A Study in Contrasts

It is hard not to combine the news of the Rangers amnesty buyout of Brad Richards with the news of Carmelo Anthony’s opt-out of his Knicks’ contract. Both teams play in the same building and both teams report ultimately to the same owner. Furthermore, both players wanted to come to New York and get paid big bucks.

Richards was an unrestricted free agent who signed a massive nine-year deal for $60-million. The deal was heavily front-loaded because the Rangers thought they could let Richards retire at some point down the line for a minimal cap hit. But, those rules changed after the last lockout and Richards diminished play combined with the huge hit the Rangers would take if he retired in a few seasons made a buyout necessary. It’s the bad part of the business and while some would argue that Richards was overpaid, I would ask when was the last time the Rangers went to two conference finals in three years?

Anthony could have made big bucks as a free agent, but he was afraid of NBA rules changing and ending up with a smaller contract, so he forced his way to New York and the Knicks were forced to give up a ton for him. I can’t blame him for that, the Knicks made the bonehead move. But now Anthony has opted out of his current deal against the Knicks’ wishes and they have a choice to make. They can cave in yet again and offer Melo max money,  or recognize that this represents a very unique opportunity.

The only way Anthony makes max money is in a sign and trade and the Knicks could get some significant assets back in that scenario. How about the Bulls’ two first rounders (mid teens) this year? How about Houston’s first rounder (25th) and a player?  Letting Melo walk would allow the Knicks to clear a ton of cap space for 2015 and perhaps get some assets back. If you think you can win a title with him you don’t do it, but do you? Do you really?

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  • blmeanie  On June 24, 2014 at 7:23 am

    yeah, I’ve been waiting for you to post on this. “Anthony” – I had to pause and think who you were talking about, never hear him called that, lol.

    As a non-fan of the Knicks, I hope they sign him to a max deal, please please.

    Heard a stat last night on the drive home, in last 30 years of NBA, nobody playing 30 plus minutes per game , nobody, has bigger dropoff in shooting percentage from first quarter to 4th quarter. Melo has 52% shooting percentage in first quarter in his career and 26% in 4th quarter during his career. It was in response to a caller saying the Hawks needed a “clutch” player like Melo and they should go after him.

    I cringe when I read people say the Celtics should go after him too.

    He is heading towards the decline of his career, he appears to me to becoming a jumpshooter and defense is an issue, a max deal is crazy and whichever team does it, will lose in the end IMO.

  • blmeanie  On June 24, 2014 at 6:29 pm


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