Published June 24. 2014 4:00AM
Agent: Anthony loves N.Y., wants to explore options
Carmelo Anthony "loves being a Knick" but is headed for free agency because he wants to explore his options, his agent said.
Anthony had a Monday deadline to terminate the final year of his contract and had already informed the team he would do so. He will be able to negotiate with teams starting July 1.
"Carmelo loves being a Knick, he loves the city and the fans," Leon Rose said. "At this stage of his career he just wants to explore his options."
The best one financially would be to return to New York, which can offer him an extra year and around $25 million more than any team under NBA rules.
But Anthony has said his priority at this stage of his career is to contend for championships, and the Knicks are coming off a 37-45 season and have little ability to upgrade the roster this summer because of salary cap rules.
Teams such as Chicago, Houston, Dallas and Miami have all been mentioned as teams that could be interested in the All-Star forward, and all are playoff teams with established stars already on the roster.
Anthony would have earned $23.3 million next season had he chose to play out the final year of his deal. Knicks president Phil Jackson had told Anthony it may be a good idea to consider that, but Anthony had repeatedly said his preference was to become a free agent this summer, and he reiterated that to Jackson, general manager Steve Mills and new coach Derek Fisher during a recent meeting in Los Angeles.
Anthony averaged 27.4 points and 8.1 rebounds last season. Both Jackson and Fisher have said they hope the two-time Olympic gold medalist stays, but will be prepared if he doesn't.
"I'm not losing sleep over it, but I'm definitely concerned about the idea of a guy going into free agency. It only takes one bidder out there that has the ability and can ruin your hopes and your chances," Jackson said recently.
"We will survive it. That's what I've said and we'll go forward. But this is a guy we recognize his talent and his skill is the kind of skill and talent that gets you through playoff games where things get sticky, grind out and basketball becomes a force game and suddenly you need to have a player who has the capabilities of scoring with someone hanging on them in a situation that's critical. He's one of those players, one of the few players who can do that."
AP source: Tim Duncan will return to Spurs
Tim Duncan could have easily gone out on top, with his fifth NBA championship trophy under his arm and his health intact just a few months after his 38th birthday.
There's just no way. Duncan is having too much fun with his San Antonio Spurs coaches and teammates, and he's playing too well to call it quits now.
Duncan has decided to exercise the option on his contract for 2014-15 and will return next season, a person with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press on Monday. The person requested anonymity because an official announcement has not been made.
As the Spurs beat the two-time defending champion Miami Heat in the NBA Finals earlier this month, Duncan was asked several times about his future, as he has been for the last five or six years. He was noncommittal, saying he would take some time after the season ended to mull his decision.
But after Game 5, most of the Spurs said they expected the group to return and now Duncan has reached his decision, which was first reported by Yahoo! Sports. He will make about $10.3 million next season in the final year of a two-year agreement that was drawn up specifically to allow the Spurs the financial flexibility to surround Duncan with top-shelf talent.
Clippers' future hangs on judge's decision
A judge has asked lawyers for more legal documents arguing their points before he decides whether to approve the $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
Shelly Sterling is trying to sell the team without the consent of her estranged husband, Donald, after doctors who examined him said he lacks the mental capacity to decide such matters.
The judge said the Sterling Family Trust does not allow the mercurial billionaire to contest medical findings which are sufficient to remove him as a trustee. But he agreed to consider arguments at a hearing June 30 before a scheduled July 7 trial.
Donald Sterling's lawyer acknowledged he is trying to kill the deal because he doesn't want to sell the team.