Carmelo Anthony is remaining in New York after last night confirming he has agreed a new contract with the Knicks.
The deal is worth approximately $120 million over five years, likely more than $122 million but short of the $129 million mark for a max contract, but enough to make him the highest-paid player in the NBA.
Anthony was one of the most sought after free agents this summer and was courted by a number of teams, meeting with the Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers. But the seven-time All-Star deci-ded to return to the Knicks, who he’s played for since being traded from the Denver Nuggets in 2011.
“This organisation has supported me and in return, I want to stay and build here with this city and my team,” Anthony said in a statement. “At this pivotal juncture in my career, I owed it to myself and my family to explore all of the options available to me. Through it all, my heart never wavered.”
Anthony led the league last season by playing 38.7 minutes a game. He averaged 27.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists a game.
“I will always remember this chapter in my life,” he added. “In the end, I am a New York Knick at heart. I am looking forward to continue my career in Orange & Blue and to work with Phil Jackson, a champion who builds championship teams.”
Chicago had focused all their attention on adding the forward to their roster. The Bulls, however, could only offer $75m over four years, around $50m less in guaranteed money than the Knicks’ deal.
Chicago reached the postseason as the fourth seed with a 48-34 record, despite not having injured point guard Derrick Rose for most of the year. Rose is expected to be ready for next season and with Def-ensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah, the Bulls will be contenders in a weak Eastern Conference. Had Anthony joined, they would have been favourites in the conference.
New York, meanwhile, retain their franchise cornerstone with team president Jackson delivering his first big influential move.
He still has work to do to get the Knicks back in contention after the team failed to reach the playoffs last year, finishing with a losing record at 37-45. Jackson might have to wait until next summer for a major shake-up when New York will have cap flexibility with Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani’s contracts coming off the books.
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