Carmelo Anthony informed the New York Knicks today that he is opting out of the final season of his contract and will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Anthony will test the NBA’s free agency market and the Chicago Bulls are emerging as a serious contender.
If Anthony were to make a move to the Windy City, he’d have the chance to play with reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah and former NBA MVP Derrick Rose.
One person not surprised by Anthony’s opt-out decision is former Knick John Starks. Starks was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Carma Foundation last night for his philanthropic work with his John Starks Foundation. “Well that’s expected,” Starks told The Source in relation to Anthony opting out.
Although he does not have a crystal ball to see Anthony and the Knicks’ future, the Knicks’ all-time leader in three pointers sees the reality: “It’s a business like anything else at the end of the day,” he said.
Anthony recently turned 30 years old and has never been an unrestricted free agent. Opting out of his current deal gives him the opportunity to sign with a team of his choosing.
Aside from the Bulls courting Anthony, the perennial All-Star will reportedly receive interest from the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks in free agency. The Knicks, of course can offer Anthony the most money at roughly 5 years and $135 million. Although he opted out of his current deal, he can’t officially sign with a team until July 10.
The New York Knicks finished this season at 37-45 and finished ninth in the NBA’s Eastern Conference standings.