Phil Jackson, Derek Fisher and Steve Mills met with Carmelo Anthony in Los Angeles on Friday night in what may have been the Knicks' last chance to talk to Anthony before he declares himself a free agent.
Anthony has until June 23 to opt out of the final year of his contract and test free agency.
Jackson, according to a league source, is headed out of the country early next week to attend his son's wedding. So the Knicks president may not have another opportunity to meet face-to-face with Anthony before June 23.
It is unclear at this point if any other meetings between Anthony and the Knicks are scheduled.
Jackson has said publicly that he'd like Anthony to consider opting in to the final year of his contract instead of testing free agency this summer.
A league source with knowledge of Anthony's thinking said on Thursday night -- prior to Anthony's meeting with the Knicks -- that Anthony hadn't changed his mind and still planned to opt out of his contract.
Anthony has said his top priority is to put himself in position to win an NBA title. He said shortly after the season that he wants to stay in New York, but he also wants an opportunity to win.
So it appears to be incumbent upon Jackson to prove to Anthony that he can build the Knicks into a contender.
The Knicks won just 37 games last season and Jackson is unlikely to have the opportunity to rebuild the roster this summer. The Knicks are projected to be over the salary cap so they won't have much to offer potential free agents. They also don't currently own a pick in the 2014 draft, though they are interested in acquiring one.
The Knicks are expected to have cap space to reshape the roster in 2015. But will Anthony be willing to wade through another season of potential mediocrity in New York until the Knicks have a chance to rebuild?
That's unclear at this point, though Anthony said after the season he wasn't interested in waiting around for the Knicks to rebuild themselves into a contender. So part of Jackson's sales pitch will be to convince Anthony the Knicks have a strong plan in place to build a perennial contender with the All-Star forward playing a central role.
The Bulls, Rockets and Mavericks are among the teams that will be coming after Anthony in free agency this summer, sources told ESPN.com's Marc Stein.
Anthony, it should be noted, can sign a maximum contract worth $129 million over five years with the Knicks. The maximum he can sign with another team is a $96 million deal over four years.
Question: If you're Carmelo Anthony, do you believe Phil Jackson can build the Knicks into a contender?
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