NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s too soon to say whether Carmelo Anthony will bolt for greener pastures.
But the New York Knicks superstar will be testing free agency unless he has “a dramatic change of heart,” according to the New York Daily News.
Anthony hasn’t been shy about his plans to opt out of his contract, though Knicks president Phil Jackson recently suggested the forward could delay it until 2015. Anthony has until June 23 to let Jackson know, according to multiple reports, though it appears he’s already made up his mind.
A team source told the Daily News that the seven-time All-Star doesn’t intend to alter his original blueprint. That means a bidding war is right around the corner.
Though the Knicks can offer Anthony the most lucrative contract, the 30-year-old might not want to stick around for a rebuilding phase in his home city. Meanwhile, the stacked Miami Heat are reportedly planning to make a run at Anthony, who has said his top priority is to play with a winner.
Anthony would have that chance if he teams up with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to form a “Big Four.” But the Heat, currently down 3-1 in the NBA Finals, would have to convince the existing three stars to shrink their paydays.
“Nothing’s legit until it’s signed, sealed and delivered,” Anthony told TMZ on Thursday.
“I’m just now hearing about it so it doesn’t bother me at all,” James said. “Obviously, Melo has his own decision to make and obviously that’s not even crossed my mind at this point in the season. So I really don’t have an answer for it.”
Chicago, Houston and Dallas have also been linked to Anthony.
On Tuesday, head coach Derek Fisher said the Knicks will “do everything we can to keep” him. They’ll have to convince Anthony that a turnaround will happen quickly, and that starts with bringing in a complementary star.
It’s been said that Fisher could help lure ex-teammate Kevin Durant to New York in 2016. The Knicks are also thought to be potential players for Anthony’s pal James, if he hits the open market after next season. Or they could make a run at Minnesota’s Kevin Love.
“I think any time you have Phil Jackson involved with any organization, you’re going to definitely look at it,” Love told ESPN, according to Newsday. “The Knicks are a place where I think anybody would like to go.”
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