All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony probed New York Knicks management on the franchise's plan to restore a contending roster and left his final free-agency meeting largely aligned with president Phil Jackson's vision, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Anthony had direct questions for Jackson and coach Derek Fisher during a Thursday meeting in Los Angeles, and Anthony's increased confidence with the Knicks' direction – which includes a maximum contract offer of five years and $129 million – has strengthened the franchise's chances of re-signing Anthony, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
For Anthony, 30, there could be enough doubt about the possibilities in Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles to make leaving Madison Square Garden and a guaranteed $30 million more too risky of a proposition.
As one official involved in the recruiting process told Yahoo, "He just wants to feel like he's not all alone on the court."
In the meeting that included general manager Steve Mills, Jackson dispelled doubts that he was indifferent about Anthony staying with the Knicks, sources said. New York officials have made it clear to Anthony that they need him on the roster to have a chance to attract star players in free agency, sources said. After a week of franchises fawning over him during recruiting trips to Chicago, Houston, Dallas and the Los Angeles Lakers, Anthony needed to hear that enthusiasm out of the Knicks' top management – and of course needed that max contract extension made available to him.
Privately, Anthony has told people that he plans to take the holiday weekend to make a decision.
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