Carmelo Anthony is opting out of his contract, will become an unrestricted free agent
The Knicks can still sign him back, but they'd desperately need to prove to him that they're going to be a contender in order to make it worth signing a long-term deal in NY.
Melo could get 5 years and $129M if he signs with the Knicks, as opposed to 4 years and $96M elsewhere, but he might be willing to forego the extra cash in order to have a chance to win a championship.
The Chicago Bulls are thought to be front-runners, as Melo has expressed interest in going there in the past, and they have a strong coach and a good core of young, talented players.
For the Knicks, this is a rather desperate situation. Due to their salary situation, they won't have money to spend regardless of Anthony's decision. If he stays, they're strapped for cash. If he leaves, they're still strapped for cash.
Therefore, the Knicks desperately need Anthony to stay in NY. Being strapped for cash is a little less awful of a situation if you have another talented superstar on the team. Without him, they're expensive and REALLY bad.
New Knicks team president Phil Jackson says that either way, the Knicks are in a great spot. That's what he'd want fans to believe, but there's no doubt that Carmelo leaving would put them in a huge bind.
We'll see if he wants to remain in New York and give Jackson's system a chance, or if he's tired of the Knicks and their losing ways. Either way, this could change the landscape of the NBA.