Friday, June 13, 2014
Sources: Phil, Fisher to meet Melo in L.A.
By Ian Begley & Ramona Shelburne
UPDATE 6/14: The meeting did occur on Friday night. Keep checking the blog for any further details, should they surface.
With Melo's opt-out looming, Knicks brass are headed to Hollywood to try to convince him to stay.
Knicks president Phil Jackson, coach Derek Fisher and GM Steve Mills are expected to meet with Carmelo Anthony and his representatives this weekend in Los Angeles -- possibly as early as Friday night -- to discuss Anthony’s pending free agency, league sources confirmed to ESPN.
Owner James Dolan is in Los Angeles to attend the Rangers-Kings Stanley Cup finals but is not expected to be involved in the meetings with Anthony.
“This is Phil's show,” one league source told ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne.
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Yahoo! Sports first reported the Knicks’ plan to meet with Anthony in Los Angeles.
The Knicks’ full-court press on Anthony is unlikely to change his mind about testing free agency this summer. A league source said late Thursday night that Anthony remains committed to opting out at this point.
Jackson has said in the past he’d prefer Anthony to opt in to his contract so the Knicks have a better idea of who they can attract in free agency in 2015 to pair alongside Anthony. Jackson has talked to Anthony about this approach to free agency on multiple occasions in recent weeks, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.
"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 last month. "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, the system we impose."
Anthony has between now and June 23 to exercise his opt-out and test free agency. If the Knicks fail to convince him to opt in, their next hope would be to get Anthony to take a pay cut to give them more cap flexibility to chase free agents going forward.
Jackson has said publicly that he’d like to see Anthony take a pay cut, and Anthony himself brought it up as a possibility in February.
The Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks are all teams Anthony would consider starting July 1, sources told ESPN.com's Marc Stein, provided Anthony remains steadfast in his decision to opt out between now and June 23. Miami Heat officials have also started to explore their options in trying to create enough financial flexibility to land Anthony in free agency, ESPN.com reported earlier this week.
Anthony would have to make a monetary sacrifice if he decides to leave New York. With the Knicks, Anthony can ink a maximum five-year contract worth $129,135,806. If he signs with another team, the maximum he can earn is $95,897,372 over four years. Anthony likely would have to sign for significantly less to join the Heat.