New York Knicks president Phil Jackson said he asked Carmelo Anthony to exercise the final year of his contract and wait until the summer of 2015 to become a free-agent, the 11-time champion head coach confirmed an interview with Yahoo Sports.
After failure to lure Steve Kerr to become the next head coach of the Knicks, Jackson is reportedly trying hard to retain the service of his star player for at least a year before he hits the free-agency market.
''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, according to Yahoo Sports.
Anthony, who averaged 27.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game last season, can opt from the last year of his deal worth $23.3 million to gain longer and more lucrative deals with a championship contending team.
However, Jackson reportedly stressed the importance of keeping Anthony for more future campaigns, as he plans to exhaust all options to build a championship team around him.
''I'm not losing sleep over it, but I'm definitely concerned about the idea of a guy going into free agency,'' Jackson said via Yahoo Sports. ''It only takes one bidder out there that has the ability and can ruin your hopes and your chances.
''We will survive it. That's what I've said and we'll go forward. But this is a guy we recognize his talent and his skill is the kind of skill and talent that gets you through playoff games where things get sticky, grind out and basketball becomes a force game and suddenly you need to have a player who has the capabilities of scoring with someone hanging on them in a situation that's critical.