There are two types of players in the NBA. Those that are “max contract” players and those that are not. And a whole lot of that depends on a numerous amount of factors — most of which them fall within age, potential and how ever many “prime” years they have left.
Though, there are exceptions. See Kobe Bryant, and dumb teams that are willing to recklessly overpay for “star-ish” types of talents.
And for Carmelo Anthony, who is slated to become perhaps the most coveted unrestricted free agent this summer, he isn’t the slam dunk answer to that question that he once was. He still has potential to get better (especially defensively) and is still in his “prime,” however, he just turned 30-years-old. At that age, players usually have already have seen their better years (individually) of their career. Again, usually.
For Anthony, that may ring true.
There are two numbers to think about as Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony prepares to enter free agency: 30 years old and $22.5 million.
The first is Anthony’s age. The second is the amount of money he is eligible to receive as a first year salary in a new deal. That figure is not exclusive to the Knicks; he can receive that from any team he signs with either as an unrestricted free agent or in a sign and trade deal.
To run the numbers, Anthony can get a maximum five-year, $129 million deal from the Knicks, or he can get a four-year $96 million deal from another team. For most players that fifth year is somewhat moot as the expectation is they’d get that money in their next deal; however in Anthony’s case that fifth year might really matter as its unlikely anyone is giving a 35-year old another $25-$28 million, although crazier things have happened.
I mean, sure. Anthony is probably worth the first three years of any max deal, however what happens when he gets to the age of 33 and simply cannot shake his defenders as he can now? What then?
That’s something that the New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets and any other team(s) that will be pursuing the perennial All-Star this summer need to answer.
At the end of the day, someone is going to pay the man. The true question, though, is whether or not he’s going to be worth it? And quite frankly, we simply cannot answer that today. We can’t even answer that tomorrow, or in a year. Sometimes you have to roll the dice and take a chance.
And someone this summer will do exactly that on Carmelo Anthony.