Carmelo Anthony has notified the Knicks that he is opting out of the final year of his contract, but that does not mean he won’t be back in New York. Anthony has openly stated that he likes Phil Jackson’s plan for the future of the Knicks. Does that mean he is going to stick around to see if Jackson can work his magic?
Earlier this week, Jackson said he expects Anthony to be back with the Knicks next season. Why? Because Carmelo gave Phil his word.
“We don’t know what all that means,” Jackson told ESPNNewYork’com’s Young Misuk when asked about Anthony’s decision to opt out. “But we have every confidence that Carmelo is good for what his word is, that he wants to be in New York, he likes playing in New York, he wants to compete, he wants to be part of a playoff team that is competitive toward a championship.
If you remember, Anthony said over the winter that he would be willing to take a pay cut to help the Knicks sign key free agents. Does that mean he will now pass up the opportunity to sign a max contract to give New York more flexibility? Jackson sounds like he is banking on it.
“When I take his word, he’s the one who opened that up, that it wasn’t about the money,” Jackson said. “So I challenged him on that, because I wanted our fans to see he’s a team player, that he was going to do what’s best to get our team ahead farther and faster.”
Carmelo is going to receive tantalizing pitches from quality teams like the Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls and Dallas Mavericks once free agency begins on July 1. He could end up remaining in New York, but I highly doubt he’s going to do it at a discounted rate.