Bulls amongst the most likely destinations if Melo leaves…
New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony has reportedly notified the franchise that he has decided to opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent, as reported by ESPN.
Despite the best efforts of president Phil Jackson to persuade the 30-year-old to remain in New York for one more year at least before testing free agency, it is understood that Anthony has informed the Knicks in writing of his desire to become a free agent.
According to reports, Anthony has spoken to at least one high-profile person who lives in Chicago about what it’s like to be famous in the Windy City, while it is also understood that Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has done his due diligence too.
Thibodeau has reached out to some of Anthony’s former coaches to inquire about the seven-time All-Star, although the Bulls will likely face stiff competition from the likes of the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and potentially the Miami Heat in securing his signature.
Anthony can sign a maximum contract worth $129m over five years with the Knicks, but he will only be able to agree a new maximum deal with another team worth $96m over four years.
Although the former Denver Nuggets star had insisted that a meeting with Jackson, Steve Mills and Derek Fisher “went well” last week, it appears as though he is still intent on assessing his options as he searches for a chance of immediate success.
While he has also previously suggested that he would be willing to take a pay cut in order to allow the Knicks to sign top free agents, it is understood that the franchise does not have the financial flexibility to strengthen significantly this summer and so Anthony would be forced to wait another year.
Jackson has insisted that he is prepared for both possibilities, and is confident that he will be able to guide the Knicks forward with or without Anthony.