Free agency has begun

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

With the strike of midnight, it is time to fret over other people's millions of dollars. Teams and players may now prepare contracts to be signed on or after July 10.

Carmelo Anthony has become an unrestricted free agent. His plans for this week are sketched out here. I was asked twice today what I hope Melo chooses, and both times I said, by rank:

- To stay with the Knicks on a contract all parties agree is helpfully below maximum value.

- To leave the Knicks for a team-- the Bulls or Rockets seem like possibilities-- in position to complete a sign-and-trade sending New York helpful contracts, players, and picks.

- To leave New York for a team with cap space, netting the Knicks nothing in return.

- To stay with the Knicks for the maximum salary or insignificantly below it.

On a different day, I might reverse those last two, because sometimes, fuck it, I just wanna continue having Melo around. I really enjoyed his last season and I'd love to see him try to reproduce and build upon it with a winning team.

Melo will choose what he pleases. Phil Jackson will, I hope and increasingly trust, construct that winning team from any of the above four scenarios, if given the time.

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Behold the Eye of Renaldo. I just made it.

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Cole Aldrich has become an unrestricted free agent. I hope the Knicks can bring Aldrich back on a small contract. Cole Aldrich gets shit done.

Toure' Murry has become an unrestricted free agent because he did not receive a qualifying offer. I haven't figured out why the Knicks didn't just offer Murry the QO if they want him back, which they justifiably might not with 91,400 guards on the roster as is.

Kenyon Martin has become an unrestricted free agent. The Knicks, it appears, can use early Bird rights to sign Martin to a new contract exceeding the salary cap if they wish.

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Jeremy Tyler, Lamar Odom, and Shannon Brown have contracts that become guaranteed in August and September if they remain on the roster.

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The Knicks are reportedly interested in signing Pau Gasol. Also Melo. Mostly Melo.

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Sham SportsSalary Cap FAQ. Useful websites for us both.

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I am eating pepitas off my tummy. I just wrote myself a qualifying offer on a piece of paper. I have rejected it.

Free agency! There will be a new, general thread roughly every day or two with new threads every time something significant breaks. Please be kind to one another.

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