NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Carmelo Anthony has finally acknowledged what we knew all along.
When the opportunity to opt out of his contract comes, he'll likely jump on it.
"I want to be a free agent," the Knicks guard told the New York Observer. "I think everybody in the NBA dreams to be a free agent at least one time in their career. It's like you have an evaluation period, you know. It's like if I'm in the gym and I have all the coaches, all the owners, all the GMs come into the gym and just evaluate everything I do. So yes, I want that experience."
Anthony can become a free agent after the 2013-14 season.
It makes sense financially, too. By opting out of his final season -- worth $23.3 million -- he'll be able to sign a five-year contract with the Knicks for $129.1 million, according to ESPN. If he goes elsewhere he'd get a maximum of $95.9 million over four years, ESPN reported.
New Knicks general manager Steve Mills has made it clear that retaining the NBA's leading scorer will be one of his top priorities.
"He clearly is one of those superstar players that don't come around very often," Mills said on Sept. 30. "So while it's premature in the process, we've made it clear that we have every intention of making Carmelo a Knick for a long time to come."
It's been speculated that Anthony might bolt the Big Apple for Los Angeles and team up with Kobe Bryant on the Lakers. The six-time All-Star told the Observer that no matter what fans hear, "it ain't true" if he hasn't said it.
"I came to New York for a reason," said the Brooklyn-born Anthony, who was traded to the Knicks from Denver in 2011. "I've been with you all my life, almost to a fault. I wanted to come here and take on the pressures of playing in New York. So one thing I would tell my fans: If you haven't heard it from me, then it ain't true."
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