Carmelo Anthony still not ready to decide, but he needs to soon as options dry up

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LeBron James has made his decision: Cleveland.

Now the other big domino that is to fall in NBA free agency is Carmelo Anthony — stay with the Knicks, or join the Lakers or Bulls. When will he decide?

Not Friday, says Marc Spears of Yahoo sports.

Anthony still seems legitimately torn. LeBron was able to come to grips with what mattered most to him — taking him and his family back to Northeast Ohio — but Anthony is struggling with what matters most to him. Money? Winning? Lifestyle and location? How to balance all of them?

Anthony has to choose fast because his options are drying up.

The Lakers just traded for Jeremy Lin and with that can no longer offer Anthony a full max contract (according to the math of Dan Feldman of PBT). If the Lakers stretch Steve Nash out (let him go, pay his contract over three years) and renounce rights to everybody (Kendall Marshall, Ryan Kelly, Robert Sacre) they can get to about a million a year short of max, but not all the way there.

Maybe Anthony already counted the Lakers out, Stephen A. Smith of ESPN said he did, although nobody else did so take it with salt.

But ‘Melo has other problems.

The Lakers and Chicago have started to have preliminary discussions of a Pau Gasol for Carlos Boozer sign-and-trade swap (where the Bulls send the Lakers a pick, the Lakers need picks to rebuild) and that could kill the Chicago option for Anthony. Chicago might wait a little while to pull the trigger on that kind of deal to see what Anthony wants to do, but they will not wait long. And that would kill the idea of Gasol coming to New York if Anthony went there.

All of which is to say, he doesn’t have to decide today but the longer he waits, the fewer options he has that are not New York.

Which maybe where Anthony wanted to land all along.