All it took was one report and one legacy, one dynasty. Someone says the Lakers want to nab Carmelo Anthony in the summer of 2014, says they could have up to $50 million in cap space, and someone else says Kobe and ‘Melo are best buds, says this is the Lakers, they get who they want when they want. Did we all forget Anthony currently plays in New York City? The big-city Knicks aren’t letting their franchise player bolt without a fight, and they’re offering him what Miami offered Dwyane Wade before the titanic summer of 2010: the chance to pick his future teammates.
That summer, Wade courted his hometown Chicago Bulls, armed with Derrick Rose, cap space and a plethora of solid backup singers yearning for a star. In the end, Miami’s adopted son stayed with the Heat, then brought Chris Bosh and eventually LeBron James along with him.
Like the rest of the NBA, Anthony surely hasn’t forgotten that summer, and HOOPSWORLD reports the Knicks have already hit the NBA’s leading scorer with their pitch:
On the Anthony front, there is a chance he looks at greener pastures in 2014, but sources close to the process say the Knicks have already let Anthony know that their books will be basically clear in 2015 and he can pick his teammates much as Wade did in Miami.
With the New York market behind him and the almost unlimited checkbook of the Knicks, Anthony will have a lot of options in 2015 and while teams like the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers might be tempting in 2014, Anthony has a lot of influence in New York and they are willing to let him build his own team in NYC in 2015
By 2015, the massive contracts of Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler and Andrea Bargnani are all off the books. J.R. Smith and Raymond Felton have modest player options for 2015-16 totaling a little more than $10 million. Pablo Prigioni‘s $1.7 million is non-guaranteed. Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr. could still be on their rookie deals (C.J. Leslie as well). The cupboard is clear. The Knicks can make a splash.
It’s a hard sell, asking a star player in his prime to wait. But as HOOPSWORLD points out, there’s a good chance both ‘Melo and LeBron stay where they are next summer, turning what could be a monster free agency offseason into just an appetizer featuring dishes like Chris Bosh, Rudy Gay and possibly Brandon Jennings.
What will ‘Melo do next summer?
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