Report: Carmelo Anthony delaying decision to see if he can join LeBron in Miami
Given his whirlwind free agency tour last week that took him all over the country and brought NBA superstars back from their European vacation, the prevailing wisdom was that the likely landing spots for Carmelo Anthony were the Chicago Bulls, the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers, with the Dallas Mavericks coming up behind those three teams and the New York Knicks — if Carmelo stays true to his “word,” as Phil Jackson put it — holding the pricey trump card of being able to pay Anthony more than any other team.
Speculation is now beginning to surface that despite the attractive options available to Carmelo according to the extensive wooing the above teams showered upon Anthony, he may be holding off on making a decision to see if the chips fall just so in a way that allows him to join LeBron James on the Miami Heat.
Marc Berman of the New York Post laid out the possible logic behind the belief that Carmelo is holding on to the hope he could join forces with LeBron in South Beach as follows:
The Knicks expected Carmelo Anthony’s decision by Monday, but heard only crickets. A growing belief within the organization is Anthony is waiting to make sure there is no possible way of hooking up with LeBron James in Miami or Los Angeles.
While Anthony monitors the South Beach drama, James is expected to meet with Heat president Pat Riley — as soon as Tuesday. The Post has reported the Big 4 scenario was virtually impossible, but if power forward Chris Bosh is wowed by the money in Texas, either Dallas or Houston, that could open a spot for a new Big 3 of James, Anthony and Dwyane Wade splitting the remaining cap space.
As Berman points out, it is a virtual impossibility for the “Big Three” to become the “Big Four,” even if Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade take significant pay cuts to accommodate James’ wish to receive a deal in the realm of a max contract.
But what if Bosh departed for the Houston Rockets? Then, the scenario could be doable, with Anthony replacing Bosh in the Heat’s three-headed monster.
Bosh reportedly has been offered a lucrative deal by the Rockets to tempting to pass up — despite his insistence he wants to say in Miami — and his departure could possibly free up sufficient funds to get Carmelo in a Heat uniform.
There seems to be a lot of working parts in this scenario that would have to be working with total precision in order to effectuate Carmelo’s move to Miami. But if there’s one thing anything involving LeBron James and manufacturing a NBA title-caliber roster has taught us, don’t count anything out, even if the money appears to be on LeBron returning to Cleveland. That, though, could be only a smokescreen. Whatever happens with Carmelo, LeBron and Bosh, odds are James will be on the team with the best hopes of winning an NBA title. He’s not referred to as the King for nothing.
[H/T Pro Basketball Talk]