On Friday, Carmelo Anthony, along with his agent Leon Rose, met with New York Knicks president Phil Jackson, new head coach Derek Fisher and former team general manager Steve Mills. While the details of what was discussed are a mystery, they may have sounded similar to what Jackson has already informed the media. Jackson wants Anthony to opt in for next season and delay his eligibility for free agency until next year. However, at 30, Melo doesn't have much time to take the wait and see approach.
According to Yahoo! Sports, the Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets have "emerged as the clear frontrunners." Both teams are reportedly looking to free up enough money to either sign Anthony outright or work with New York through a sign-and-trade.
For the Rockets to acquire Carmelo, the team will need to ship out the heavy contracts of Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin. Doing so would give Houston the opportunity to offer Anthony a max contract in the range of $90+ million over four years. Still, the 30-year-old star forward could also take less money, which the team could use in keeping quality talent like Chandler Parsons or Patrick Beverley.
Meanwhile, the Bulls would also need to shed some cap space and all signs point to amnestying the contract of Carlos Boozer, first and foremost. From there, Chicago will need to ship out some more guys, such as Taj Gibson.
If the Knicks have any hope of keeping Melo, Jackson will need to present him with a plan of attack on how they could bolster the roster as soon as this summer. If the Zen Master is unable to do so, they can just say goodbye to Anthony right now and not wait until he was to make his decision on June 24.
[via Yahoo! Sports]