If Carmelo Anthony is going to remain with the Knicks, it won't be on a player option for next season. Anthony will inform New York on Monday that he has opted out of the final year of his contract, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.
Anthony's contract included a $23.3 million player option for next season. New Knicks president Phil Jackson had reportedly urged Anthony to accept the player option and delay free agency another season. It was a longshot from the start and Anthony will indeed hit the open market with his decision to opt out. The 30-year-old Anthony will now be able to secure another lucrative long-term deal and potentially find a better situation to contend for a championship.
Depending on whether a few other players -- most notably LeBron James -- decide to opt in or out, Anthony could be the top free agent on the market. SB Nation's Tom Ziller ranked Anthony as the No. 3 free agent in the class, behind James and Chris Bosh, both of whom have early termination options for next season. Several teams are likely to pursue Anthony when free agency begins with the Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls reportedly among the teams most interested. There have also been rumors he could join James, Bosh and Dwyane Wade in Miami.
Anthony spent the last three and a half seasons in New York following a trade from the Denver Nuggets. He averaged 26.5 points and 7.1 rebounds per game with the Knicks.