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Knicks, Phil Jackson quietly picked up two-year option

New York Knicks owner James Dolan made a public commitment to honor Phil Jackson's five-year contract as team president in February. He has since followed through on that pledge.

Sources familiar with the situation told ESPN that the Knicks and Jackson quietly picked up their option on the remaining two years of his contract this spring.

Jackson and the Knicks each had an option to walk away from each other at the end of this season. It was built into the contract after Year 3 because Jackson had no interest in working through a lockout. The NBA and its players' union made sure to avoid that this fall, when they agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement.

There was some speculation that either Jackson or the Knicks would want to end the relationship as the option trigger approached, but sources told ESPN that the final two years of Jackson's contract were picked up "a while ago."

Dolan said he planned to honor his five-year contract with Jackson "all the way to the end" during aFeb. 10 radio interview on The Michael Kay Show on ESPN New York 98.7 FM.

The Knicks completed a disappointing 31-51 season Wednesday with a 114-113 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. They have missed the playoffs for four straight seasons and have lost at least 50 games in the past three, all under Jackson. In total, New York is 80-166 In Jackson's three full seasons as team president.

Jackson and the Knicks hope to rebuild the roster this summer via the draft and free agency. The club will select no lower than ninth in the first round of June's draft. New York also projects to have more than $20 million in cap space to spend on free agents.

In addition to the draft and free agency, Jackson will have to decide how to approach Carmelo Anthony's future with the club.

The Knicks talked to several teams about trades involving Anthony prior to the deadline, and Anthony acknowledged Wednesday that the club may look to trade him again in the offseason.

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