The New York Knicks had a busy Sunday, but had little control over what was going on. Three of their highest paid players, Carmelo Anthony, Andrea Bargnani and Amar’e Stoudemire had to make decisions about their player options. All three made the decisions many people expected them to make months ago
Bargnani will opt in to his 2014-2015 contract with the Knicks, accepting the $11.5 million player option he had for the season. Stoudemire will do the same, accepting the $23.4 million player option he was owed. It is no surprise Bargnani and Stoudemire will be opting in, as they wouldn’t receive anywhere near that type of money on the open market.
As for Anthony, he did the opposite an opted out of his 2014-2015 player option with the Knicks, forgoing the $23.3 million he would have earned for the season. He will become an unrestricted free agent and is free to sign wherever he pleases.
Knicks President Phil Jackson had hoped he could convince Anthony to opt into the final year of his contract, but this is something Anthony seems to have planned to do for a while. Anthony can sign a max-contract of $129 million over five seasons with the Knicks. The only way he can get that with a new team is if said team and the Knicks execute a sign-and-trade. Otherwise, the most Anthony can get on the open market is $96 million over four years.
The next couple of weeks will be very important for the Knicks, as the near future of the franchise hangs in the balance with if they are able to convince Anthony to come back, and at what price.