Amar’e Stoudemire plans to play beyond current contract with Knicks


Amar’e Stoudemire is in the final year of a contract with the Knicks, one that will pay him more than $23 million for the upcoming season, but was uninsurable due to his history of serious injuries.

New York is undoubtedly looking forward to having Stoudemire’s deal come off the books at the end of the upcoming campaign, since it no longer reflects the level of contribution he provides to the team, and hasn’t now for the past three seasons.

But Stoudemire claims to be feeling healthy once again, and if he can stay that way, he’ll attempt to continue his NBA career — either on a new and substantially discounted contract with the Knicks, or perhaps somewhere else.

From Peter Botte of the New York Daily News:

“I feel great. My body feels great. I worked extremely hard this offseason to be in top shape and be there full-time. But my body feels great. I feel confident. Hopefully it pans out well,” Stoudemire said. …

Even with Carmelo Anthony’s new $124 million contract, Stoudemire remains the Knicks’ highest-paid player this season at $23.4 million. The Knicks are counting on his and Andrea Bargnani’s expiring deals for increased salary-cap space next summer, but Stoudemire added Tuesday that he expects to play beyond this contract.

“For sure, this is definitely not the last year for myself. I feel like the work I put in this offseason and the way I feel now is great motivation for me to continue to play,” Stoudemire said. “I want to be healthy regardless. Whether it is my last year or not, my children (are) excited to watch me play, my family still loves watching basketball and seeing me out there, so I do it for them. I continue to work hard to try to improve every single season. I battled through injuries, I persevered, stayed strong and stayed positive to be successful. With all the hard work, I am sure it will pay off this season.”

Stoudemire was limited in the first part of last season, but finished strong, appearing in the starting lineup in 20 of New York’s final 22 games while averaging in the neighborhood of 16 points and 28 minutes during that span.

Remaining healthy has been Stoudemire’s biggest challenge throughout what’s still been a largely stellar career that’s now entering its 13th season. If his injury issues have truly become a thing of the past, Stoudemire will have offers long after his current contract is finished, albeit at a dollar amount that will be much more palatable for teams, and in line with his current level of production.

Kevin Durant is right, top NBA players are underpaid with max salaries


It’s kind of hard to get your head around this in the sense that the NBA minimum rookie salary is likely more than most of us will make in a year ever. Let alone saying a guy making $20 million or more is underpaid.

But the NBA’s true elite max players are underpaid.

Not your Gordon Hayward kind of max deals, I’m talking the games real draws — LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and a handful of others. It’s not a question of what Kobe might bring the Lakers on the court anymore, it’s a question of what he brings the Lakers as a business — filled expensive seats and luxury boxes, sponsors flocking to the team, frankly that massive Lakers cable deal doesn’t exist without him in Lakers colors. Even has the highest paid player in the league, Kobe is likely brings in three times his salary to the Lakers.

LeBron James has hinted at some in the union wanting to do away with max contracts, and Kevin Durant chimed in on that Tuesday, as reported by Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman.

“Look at it like this,” Durant explained. “Kobe Bryant brings in a lot of money to Los Angeles, that downtown area. People go to watch the Lakers. Clippers are getting up there, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and those guys are bringing in a lot of money as well. Look at Cleveland, look at Miami when LeBron was there. These guys are worth more than what they are making because of the amount of money they bring to that area. That’s a conversation you can always have, but until it’s changed you never know what will happen to it.”

Kobe has said the same thing.

They’re right, the elite players in the NBA are underpaid, which allows for a real (but shrinking) “middle class” in the NBA.

If the max contract is removed what you will see is a handful of very highly paid guys and a lot of other guys on minimum or near that deals, there will be no middle class of the NBA, few guys getting $4 million to $8 million a year. But some NBA players want that max contract idea removed.

Some owners are okay with this. Why? Because if you really want to do away with “super teams” of players getting together (like with LeBron in Miami and now Cleveland) then you let LeBron get paid what the market will bear. In LeBron’s case that would be north of $40 million a year right now, and with a salary cap of $63 million this season you simply couldn’t put a good team around him anymore. Even with the cap going up under the new TV deal a GM would have one hand tied behind his back (and as that cap goes up the value of LeBron/Durant/etc. to a franchise goes up).

My guess is in the next deal you may see the percentages of the cap allowed to go to a max player go up, but I doubt the max salary number goes away. The NBA owners also don’t want to be handing out baseball-sized contracts.

Chandler Parsons says he ‘would have accepted a lot less money early in the process’ to remain with Rockets


The NBA’s free agent period is beyond frenzied, and though there’s a 10-day moratorium on signings that begins on July 1, discussions, negotiations, and agreements in principles are reached — often times in the earliest days of the proceedings.

This past offseason was crazier than some, primarily due to the simultaneous availability of multiple star-level talents. Teams (and players) were in a holding pattern while LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh made decisions about their respective futures, while Carmelo Anthony methodically went on tour to try to determine what would ultimately be the best place to play for the next four or five seasons.

The Rockets are one of the more legitimate options for free agents to consider at the moment, with two stars in Dwight Howard and James Harden already in place. But because all teams need to prioritize which players they want the most, there was a window open for Houston to lose one of its own free agents, and the Mavericks swooped in when the timing was just right.

Chandler Parsons agreed to a three-year offer sheet with Dallas for $46 million — one that the Rockets decided they weren’t going to match, even though the team’s GM said all along that he would do exactly that. Parsons, however, admits that he would have taken less money over more years had Houston been willing to commit to him earlier in the free agent process.

From Marc Stein of

Sources say Parsons’ camp tried to convince the Rockets to agree to a four-year, $48 million deal before it even got that far. But Houston, hoping to give itself every chance of making a splashy July signing and then matching on Parsons to form its very own Fab Four of sorts, stunned many league observers by consenting in June to decline Parsons’ $964,750 option for the 2014-15 season and make him a restricted free agent.

“Daryl told me this process is going to be frustrating and you’re going to read a lot of stuff you’re not going to like, but at the end of the day, you’ve worked hard for this and you’ve earned this,” Parsons said. “He warned me it could get ugly at times once the media gets involved and that you’re gonna see people say you’re not worth this or you’re not worth that. [Morey] just sat me down and said, ‘Go out and sign the best contract you can. Just know in the back of your head that we’re gonna match the contract.’

“Dan was trying to negotiate something with them early, and, to be perfectly honest, I would have accepted a lot less money early in the process to stay in Houston. But they told me they wanted to wait for the whole LeBron and Melo situation [to play out], which I understood. I just listened to them. I signed the best deal I could for my own career.”

This comes from a fantastic, longer piece on how everything unfolded between the Rockets, the Mavericks and Parsons in free agency this summer.

Rockets GM Daryl Morey had to take a shot at Anthony, of course, and was reportedly extremely close to convincing Chris Bosh to come to Houston, before Miami stepped up with a full max-level contract to keep him in town.

The cost of failing in these pursuits was the loss of Parsons.

Dwight Howard said Parsons leaving won’t affect the team at all, but the true impact of the organization’s decision won’t be known until later on in the season.

Carmelo Anthony says he never thought about NBA’s new TV deal when re-signing with Knicks


When LeBron James left the Heat to return to the Cavaliers this summer, he only signed a deal that is for a maximum of two seasons — and the second year is a player option.

It wasn’t because James has any intention of playing the free agent market on an annual basis (thank god). It was because he’s looking to make as much money as possible.

James was well aware of the impending new broadcast rights deal, which became official on Monday and featured numbers more astronomical than had previously been projected. The salary cap will skyrocket, and James knows that max contracts will, as well. He wants as big a piece of that pie as the market will allow, and being the game’s best player and one who immediately makes any team a championship contender, he deserves it.

But all players don’t feel the same way.

Carmelo Anthony could have signed a similar two-year deal when he re-upped with the Knicks. He, however, was content with taking five years worth of guaranteed money near the current league maximum.

From Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN New York:

“I never thought about it,” Anthony, speaking after Knicks practice, said about taking a shorter contract. “I never thought about a two-year deal. I didn’t want to have to go back and do what I did this summer, not at all.”

Anthony re-signed with the New York Knicks during the summer to a five-year, $124 million deal. The new television contract takes effect starting with the 2016-17 season. …

“I signed my deal. I’m good. The organization is good,” Anthony said. “We moved forward and everybody is in a good place. So I don’t think there’s even no need to discuss it.”

Anthony is in a slightly different phase of his career than is James. At 30 years of age and after having played 11 NBA seasons, he may be headed for a decreased level of production over the next couple of seasons, and may not have been able to maximize his earnings more than he could with a five-year deal right now.

Anthony has already amassed over $135 million in career earnings, and his new contract will come close to doubling that. It’s more than likely that he won’t have any regrets.

Carmelo Anthony ‘would love’ to play in 2016 Olympics, but isn’t sure yet


LeBron James is “nowhere near” a decision.

Kevin Durant wants to play.

When it comes to the 2016 Rio Olympics, Carmelo Anthony is splitting the difference between two other NBA star forwards.

Melo, via Fred Kerber of the New York Post:

“I haven’t made a decision. I would love to play. But I haven’t made a decision of what I would want to do,” Anthony said Saturday. “If I do play, that will be my final one. That will be four Olympics for me. I want to play. I haven’t talked to nobody about it yet. I heard KD [Kevin Durant] said he wanted to play. I know LeBron [James] said that’s too far ahead, which it is. … I would love the chance to get back out there.”

Melo – potentially in addition to LeBron – would become the first player to play for the U.S. in four Olympics. Currently, Melo and LeBron (2004, 2008 and 2012) are tied with David Robinson (1988, 1992 and 1996) at three a piece.

That’s a lot, and it would be difficult for Melo, who will be 32 during the 2016 Games, to keep suiting up. When the 28-man player pool came out in January, I ranked Melo the 16th most likely to make the Olympic roster.

It’s significant that Melo sounds so interested, but as he says, it’s too far out for him to commit – especially at his age.