There’s a growing belief within the Knicks organization that Carmelo Anthony is hesitating to make his decision while the possibility of joining LeBron James on either the Heat or the Lakers still exists, writes Marc Berman of the New York Post. That’s similar to the notion that ‘Melo is holding out to see if Chris Bosh signs with the Rockets and helps clear the path for Anthony to join James on the Heat, an idea that representatives from five teams raised to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). In any case, there seems to be a sense of unease coming from the Knicks, as some within the team expected ‘Melo would have made his call on where to sign by Monday, Stein tweets.
It nonetheless seems unlikely that Anthony and James will pair up. Bosh’s preference is reportedly to remain in Miami with James, so a scenario in which Bosh would vacate Miami while James would stay seems especially far-fetched. Still, Anthony seemed on Monday to be “torn,” as Frank Isola of the New York Daily News wrote, casting the Knicks, Bulls and Lakers as front-runners for the high-scoring forward. The Rockets and Mavs aren’t completely out of the running, according to Isola, but the Rockets believe Anthony won’t accept their max contract offer, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com.
The Knicks and Lakers have reportedly made max offers to Anthony as well, though Knicks president Phil Jackson is still encouraging him to take less, as Berman writes. The capped-out Bulls would likely end up having to give ‘Melo significantly less than the max, even if they made a series of moves to open up cap room.