Carmelo Anthony said from the start he had a timeline: Meet with teams the first days of free agency, think through his options over the long holiday weekend, then make his decision.
Well, he flew around the country and met with teams, now we’re through the long holiday weekend, so…
The buzz around the league is to expect word on Monday. Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports is a little more vague gut sees an answer soon.
The decision appears to be down to the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers can offer a max contract of four years, $97 million dollars. Anthony would get to play with Kobe Bryant (and possibly Pau Gasol), plus the Lakers’ pitch played up the off-the-court Hollywood opportunities he would get. Anthony spends his off-seasons in Los Angeles already.
The Knicks can offer more money and one more year — five years, $129 million — and the pitch is that Phil Jackson is going to turn around the organization with his vision. And Anthony likes that vision. Plus he loves living in New York.
The Bulls, Rockets and Mavericks also all made pitches but seem to have not caught Anthony’s eye. All three have started to make moves to go after other targets more aggressively, a sign they know how the Anthony movie ends for them.
Anthony choosing a team would be the first of two moves needed to break open the bottleneck that has slowed free agency. The other is LeBron James, who is expected to meet with Heat president Pat Riley the first part of this week and make a decision one way or another on his future in Miami. Once those two decide a lot of things will likely start to happen fairly quickly around the league.