melo and the rest of the New York decision-makers to start from scratch.
According to Spotrac, Pablo Prigioni has a non-guaranteed contract for 2015-16, while J.R. Smith and Raymond Felton both have player options. Tim Hardaway Jr.'s contract has a club option, and no one else is signed that far into the future.
Even if all four of those players return, the Knicks will only have a little under $14 million committed, leaving them plenty of cap room to work with.
A lot can change between now and then, but the 2015 free-agent class is set up to be a pretty strong one. Anthony, LaMarcus Aldridge, Andrew Bynum, Marc Gasol, DeAndre Jordan, Tony Parker, Zach Randolph and Rajon Rondo could all be unrestricted free agents. Even more stars will hit the market as restricted free agents.
Things worked out fairly well for Wade when he got to pick his teammates.
Could a similar promise be enough to keep Anthony in his hometown?