With the start of free agency a few days away, the New York Knicks are growing more confident that they will retain Carmelo Anthony, ESPN reports.
According to the report, Knicks president Phil Jackson and Anthony have "connected" to some degree, despite Jackson repeatedly asking Anthony to take less money to stay with the Knicks.
"He’s the one that opened that up that it wasn’t about the money," Jackson told the New York Daily News before Thursday night’s NBA Draft. "So I challenged him on that because I want our fans to see he’s a team player, that he’s going to do what was best for this team to get ahead farther and faster."
Anthony, who opted out of the final year of his contract that would have paid him $23 million, reportedly will meet with the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers once free agency begins July 1.
ESPN reports that Jackson will also target Lakers free agent Pau Gasol, who played for Jackson during Los Angeles’ back-to-back titles in 2009-2010. The Knicks, who recently dealt center Tyson Chandler and point guard Raymond Felton to the Mavericks, will have less than $4 million to offer to the four-time All-Star.