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Carmelo Anthony is one of the best players in the NBA, and he is certainly the best on the Knicks. For many it's a no-brainer that they offer him a max contract to bring him back.
Despite Melo's elite status though, it's never smart to give up that kind of contract—five years and just under $130 million—without at least thinking things over.
On the surface, it seems normal to go to those levels to keep a player of his caliber, but in reality no NBA team has made the Finals in the past four years with a single player on their roster making more than $20 million.
By comparison, Melo would be averaging $26 million throughout the duration of his contract. No team in NBA history has ever won a title with a single player making more than $25 million. Even in the most recent years the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Tim Duncan have had to take cuts to get close to a title.
As it stands, Anthony would be the league's highest-paid player for the duration of his contract. The only players in the modern era to have ever won a championship whilst holding that title are either in the Hall of Fame or heading there as soon as they're eligible.
The San Antonio Spurs reminded us this season that it's the overall team chemistry that counts, and spending almost half of your cap space on one player—a flawed player at that—should not be taken lightly.
Unfortunately for the Knicks, their lack of draft picks in the near future makes keeping Melo their only real option, unless they can bring in a sign-and-trade package who will kick-start a rebuild.
Their troubled recent history has taken out any choice they have in the matter. They'll have to pay Melo and hope that the fact their owner is willing to go deeper into the luxury tax than the likes of the Spurs will help them build a contender.
In an ideal world, multi-time champions Jackson and Fisher will convince Anthony to take a cut with the promise of titles on the way, but it's not something to bank on.