New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony still plans to opt out and become a free agent on July 1, the New York Daily News' Frank Isola reported Thursday.
This has been Anthony's plan for at least a year. But recently, new Knicks team president Phil Jackson had suggested Anthony delay becoming a free agent for one year so the Knicks could pursue more talent to build around him.
But "barring a dramatic change of heart," according to Isola, Anthony will opt out and become the marquee free agent on the market. He has until June 23 to let the Knicks know his decision.
Of course, Anthony can still sign with the Knicks, and the team is viewed as the favorite to keep him. They can offer him the most money and an extra year. But on Wednesday, ESPN.com reported that the Miami Heat's trio of top players is exploring ways to see if it can bring Anthony on board next season. The Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets have also been frequently mentioned as potential suitors for Anthony.
If Anthony remains with the Knicks, he would be in position to sign a five-year contract worth as much as $129 million. With another team, the most he could sign for would be $95.8 million over four years.MAHONEY: Carmelo to Heat? Possible, but not plausible