Jonathan Bachman/Associated Press
In October, Anthony said that he was going to opt out of the final year of his deal with the ‘Bockers and test the market. Nine months later, Anthony made good on his word.
The most confusing aspect of Melo’s free agency is financial. ESPN New York’s Ian Begley broke it down in layman’s terms:
The Knicks can offer Anthony the most money of any team vying for him this summer. New York can give Anthony a max contract worth $129 million over five years. Other teams can offer Anthony a max deal of $96 million over four years.
It is unclear at this point if the Knicks and president Phil Jackson are willing to offer Anthony a maximum contract. Jackson declined to answer a question about potential money for Carmelo last week. Jackson has also publicly asked Anthony to “stick to his word” and take less than maximum money to re-sign with the Knicks.
Anthony decided to meet with the Chicago Bulls on July 1, the inaugural day of free agency. And that's a big deal.
Chicago would appear to provide Anthony with the best chance to contend for a championship and would have arguably the best star trio in the league with Anthony, Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose.
Melo will also have heard pitches from the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers by the time he picks a landing spot.
Yahoo Sports’ Marc J. Spears reported that Anthony, who has met with Jackson multiple times in recent months, hopes to have his mind made up on his 2014-15 destination by the second week in July.
The Knicks have a lot going in their favor, most notably the amount of money the team can offer the 30-year-old scoring machine. Anthony’s heart appears to be in the Big Apple, too.
But he wants to win. And c’mon—the Knicks aren’t winning anything anytime soon. Sure, they might be headed in the right direction under PJax, but the team is far from its ultimate goal of contending for a title.
Still, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the ‘Bockers remain the favorite to land Melo.
Here's an important excerpt from Marc Berman of the New York Post:
According to two sources, Anthony's wife, La La Vasquez, also a Brooklyn native, is very happy in New York and is opposed to Melo leaving the Knicks. He became a free agent for the first time in his career at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, but Anthony said in a video interview posted last week he's worried about uprooting his family and 7-year-old son, Kiyan.
'There's reason to believe he's staying,' said one individual with ties to Anthony's inner circle. 'There's just too much money out there. He's doing to the right things, though. He's got to make the rounds.'
New York can give Anthony $33 million more than any other team. So, in the end, expect Melo to return to New York.
But don't stop crossing those fingers, Knicks fans, because you never know what could happen. Followers of the Cleveland Cavaliers will vouch for that.