Smith intimated as much when replying to a question via Twitter. Someone asked if he'd ever talk to Anthony again if he signed with Miami this summer. Smith only needed one word to get his point across:
As BlackSportsOnline's Glenn Erby notes, "Smith and Anthony have history, and have been teammates almost nine years."
Nevertheless, Smith is apparently in no mood to start campaigning for the Knicks. He also tweeted, "My opinion is let him do him."
By all accounts, president of basketball operations Phil Jackson is all over efforts to persuade Anthony to stick around. Despite those efforts, Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reports that, "Anthony is leaning toward leaving in pursuit of immediate championship contention, and awaits the Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets to clear the necessary salary-cap space to sign him in free agency, league sources told Yahoo Sports."
Could the Heat realistically join in on the chase?
Chris Bosh may not think so, but there are certainly indications the organization will try. ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein recently reported, "Sources told ESPN.com that Heat officials and the team's leading players have already started to explore their options for creating sufficient financial flexibility to make an ambitious run at adding...Anthony this summer in free agency."
That sounds consistent with Stephen A. Smith's report that, "Melo wants to play with LeBron James. And, from what I'm being told, LeBron James wants to play with Melo. Assuming circumstances are ideal for them to do so."
Such a move would require each of Miami's Big Three to terminate his current contract and accept a fairly substantial pay cut. So it would also necessitate the group buying into the notion that Anthony would elevate the club to yet another level, perhaps ensuring its ability to contend for the foreseeable future.
USA Today's Sam Amick expands on the practical difficulties with such an arrangement:
A Big Four with the Heat (James, Wade, Bosh and Anthony) is possible, but it would require significant pay cuts from all involved. The Heat have about $8 million in payroll for next season if James, Wade and Bosh all opt out. It comes in handy that the salary cap is expected to increase by about $5 million next season to $63.2 million, while the luxury tax threshold is expected to be $77 million.
Sure, it could happen, but a lot of pieces first have to fall into place.
Bleacher Report's Ethan Skolnick recently estimated the probability of Anthony going to Miami as no better than 30 percent.
That's certainly enough to keep the conversation going. Even the conversation on J.R. Smith's Twitter feed.
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