Phil Jackson is considering several factors as he searches for the Knicks' next coach.

Age is one; Phil would prefer a young coach over a retread.

Offensive philosophy is another; Phil is believed to be searching for someone with a strong knowledge of the triangle.

But there’s another factor Phil may be considering during his coaching search: Carmelo Anthony's free agency.

Anthony is expected to opt out of the final season of his contract and test free agency this summer. The Knicks can pay him $33 million more than any other suitor. But Anthony has said his top priority is competing for an NBA title. So the Knicks’ next coach -- whomever he is -- will likely factor in Anthony’s decision.

We haven’t heard from Anthony since shortly after the regular season. So we don’t know how he felt about Mike Woodson's firing or the failed Steve Kerr courtship. And we haven’t yet heard his thoughts on Derek Fisher, the odds-on favorite to land the Knicks job.

But here's what we do know: One source familiar with Anthony’s thinking on the matter said recently that the star forward would “embrace” the opportunity to play for Mark Jackson.

In no way, the source stressed, does that mean Anthony wants to play only for Mark Jackson. It also doesn’t mean he would be uncomfortable playing for Fisher or any other candidate Jackson chooses to hire.

But he would be content with the idea of playing for Jackson, who led Golden State to back-to-back playoff appearances.