Carmelo Anthony Still Plans To Opt Out

Carmelo Anthony is still planning to hit free agency this summer in spite of Knicks president Phil Jackson‘s request that he opt in for the final season of his contract, reports Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. Jackson said last month that the star forward was thinking about going back on his longheld intention to turn down his player option for next season, but apparently Anthony is forging ahead with his original plan to become a free agent next month. He has until June 23rd to formally decide on the option.

Anthony has throughout the last several months repeated his desire to opt out, having first expressed that intention in October. The Heat are reportedly among several teams planning a pursuit of the 2012/13 scoring champion, though it’s unclear just how motivated they are to sign him. Anthony and Miami’s trio of stars have reportedly discussed the idea of playing together, and Jackson is pitching Anthony on the idea of recruiting LeBron James to play with the Knicks in 2015. ‘Melo also appears to have has the Bulls, Rockets and Mavs in his sights. More and more people around the league believe Anthony will leave the Knicks this summer, as ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said today on SportsCenter (transcription via Adam Zagoria of, even though the most lucrative path would probably involve remaining with the Knicks.

Jackson has expressed a desire for Anthony to remain “true to his word” about a willingness to accept a discount to remain with the Knicks, but Anthony could make more than $23.333MM if he opts in for next season, a higher 2014/15 salary than he can make in any other scenario. The most he could earn in starting salary on a new contract would be close to $22.5MM, but the Knicks have an advantage over other teams in that regard, too, since they can offer a five-year deal instead of four.

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