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Report: Carmelo Anthony leaning towards leaving New York; Chicago, Houston frontrunners

Jun 14, 2014, 2:07 PM EDT

Brooklyn Nets v New York Knicks Brooklyn Nets v New York Knicks

Phil Jackson’s suggestion that Carmelo Anthony take less money to stay in New York so there is flexibility to build a team around him has an obvious counter argument:

If you’re going to take less money to win, why not do that in another city where the parts are already assembled to have a contender? It’s likely why when they met recently Jackson suggests Anthony opt-in for next season, giving Jackson a year to work his plan.

Anthony has said from the start he is opting out and not only that, he’s leaning toward leaving and heading to Chicago or Houston, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

As re-signing with the Knicks continues to fade as his priority, Chicago and Houston have emerged as the clear frontrunners to acquire Anthony, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Anthony’s meeting with Knicks officials on Friday night had little impact on his state of mind, league sources said, because there remain too many uncertainties about how quickly president Phil Jackson can reshape the team into a championship contender.

If winning really is Anthony’s priority (he has said that, but everybody says that) then both of those teams make sense as a fit.

Chicago needs a second reliable shot creator and scoring option next to (a hopefully healthy) Derrick Rose, plus they have a defensive system and a Defensive Player of the Year in Joakim Noah who can help clean up Anthony’s defensive mistakes (he’s worked harder on that end the past couple years, but let’s not pretend ‘Melo is a good defender).

Houston needs a stretch four that will help space the floor, and with Dwight Howard and James Harden the Rockets would have their “big three” put together. They would be contenders, although the West is already full of contenders. The two questions I have about Anthony in Houston: Kevin McHale wants to run and we know how Anthony felt about those Mike D’Antoni offensive principles before, will ‘Melo play in the system? Can Howard, as great a defensive backstop as he is, salvage a defense with Harden and Anthony?

The front offices for both of those teams are working on plans to clear cap space to make Anthony a big, although not max, offer.

There will be other teams trying to get in the mix. Obviously New York is making their pitch. The Lakers are out there, although they are lukewarm on the idea of the Kobe Bryant/Anthony pairing (as they should be).

But it looks more and more like Anthony is ready to move on.

Which really isn’t the worst thing for a Knicks team trying to rebuild.

  1. Mr. Wright 212 - Jun 14, 2014 at 8:39 PM

    You people talk like Chicago is in position to win. Rose may never play a full season again, and if they sign Anthony, they have NOTHING LEFT to sign anyone else. That cheap ufck Reinsdorf does not want to be a repeat tax offender. When are people going to leave this nonsense alone about Chicago once and for all?

    • irvfin3 - Jun 14, 2014 at 8:43 PM

      Alright so where do you think he should go

  2. kwame410 - Jun 14, 2014 at 9:12 PM

    Join the trailblazers the youngest team in the NBA playoffs they will be good for years to come.They have already proven to be better then the rockets and are obliviously better then the bulls.

    • sumkat - Jun 14, 2014 at 10:36 PM

      Yes, youngest in the league….if you don’t count the 8 teams that are younger (Houston included in that list)

  3. sumkat - Jun 14, 2014 at 10:34 PM

    Sam Hinke read this article, and his ears popped up like an excited dog

    someone will be selling philly a pick for eating bad contracts

  4. bigwii - Jun 14, 2014 at 10:55 PM

    I don’t know why Heat fans are so excited about this. It really wouldn’t help them that much because it doesn’t fix either of their nerds including defense, rebounding, shot blocking and a PG. Yeah it looks good, but no matter how many stars only one person can score at a time. This just shows how little Heat fans know about their team. Just because Riley is planning it doesn’t mean it will just happen.

    If I were Melo I wouldn’t take a $10 million per year discount to be the 3rd option. He’s going to opt out and look at his options, because he has more than people think.

    Chicago is a good option where you have a defensive minded team and you’re their missing piece to score. That would be a very scary team is Rose is back. Might scare some Heat fans.

    Then there’s Boston, which is the wildcard because they may or may not have already acquired Love. Based on what’s been going in it looks like a deal is done or almost done, hence why Love was allowed to talk about every team but Boston. That trio would be great.

    • gofinsgoheatfloria - Jun 15, 2014 at 11:51 AM

      Pat Riley, with something of a track record in this kind of thing, is “planning this”, but Heat fans who approve show that they know nothing about their team? Come on.

      Melo would be such an awkward fit on the Heat that I’m having a lot of trouble with this “report”. If there’s anything to it, that would be such a change from the Heat’s defense-first, me-last identity as to be headed toward something unrecognizable.

      The Heat do need to fix some things, but let’s not forget that this year they had a better record in the regular season against the stronger West than against their own conference, and they pretty much handled their three Eastern playoff opponents. A total crash, like that of the once-best basketball team in the world becoming in a few short years the second best basketball team in Los Angeles, is not the path we’re looking at here. Not yet, anyway.

  5. campcouch - Jun 14, 2014 at 11:44 PM

    Watch some team like Washington swoop in and do a sign and trade with the Knicks. That’ll twist some panties lol.

  6. florida727 - Jun 15, 2014 at 9:56 AM

    Houston wants him. Chicago needs him. That alone might make the difference. Chicago will position him the way he wants to be. Chicago’s problem is, and will continue to be, Boozer’s contract. That could screw this team up for as long as it’s in effect. Everyone says “trade Boozer for (fill in the blank)”. Problem is, who’s going to be stupid enough to make the same mistake the Bulls made after seeing how it worked out for them. I’m a Bulls fan, and yeah, I hope Carmelo ends up there, but I just don’t know if that will happen.

  7. tbutler704 - Jun 15, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    Knicks will win 30 games next year and won’t be sh?t for years to come. Hope all the Carmelo haters in NY enjoy watching him win a championship in a Bulls uniform.

  8. cfos00 - Jun 14, 2014 at 4:50 PM

    *one of the best coaches in the league

  9. batoujitsu - Jun 15, 2014 at 8:52 AM

    He would win more in houston if they make him a stretch 4…

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