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Report: Phil, Carmelo Discuss Future Over Dinner

Carmelo Anthony. (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images)

Carmelo Anthony. (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images)

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(CBS) Knicks president Phil Jackson and star Carmelo Anthony met for dinner Tuesday night to discuss the latter’s impending free agency and the team’s coaching search that is focused on Steve Kerr, according to ESPNNewYork.com.

Anthony has indicated he will opt out of the final year of his contract and hit the open market this summer, when he’ll be a priority for a handful of teams, including the Bulls. Jackson and the Knicks have said they’d like to re-sign Anthony, but they’d prefer that he leaves some money on the table so they can build a better team around him.

Anthony can sign a maximum five-year, $129-million contract if he stays with the Knicks. He can sign a maximum four-year, $95.8-million contract with any other team, according to ESPNNewYork.com.

From the sounds of it, the Knicks’ coaching hire will play a big role for Anthony. Jackson is pursuing TNT analyst Steve Kerr, who has no coaching background but close ties to Jackson from their days with the Bulls in the 1990s.

More from ESPNNewYork.com:

Jackson talked with Anthony about his relationship with Kerr and Kerr’s background, the source said. Part of Anthony’s decision in free agency will presumably be based on who is coaching the Knicks.

If Anthony were to come to Chicago, he’d likely have to take a pay cut, unless the Bulls were to completely gut their team, which would defeat the purpose of adding Anthony to chase a championship.