After the NBA’s regular season came to a close last week, Carmelo Anthony told local media that he’d like to return to the New York Knicks but also test his looming free agency.
“I want to come back, but I also want to win,” the Knicks' All-Star forward told reporters. “You know, I’ve never once said I wanted to leave. I always said that I wanted to explore my options, I wanted to see what’s out there.”
And to the latter, it appears as if Melo, who can opt out of his contract and talk to teams as a free agent this summer, will be thoroughly exploring his options. On the same Monday that the Knicks fired coach Mike Woodson and his entire staff, a source told The Sporting News that Anthony wants the full free agency experience, something like the treatment Dwight Howard had last offseason.
Last summer, Howard, then a Los Angeles Laker, set up meetings with the Lakers, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks before signing with the Rockets. The Sporting News says that Melo wants to have a similar situation. Although he hasn’t finalized a list of teams, the Knicks and Chicago Bulls are certainly to be on it.
The Knicks can offer Anthony nearly $33 million more than other teams in free agency — with a five-year maximum of $129.1 million to stay. Free agency opens July 1.
"At this point in my career, I’m not concerned about the money," Anthony also told reporters last week. "Without a doubt, at this point in my career it’s about winning. Nothing else even matters."
After winning 54 games in the 2012-13 season, the Knicks fell to a dismal 37-45 this past year. Shortly after being named the new Knicks president, Phil Jackson said he wanted to re-sign Anthony.
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(Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)