‘Melo To Meet With Lakers, Rockets, Mavs, Bulls

FRIDAY, 12:43pm: Anthony will also sit down with the Lakers to hear their free agent pitch as he envisions making a decision in the second week of July, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. The Knicks would be willing to offer a max deal to Anthony if necessary to retain him in spite of Jackson’s repeated requests that he take a discount, Spears also hears.

WEDNESDAY, 4:33pm: Anthony hasn’t identified a favorite yet, Broussard writes in a full piece. The meetings haven’t been formally arranged, since teams can’t yet reach out to Anthony, but those are the clubs Anthony has decided to visit, Broussard clarifies. The Knicks remain “very much alive” in the ‘Melo sweepstakes, Broussard adds, reiterating his earlier report that Kobe Bryant intends to reach out to Anthony, too.

4:18pm: Carmelo Anthony will sit down with representatives from the Rockets, Mavs and Bulls when free agency begins on July 1st, reports Chris Broussard of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The Leon Rose client has already met on multiple occasions with Knicks president Phil Jackson and his staff.

That list of teams doesn’t include the Lakers, who appeared this week to be in a group with Houston, Dallas and Chicago at the forefront of the race for the high-scoring forward. Still, there’s nearly a week to go before the start of free agency, so the Lakers may still wind up meeting with him.

The Mavs would appear to have the easiest shot at Anthony given their cap flexibility, and it appears that would be true even with the acquisition of Tyson Chandler, as rumored. The Rockets and Bulls would have to perform some salary cap gymnastics, but Houston appears confident it can dump the salaries of Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin, and the Bulls have the option of amnestying Carlos Boozer. Such maneuvers might not be enough to clear money to make a competitive bid for Anthony on their own, but they’d erase the most significant salary hurdles for those teams.

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[…] entice him to stay, a source tells Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. The team is reportedly willing to do so in spite of Phil Jackson‘s repeated public attempts to persuade the star forward to re-sign […]

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[…] growing bond with president Phil Jackson. ‘Melo will be chased by teams that appear closer to a championship than New York in free agency, but the Knicks are hoping that their recent trade with the Mavericks, […]