Newsday's Al Iannazzone takes you inside the Knicks.
The overseas option for Melo and Amar'e
Roger Mason Jr. said his cell phone was blowing up when the news broke about Deron Williams' agreement to play in Turkey next season if the NBA lockout isn't resolved by September.
While the Nets can only stand by helplessly as their cornerstone -- who has an opt-out in 2012 -- trots off to Turkey, the Knicks can't do anything about it, either, if Carmelo Anthony or Amar'e Stoudemire have a similar interest in playing overseas.
Mason Jr., a vice president with the players' union, told us today that both Knicks stars have contacted him about Williams' situation and inquired about the rules and insurance information.
Would the Knicks' biggest stars really consider going over to Europe if the NBA season is compromised?
"I can see anybody doing it," said Mason Jr. said. "This is what people have to understand. It's definitely about earning a living, but we've already been so blessed, a lot of guys love the game and want to be able to compete . . . I've talked to a lot of the star players, Chris Paul, Amar'e, Melo, I think that those guys are open-minded to everything."
But it is less likely that players with large contracts such as Anthony, who signed a three-year, $65M extension in February, and Stoudemire, whose five-year, $99.7M contract isn't fully insured, would take the risk to play overseas during a lockout.
Stoudemire's agent, Happy Walters, told Newsday that Stoudemire "is not even considering something like this right now."
Mason Jr. admitted that Williams' move comes a bit early in the process. "First-things-first, though, we want to see if we can make a deal," he said. "And then if that doesn't happen, then I think the next step will be guys exploring those options."