Jackson thought he had the answer all figured out as he tried to sell ‘Melo on the fact that opting in for next season would make sense as he could then sell Anthony better on the Knicks plans for 2015.
Anthony reportedly will say thanks but no thanks to that offer.
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reports that the All-Star forward’s plan hasn’t changed:
Carmelo Anthony hasn’t wavered from his year-long intent to become a free agent on July 1st despite Phil Jackson’s hopes to keep Anthony under contract through the 2014-15 season.
Barring a dramatic change of heart, Anthony will opt out of his contact and become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st, the Daily News has learned.
That is a bit of bad news for the Zen Master and the Knicks.
While many still believe that New York is where Anthony wants to be and the Knicks still have a leg up on the competition, it may not be so easy.
Anthony’s top priority is to win and Jackson has absolutely nothing to sell Melo on the Knicks chances to do so. Jackson also publically stated that he expects Anthony to take a pay cut this summer, which may or may not be something Anthony is ready to consider.
The good news is that only a couple of teams will be able to seriously pursue Anthony and give him an opportunity to win. He’s also 30 years old so this will be likely his last chance at a max deal, something the Knicks would be in better shape to offer should they elect to do so.
At the end of the day though it poises to be an interesting summer as it looks like the inevitable is going to happen and Melo is going to entertain other offers around the NBA.