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Carmelo Anthony waiting to see if he can join LeBron James in Miami?

Carmelo Anthony LeBron JamesThe Miami Heat are going to need Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade to take less money in order to keep their Big Three intact. LeBron James will likely command something very close to a maximum contract, and deservedly so. If the Big Three all return, those crazy rumors about the Heat potentially signing Carmelo Anthony will disappear. But what if Bosh leaves?

Bosh has reportedly been offered a max contract from the Houston Rockets, and there has been word that he may prefer that over taking a pay cut to stay with the Heat. And if he does, there might be an opportunity for LeBron and Carmelo to join forces in Miami. Marc Berman of the New York Post has more:

However, that scenario became trickier with Miami agreeing to terms with Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger on Monday, though not impossible. If Wade takes a significant pay cut, Riley can be creative in fitting James and his buddy Anthony under the salary cap.

The Lakers, too, would have to be creative in fitting in James and Anthony. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak met with James’ agent in Cleveland on Friday and their pie-in-the-sky plan was adding both stars and creating more cap space by dealing Steve Nash’s contract.

Having LeBron, Carmelo and Kobe Bryant on the same team seems way too over-the-top to even consider. However, Anthony could feasibly end up in Miami if he was desperate enough to play alongside LeBron. He would have to take much less money than the New York Knicks are willing to offer, but stranger things have happened and teams are reportedly talking about it.

While I’m sure the thought of playing with LeBron excites ‘Melo, I don’t see why he would want to do that. Anthony was supposed to rescue the Knicks and lead his team to a championship. If he teamed with LeBron, he’d just be along for the ride.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

Knicks, Lakers and Bulls reportedly the finalists for Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony military

This should come as no surprise, but Carmelo Anthony reportedly has finalized the list of teams he is seriously considering, and those three teams are said to be the Knicks, Lakers and Bulls, according to the New York Daily News.

‘Melo visited with representatives from the aforementioned three teams as well as the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets. The Knicks have reportedly been the favorite to re-sign Anthony all along. They can offer him a fifth year and more guaranteed money than anyone else.

The Bulls were Anthony’s first stop in free agency and reportedly went all out with their pitch. Of the three teams Anthony is reportedly considering, they are by far the best and closest to being a championship contender. Even though they can only offer him somewhere in the range of $75 million for four years, they have the most complete roster and have grabbed his attention because they can win.

The Lakers reportedly are in serious consideration for Anthony too after their pitch was well received. They can offer him the max, which would be around $97 million for four years. Anthony lives in LA in the offseason and is close with Kobe Bryant.

One team that should not be discounted, though, is the Miami Heat. The Daily News’ Frank Isola says the Heat could be a contender for ‘Melo if Chris Bosh chooses to sign with the Houston Rockets. The Heat could then take that money saved for Bosh and use it on ‘Melo.

Carmelo Anthony to Lakers? LA reportedly in the mix

Carmelo AnthonyAre the Los Angeles Lakers legitimate contenders to sign Carmelo Anthony? That’s the word on the street.

Carmelo met with the Lakers in Los Angeles Thursday. That was his third day of free agent meetings, which began with a visit in Chicago on Tuesday, and meetings with the Rockets and Mavericks on Wednesday. He also met with the Knicks in LA Thursday night.

ESPN writer/personality Bill Simmons, who isn’t known for being a reporter but has had some scoops in his day, had this to say on Twitter Saturday:

Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski expressed the same sentiment shortly thereafter:

In their meeting, the Lakers reportedly told Carmelo that they were offering him a max contract of $97 million for four years. One reason returning to the Knicks is so appealing is because they can offer Carmelo $129 million deal for five years.

The Knicks have been the favorite to retain ‘Melo according to most chatter. Reports say his wife, LaLa, wants to stay in NY and that Anthony is reluctant to uproot his family. Carmelo also is said to be on board with new team president Phil Jackson’s plans and that he liked the decision to hire Derek Fisher as head coach.

I still believe ‘Melo will return to the Knicks, but this certainly is making things much more fun.

Lakers had Tobey Maguire voice over short movie for Carmelo Anthony

Tobey MaguireThe Lakers did not completely flex their Hollywood muscles during a free agent meeting with Carmelo Anthony on Thursday, but they did at least show what they’re capable of.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers had famed movie producer Joel Silver create a four-minute video showing a trailer of ‘Melo’s life. None other than “Spider-man” actor Toby Maguire did the voiceover for it.

While the Houston Rockets were out there ticking off Jeremy Lin by giving ‘Melo his jersey number, the Lakers had Seabiscuit telling Carmelo what’s up.

Who gets the edge in that one? Not even a discussion.

The Lakers also reportedly told ‘Melo they would offer him the maximum they’re able to, which is $97 million over four years. That sounds nice and all, but he’s still going back to the Knicks.

And how awesome is it that Jeanie Buss and Phil Jackson are competing for the same player? That has to make for some great makeup sex.

Report: Bulls may need Carmelo Anthony to take $16 million per year

Carmelo-Anthony-Knicks-DefenseThe Chicago Bulls might offer Carmelo Anthony the best opportunity to contend for an NBA championship. Having Anthony, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Derrick Rose in a starting lineup would be tough to beat. From the sound of it, the only chance the Bulls have of signing Anthony is if he buys into that theory. Why? They don’t have much money to offer.

According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Bulls spoke to Melo during their meeting with him on Tuesday about the possibility of a four-year deal worth roughly $16 million per season. The New York Knicks can offer Anthony roughly $130 million over five years while other teams can go to four years and $96 million. That means the Knicks can offer $26 million per season and other teams can offer $24 million.

In other words, Melo would likely need to play at a significantly discounted rate to sign with the Bulls. Unless he is in love with the team and the city, he probably won’t be willing to do that. There have also been rumors about a possible sign-and-trade involving Carlos Boozer that would allow Chicago to give Anthony more money, but Phil Jackson is reportedly opposed to the idea.

If the Houston Rockets trade Jeremy Lin, they can offer Anthony close to a max contract. Keep in mind that Carmelo is 30, so this will likely be his last big deal. Is he willing to take $8-$10 million less per season to play in Chicago? We highly doubt it.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

Kobe Bryant flies back from Europe vacation to meet with Carmelo Anthony

Kobe-Bryant-Carmelo-AnthonyCarmelo Anthony will continue his free agency tour on Thursday by visiting with the Los Angeles Lakers. No pitch to a superstar free agent would be complete for the Lakers without their five-time NBA champion and 16-time All-Star. That’s why Kobe Bryant reportedly flew back to LA from a European vacation late Wednesday night.

As ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Ramona Shelburne noted, Bryant and Anthony are close friends. Kobe has been courting Carmelo for quite a while, but he still felt he should be present when the team officially meets with the 30-year-old. While the Lakers — like all other teams — have reportedly made LeBron James their No. 1 target, it sounds like Melo can hardly be called Plan B.

Anthony is far from a consolation prize, however. Sources indicate the Lakers are enamored with his game and believe he would complement Bryant well. The Lakers hope to pair the two wings with center Pau Gasol, with whom they met on the first day of free agency.

Gasol has already indicated that the Lakers will have to make some significant changes in order for him to re-sign with the team, and I’m sure signing someone like Anthony and bringing in a new head coach would be enough to persuade him.

The Lakers are said to have delayed their coaching search so that free agents like Anthony or LeBron could pick their head coach if they decided to sign with LA.

While having Kobe fly in to state his case is probably flattering, Anthony has to decide if the Lakers give him the best chance of capturing his first NBA title. Kobe is 35 and has suffered significant injuries in each of the past two seasons. Gasol will turn 34 on Sunday and hasn’t exactly been a model of health, either.

If Anthony is going to leave New York (and it doesn’t sound like he is), you would think the Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets would be far more appealing.

Jeremy Lin seemingly responds to Rockets ‘giving’ Carmelo Anthony his number

Carmelo-Anthony-Rockets-sign

While trying to flatter Carmelo Anthony before his free agent visit on Wednesday, the Houston Rockets also insulted Jeremy Lin. Photos of Anthony wearing No. 7 were plastered on the Toyota Center to show him what he would look like in a Rockets uniform. The issue with that is No. 7 currently belongs to Lin, who is still under contract with the team.

Shortly after photos of Anthony on the Rockets’ arena went viral, Lin sent the following tweet.

As many of you know, Lin is very religious. We’d be shocked if that Bible passage wasn’t directed at Houston’s disrespectful gesture. But we’re not surprised that Lin, who has been overlooked throughout his career, seems willing to turn the other cheek.

Everyone knows Carmelo wears No. 7 and that Lin’s salary would probably need to be dumped if Anthony decides to sign with the Rockets, but there are other ways the team could have courted ‘Melo. They didn’t need to toss one of their own aside.

Photo via @MarkBermanFox26