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:
Hearing the Lakers made a MAJOR impact on Melo this week – it's now a legit 3-way battle between LA/Chi/NYK to land him. Crazy NBA weekend.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) July 5, 2014
Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski expressed the same sentiment shortly thereafter:
Lakers have moved into serious contention on Carmelo Anthony, multiple sources tell Yahoo. "In the game now," one source close to Melo says.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 5, 2014
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.