While the New York Knicks are still wooing Carmelo Anthony to stay for at least a year, the star forward is decided to test the free agency waters by July 1, the time when his contract officially expires with the Big Apple franchise.
“Melo” has a player option left worth for $23.53 million for 2014-2015 but he can pass up on that option to become a free agent.
Teams like the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and even the Miami Heat are potential suitors for the services on the 30-year-old Anthony, who will most likely be signing his final long-term huge-money contract as he will be past his prime after the upcoming deal.
Anthony was in a similar situation during his time with the Denver Nuggets where he spent his first 8 years in the league. This time, there are no aggressive trade demands but just the same Anthony is reportedly interested in signing with a contending team.
Knicks president Phil Jackson and new head coach Derek Fisher are both trying to convince their franchise player to stay with the Knicks. However, reports out of New York via the NY Daily News’ Frank Isola states that Melo is adamant in “sticking with his plan to test free agency next month.”
Anthony was traded to the Knicks in the middle of the 2010-2011 regular season. He averaged 27.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 77 games for the Knicks last season but the Knicks missed the postseason. New York made the playoffs in Anthony’s first three years with the team but last year’s non-inclusion is considered a major disappointment considering how weak the Eastern Conference is this year.
The Knicks have given Anthony a deadline of June 23 to finalize his decision.