In mid-June, following a last ditch effort by the New York Knicks, Carmelo Anthony decided to opt out of his contract and test the free agent market. After meeting with the Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers, Anthony decided to take the 4th of July weekend to mull over his options. The three-day window turned out to be longer than expected as Melo reportedly struggled with a decision that would undoubtedly impact a large portion, and possibly, the remainder of his career.

In the end, Melo has reportedly decided to remain in New York and possibly accept the Knicks' five-year, $129 million max contract offer. After posting arguably his best all-around numbers (27.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game) last season with the Knicks, Anthony was seemingly doing it all by himself. At 30 years old now, Anthony couldn't afford to go through another year where the prospects of winning a championship were practically slim to none. 

Throughout the summer, Phil Jackson worked diligently to build a team around Melo, selecting young talent like Cleanthony Early and acquiring veteran point guard Jose Calderon, a move that Phil hopes would benefit the Knicks who will implement the triangle offense through their new head coach Derek Fisher.

According to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, Anthony told a friend recently that he "believes in Phil," and it looks like he will make it official very, very soon.

So, is it too early to say welcome back to the Big Apple?  

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[via Adrian Wojnarowski]