Carmelo Anthony is ready to leave the Big Apple and test the free agent market. According to an ESPN report on June 22, Anthony has informed Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks organization in writing that he will opt out of the final year of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent. Jackson, who will be entering his first season with New York, hoped Anthony would consider staying for the upcoming season.
Now that Melo is on the market, which team will land the all-star - and how much will it cost the team that does? ESPN and several other sources are reporting that several teams are interested in adding Anthony including the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat.
It is possible that Anthony could remain a Knick, even after testing the free-agency market. Anthony could sign a maximum deal contract worth approximately $129 million over the next five seasons with New York. However he could sign a max deal worth $96 million over four years with another team, particularity Chicago or Houston who seem to have a better shot at a NBA title than the Knicks do headed into the 2014-15 season.
No matter what Anthony decides to do in the end, Phil Jackson says the team is moving forward.
"I'm all about moving forward," Jackson said shortly after the end of the regular season. "Just deal with what is and move forward. If it's in the cards, man, are we fortunate. If it's not in the cards, man, are we fortunate. We're going forward anyway."
Leave it the zen master himself not to get all caught up in the latest game of "What will Carmelo do?" Jackson knows what it is like to build championship teams. He also knows there is no point of trying to convince a player to stay somewhere he doesn't want to be.
One thing is for sure, this NBA off-season could be one of the most interesting in a long time. With the possibility of LeBron James also officially becoming a free-agent, there may be a bit of a shake-up in the NBA this fall.