NBA Free Agents 2014 Rumors: Is Carmelo Anthony Leaning Toward Leaving New York Knicks?
The New York Knicks have made significant effort to convince Carmelo Anthony to stay for another season in the Big Apple, but the All-Star forward is reportedly determined to test free agency this summer.
According to ESPN New York, team president Phil Jackson officially made a pitch to Anthony, asking him to opt into the final year of his contract, but the 30-year-old forward has not changed his mind on his plans this offseason.
"Despite efforts by New York Knicks president Phil Jackson to persuade him to remain under contract, forward Carmelo Anthony hasn't changed his mind and plans to opt out of his contract and test free agency this summer," ESPN New York's Ian Begley wrote.
Sources indicated that Jackson along with new coach Derek Fisher and general manager Steve Mills met with Anthony on Friday in Los Angeles to convince him to stay but to no avail.
Jackson said last month that he will make a strong push to convince Anthony to exercise his $23.3 million player option for next season and see how the team will go in the 2014-15 NBA season before making a decision in the summer of 2015.
"I told him it might be a good idea to hang in here and see what it's like for a year and go out the next year," Jackson said. "But that's his option, that's what he's earned, and that's what's part of his contractual agreement. He has the right to do that."
Newly appointed coach Fisher also expressed desire to work together with Anthony next season, saying that the 11-year veteran will be an integral part of the triangle system that he and Jackson plan to implement in New York starting next season.
"I want to be extremely clear that I would love to have the opportunity to work [with] and coach Carmelo Anthony," Fisher said. "I want him to be back with the New York Knicks and to remain a part of what we're trying to do here and what we will do. So I don't think anyone has expressed a lukewarm feeling about wanting him back."
If Anthony decides to test free agency, reports suggested that the Knicks will be his top priority but will strongly consider moving to the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets or Dallas Mavericks this summer.