Marc Berman of the NY Post reported earlier this week that Carmelo’s wife La La, who is also a Brooklyn native, has been very happy in New York and wants Melo to stay with the Knicks. Anthony also said in an interview last week that he has concerns over uprooting his 7-year-old son Kiyan again.
“There’s reason to believe he’s staying,” a source from Anthony’s inner circle reportedly told Berman. “There’s just too much money out there. He’s doing to the right things, though. He’s got to make the rounds.”
For what it’s worth, La La previously said she believes Carmelo will stay with the Knicks but that she can “live anywhere” if she lived in Denver.
The Knicks can offer Anthony a max contract of nearly $130 million over five years. Any other team can “only” sign him to a four-year, $96 million deal. Obviously, the ability to offer more money gives the Knicks an edge. I’m sure the addition of Phil Jackson to the team’s front office also helps.
According to ESPNNewYork.com’s Ian Begley, the Chicago Bulls are feeling “pessimistic” about their chances of landing Carmelo despite their extravagant pitch to him on Tuesday.
“They’re worried that he’s headed back to New York,” a source told Begley. “They’re more pessimistic than optimistic.”
Jackson has basically admitted that Carmelo gave the Knicks his word he would return to New York, so there is every reason to believe the Knicks are still the favorite. But if we’ve learned anything from NBA free agency in the past (ahem, LeBron James and “The Decision”), it’s to always expect the unexpected.