Despite his whirlwind, star-studded free agency tour, there’s been a growing notion around the league in recent days that Carmelo Anthony will likely to return to the New York Knicks. A new report by Frank Isola of the New York Daily News makes that development seem inevitable.
Isola says that the one road block between Anthony agreeing with the Knicks is the chance, however remote, that he could choose to sign with the same team as LeBron James.
Anthony is expected to accept the Knicks’ five-year, $129 million contract offer, and a decision could be made within the next 48 hours. The one holdup could be James, who is also an unrestricted free agent and is being courted by several teams, including the Cavaliers and the Lakers.
It seems ever-unlikely that Carmelo and LeBron will team up this summer. With Anthony set to accept the extra security that comes with New York’s contract offer and James insisting on earning a maximum salary, it would be wholly surprising if both agreed to pay-cuts despite the attraction of playing together.
Sam Amick of USA TODAY previously reported that the only team the Knicks fear as a competitor for Anthony is the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls, though, don’t have a surefire means to gaining space under the salary cap necessary to sign Carmelo without sacrificing the talent that makes them such an attractive destination.
According to two people with knowledge of the situation, the Knicks are confident about their standing in the sweepstakes and consider the Bulls the only real threat among the many suitors…
Should Anthony decide to shift the Eastern Conference balance of power by heading for Chicago, the way in which he’d get there might be quite convoluted, especially with the reports Friday that the Bulls were working to get a deal done with forward Nikola Mirotic…
The Bulls could create room by trading forward Taj Gibson as well, but the sixth man of the year runner-up is seen as a major selling point for Anthony as he decides which team can help him win the title.
It appears that Anthony will remain with the Knicks. Now, how will Phil Jackson build a team that won 37 games last season and has limited financial flexibility until next summer into an immediate contender?
Realistically, that’s a pipe-dream. Carmelo re-signing with New York is about security and the prospect of future success. As a result, we won’t know if his decision is the right one until this time next year.
Is Carmelo right to re-sign with New York?
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