Phil Jackson asks Carmelo Anthony to delay free agency

By Alex Jordan,

New York Knicks president Phil Jackson said on Friday that he has asked Carmelo Anthony to not opt out of his contract on July 1.

Jackson had told Anthony that Steve Kerr would be the new coach of the Knicks. However, Kerr took the coaching job with the Golden State Warriors. There are financial benefits for both sides if Anthony doesn’t opt out of his contract, according to Jackson.

The final year of Anthony’s contract would pay him $23.3 million, and Anthony has said that he was planning on opting out, according to the Associated Press. Anthony has said that he would think about it, according to Jackson.

“I told him it might be a good idea to hang in here and see what it’s like for a year, and go out the next year,” Jackson said. “But that’s his option, that’s what he’s earned, and that’s what’s part of his contractual agreement. He has the right to do that. But I just offered that as: ‘Look, this gives you an opportunity to see how this is going to change, see how we’re going to get going, your relationship to the team and the coach and the system or whatever.”

He went on to add that he is concerned about Anthony going into free agency but they will survive it.

If Anthony stays with the Knicks, then they could sign another elite free agent like LeBron James. Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, and Andrea Bargnani all have contracts that end next summer. If Anthony does opt out, he will have lots of choices of where to go. The Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets are two of several teams that are interested in Anthony, according to the New York Daily News.

Jackson believes that the Knicks will be a strong team if Anthony returns next season. It will be interesting to see if Anthony stays with the Knicks or not.

image via Jennifer Graylock/INFphoto.com



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