Though I do remember that he took some heat around here when they made that trade. Questioning why SnT him, let him come to the Knicks in FA so we could keep our players. Melo did what was best for him and got the extra money same as Lin.
It's also not completely up to the players, they hire agents to advise them and in Lin's case because this was the first big contract he signed he probably relied on their advice exclusively.
....based on the notion that the Knicks would match anything, but we can thank the new tougher CBA for that. Thank the Clevelands, Milwaukees for complaining about not being able to compete financially.