With all the hooplah surrounding LeBron James, it is easy to forget that there is another superstar free agent in the NBA, and like LeBron, what looked like a done-deal, with Carmelo Anthony returning to the Knicks, suddenly looks very much in doubt.
The Knicks thought ‘Melo was going to commit to them on Monday according to Marc Stein of ESPN. But it never happened and Stein says the Knicks got nervous.
“Then [on Thursday] they thought they were getting a ‘yes’ again, so they were back to confident” Stein said on SportsCenter. “[But now] they are back to nervous again. The word is ‘Melo is having some second thoughts and that he hasn’t fully ruled out Chicago.”
ESPN’s Ian Begley later contradicted that report saying that he has heard the Knicks “remain confident” in re-signing Anthony.
The biggest issue is the Knicks can offer the most money, but the Bulls give ‘Melo an opportunity to win now.
It is even worse for the Bulls who can only offer a 4-year deal worth $US75 million.
Chicago can get a lot closer to $US129.1 million in a sign-and-trade deal. However, the Knicks will not do that unless it involves Carlos Boozer and the Bulls “won’t even entertain that idea” according to Chris Broussard of ESPN.
The other possibility is that Anthony may be willing to sign with the Lakers where he can still get a large contract without the sign-and-trade, leaving the Knicks with nothing in return. However, that could also just be a bluff and the Knicks may be willing to call him on it.
Phil Jackson told the media that the Knicks do have “alternative plans, plan B, C, D, E, and F.” But he made it clear that the team is “still on plan A.”
Some believe Anthony is still holding out hope of playing with LeBron James next season, something Broussard said the chances remain “very slim.” However, it does indicate that ‘Melo will likely withhold his decision until James makes his.
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