NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Carmelo Anthony is expected to announce his intentions soon. But where he’ll end up is still anyone’s guess at this point.
The free agent forward has bounced around the country over the last few days, visiting the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers. He was expected to meet with his former team, the Knicks, in Los Angeles late on Thursday.
According to multiple reports, the Knicks were set to throw their best pitch as Anthony. Team president Phil Jackson, head coach Derek Fisher and general manager Steve Mills were expected to make the trip from New York, with the prevailing thought being they would attempt yet again to convince Anthony to take less than a max contract — five years for $129 million — so that the Knicks have flexibility to attack free agency in 2015.
Anthony’s contention all along has not so much been about the money as it has who the Knicks could acquire this summer to make the team more competitive. For his part, Jackson has started to put his team together, acquiring veteran point guard Jose Calderon from Dallas earlier this week in a trade that shed the troublesome salaries of aging Tyson Chandler and ineffective Raymond Felton.
But will Calderon be enough to convince Anthony?
Despite not being allowed to pay as much as New York, all the teams on Anthony’s tour of possible destinations seem to have that second fiddle that could make any of the four more attractive than the Knicks. The Bulls have center Joakim Noah and, assuming he can finally stay healthy, point guard Derrick Rose. The Rockets have center Dwight Howard and shooting guard James Harden. The Mavericks have power forward Dirk Nowitzki and Chandler. The Lakers have Kobe Bryant and may look to re-sign forward Pau Gasol, or, perhaps, make serious run at LeBron James.
So without the max contract offer and other noteworthy additions to the roster, it remains to be seen how the Knicks can compete to bring back one of the best pure scorers in the NBA, though some reports seem to suggest Anthony is doing some wooing of his own.
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