Carmelo Anthony has until June 23, essentially one week before the start of free agency, to notify the New York Knicks if he plans to opt in or out of the final year of his current contract, according to sources familiar with the terms of his deal. Sources told ESPN.com that Knicks president Phil Jackson is continuing to urge Anthony to exercise next season's $23.3 million player option and put off unrestricted free agency for one more year. The Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks are all teams Anthony would consider starting July 1, sources say, if the 30-year-old decides to become a free agent this summer. Jackson's pitch to Anthony -- which sources say he has delivered more than once over the past month -- is founded upon the notion that the Knicks will have increased financial flexibility in the summer of 2015 to bring in a marquee free agent to pair with a re-signed Anthony. Miami's LeBron James, provided he also decides to opt in later this month and put off free agency for a year, is among the targets the Knicks are telling Anthony they intend to pursue in the summer of 2015. ESPN's Stephen A. Smith said on his ESPN New York radio show Tuesday and in subsequent interviews that Anthony and James, members of the NBA's ballyhooed 2003 draft class and longtime USA Basketball teammates, have expressed the mutual desire to play together before their careers end and will look into teaming up if both wind up on the open market in July 2015. James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all have until the end of June, sources say, to notify the Heat whether they intend to opt into the final years of their respective current contracts or become free agents July 1.
Carmelo must decide by June 23
ESPN New York | Jun 11