Jim Boeheim believes Carmelo Anthony is open to taking less money if it means he can win.
"In my opinion he wants to win," Syracuse’s head coach told ESPNChicago.com about his former player. "I think that's the bottom line. He realizes that this is his peak; three or four years ahead, where's the best place to go and win? I think he'll take a little less money. I don't think that's that big of an issue. Obviously money is important to all of us.
“But I think Carmelo wants to win,” he said. “I think he wants to get into a place where he feels they have a legitimate chance to win. And I think that will be the driving [force], the thing that drives his decision. But obviously he's enjoyed New York, he likes his time there. But I think he wants to win."
Phil Jackson has said he would like to see Carmelo take less money to remain a Knick and help the team add other players. But what Boeheim is talking about is whether Melo would take significantly less money to sign with another team.
Anthony can sign a five-year, $129.1 million deal with the Knicks. Anthony can receive up to a max of $95.9 million over four years from other teams outside of New York. And if the Heat were able to create cap space to accommodate the Big Three and Melo, Anthony might have to sign a deal in the range of $55 million to $60 million over four years if Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh opt out of their deals.
The chance to win a title could offset how much Melo wants to get paid.
“I have no doubt that he will leave some money,” Boeheim said in another interview with ESPN Chicago 1000. “How much money is involved I don’t know that, I don’t understand all the details. If you are talking about he is going to make $120 million over the next four years and he is only going to make [$100 million] in Chicago, I think he would take that.
“That’s $20 million, still a lot of money but I would think he would do that. Again, it’s hard to walk away from a lot of money. Not a lot of people ever do.”
If Anthony wants to team up with LeBron James, who opted out of his contract Tuesday, and a team can accommodate the two, Melo will have to take less than what the Knicks can offer.
Boeheim says he has spoken to Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau in the past about Anthony and thinks the two would be a great fit. But Boeheim also knows there are no guarantees.
“We have talked about it on many different occasions about his legacy,” Boeheim said. “He went to New York, thought he was going to be a winner and it really looked like it, when they got [Amar’e] Stoudemire, it looked like this could be a powerful twosome. Amar’e has never been healthy. It just didn’t work out.
“Sometimes when you go someplace, it doesn’t always work out,” he said. “If Melo came to Chicago and Derrick Rose got hurt again, what would happen? Who knows. There’s no certainty in this thing. I would hope Melo gets some place where he has a chance to win.”