It's been assumed for a while that Carmelo Anthony would opt-out of his contract with the New York Knicks and become a free agent in the off-season. After all, he made that announcement before the season began. However, could he change his mind and decide to opt-in to the final year of his contract to see the direction the Knicks move in under Phil Jackson's watch?
Phil Jackson doesn't know who will be the head coach of the New York Knicks next season. However, he knows he wants whoever ends up coaching in the Big Apple to have Carmelo Anthony as the face of the franchise. As such, he fully intends on re-signing Anthony in the off-season. However, he knows that could be difficult to do with the current state of the Knicks. That's why Jackson is trying to talk Anthony into sticking around for the final year of his current contract to see how the team progresses under their new leadership.
Phil says he's talked to Carmelo about opting in next year. Phil said Carmelo told him he'd think about it. #Knicks— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) May 30, 2014
Jackson knows he could lose Anthony this summer. However, if he does sign with another team it would definitely slow Jackson's rebuilding process. That's why pushing the option for Anthony to stick around on his deal is a smart play by Jackson. It's not a bad idea for Anthony either considering he's scheduled to make $23,530,000.
Anthony is at least reportedly open to the idea. That doesn't mean he actually will. He certainly didn't commit to anything. However, the fact he'll even consider delaying his free agency is a positive sign for the Knicks.
Right now the Knicks don't even have a head coach. That being said, Derek Fisher's season just ended so that could change very soon. Regardless, Anthony isn't likely to make a decision on opting in or out anytime soon. Chances are he'll opt-out. However, opting in is probably the best thing that could happen to New York this off-season. That being said, Anthony saying he'll think about it sounds more like a polite no than a genuine option.
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