Report: Carmelo Anthony still intends to opt out, become free agent

By James Herbert | NBA writer

More Offseason Analysis: Coaching changes, news | Free Agency | Draft

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony still intends to opt out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent on July 1, according to the New York Daily News' Frank Isola. Anthony has until June 23 to let the Knicks know what he wants to do.

Anthony said before the season started that he planned to test free agency, but New York president Phil Jackson is trying to convince him to stick around and take his $23.3 million next year, as the Knicks prepare to surround him with other talent in the summer of 2015, via ESPN's Marc Stein.

New York had a disastrous 2013-2014 season, failing to qualify for the playoffs in a weak Eastern Conference, and Anthony repeatedly expressed his frustration publicly. He has said he wants to compete for championships, which puts his long-term future with the Knicks into question. If he stays in New York, he'll likely have to wait at least a little while for Jackson to try to assemble the supporting cast he needs.

Carmelo Anthony reportedly still plans to become a free agent.
Carmelo Anthony reportedly still plans to become a free agent. (USATSI)

Anthony will consider the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and Chicago Bulls if he does opt out, according to ESPN. Meanwhile, the Miami Heat are discussing adding Anthony to its championship core of future Hall of Famers LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein.

Before Jackson goes to Turkey on vacation, Anthony and his agent, Leon Rose, are expected to meet with the Knicks boss, according to the New York Daily News. Jackson previously told reporters that he hoped Anthony would take a pay cut to stay in New York. There will be much to talk about.

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