Carmelo Anthony is ready to test the free agent waters, but rumors of a move to the Miami Heat to create a “Big Four” appear to be overblown.
This week the New York Knicks forward reportedly changed his mind about returning to the team and instead decided to opt out of his contract.
A source had told ESPN.com that Knicks president Phil Jackson was urging Anthony to use his $23.3 million player option and put off unrestricted free agency until next season, but Carmelo ultimately decided to opt out.
“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, the system we impose.'”
There are now plenty of rumors of where Carmelo Anthony could be headed, including the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, and Dallas Mavericks.
Miami Heat officials have also said they want to explore options for freeing up the cash necessary to sign Anthony, but that would be a tall task. In order to sign Carmelo, the Heat would need to restructure the contracts of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, leading all three of them to take pay cuts.
Sources close to the team say that is unlikely, and others close to Carmelo Anthony say he doesn’t have interest in joining the Eastern Conference powerhouse.
Carmelo Anthony himself said he hadn’t heard the rumors he would be joining the Heat.
“I ain’t hear about that one,” Anthony told TMZ. “That’s a new one.”
Whatever the case, the Carmelo Anthony rumors will likely only grow stronger until he becomes a free agent on July 1.