High-scoring All-Star Carmelo Anthony has re-signed with the New York Knicks, giving team president Phil Jackson the foundation piece he desired in his quest to bring a long-awaited title to Madison Square Garden.
Terms of the deal, announced by the National Basketball Association team on Sunday, were not disclosed.
Madison Square Garden is the Mecca of basketball and I am surrounded by the greatest fans in the world.
Under NBA salary cap rules, Anthony could sign a five-year contract for as much as $129 million, but he may elect to take less in order to give the Knicks more budget room to try and improve the team by shopping for other free agents.
Anthony, who averaged 27.4 points last season for the Knicks was the biggest free agent on the market following the decision by LeBron James to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“I am a New York Knick at heart,” Anthony said. “I am looking forward to continue my career in Orange & Blue and to work with Phil Jackson, a champion who builds championship teams. Madison Square Garden is the Mecca of basketball and I am surrounded by the greatest fans in the world.”
The Knicks have not won an NBA crown since 1973, when Jackson was a defensive-minded forward on the team.
Anthony opted out
Thirty-year-old Anthony became a free agent by opting out of the final two years of a contract that would have paid him more than $23 million next season.
Anthony, 6 feet 8 inches, 240-pounds, holds averages of 26.5 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 226 games since coming to the Knicks in a three-team deal in February 2011.
This past season, Anthony posted the franchise’s greatest single-game scoring performance – and a Madison Square Garden record – with 62 points versus Charlotte.
The re-signing of Anthony was top priority for Jackson, who last month made his first key personnel move by obtaining point guard Jose Calderon of Spain in a six-player trade that sent centre Tyson Chandler to the Dallas Mavericks.