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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Carmelo Anthony to Return to Knicks

According to The New York Daily News, Carmelo Anthony is expected to announce on Thursday that he is re-signing with the Knicks.  Anthony's agent, Leon Rose, claims that "no decision" has been reached but a friend who was with Anthony on Wednesday in Los Angeles told the Daily News that Anthony "wants to get it done in New York." 


"He will have something for everybody on Thursday," said the friend who was with Anthony before Anthony's scheduled workout with Kevin Durant and Kevin Love in Bel Air. "He is really torn because this is the biggest decision of his career. But he wants to get it done in New York. He told me he believes in Phil."  Players can begin signing free agent contracts on Thursday and the deal on the table from the Knicks is a max contract worth $129 million over five years. Barring a last minute change of heart — or the Chicago Bulls being able to convince Jackson, the Knicks president, to engage in a sign-and-trade — Anthony will re-sign with the Knicks.  The Lakers have also offered Anthony a max deal over four years which is worth $96 million. The Chicago Bulls can only offer $75 million but could potentially get close to the max in a sign-and-trade.  Anthony, who throughout the season was steadfast in saying that he wanted to remain in New York, was intrigued by moving west and joining his good friend Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles. He also believed that he would be joining a championship contender in Chicago where the Bulls have a strong core with Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson. Anthony was impressed with the Bulls’ presentation and felt a strong bond with the players and head coach Tom Thibodeau.  But ultimately, Anthony's heart is in New York where his family is comfortable and where he confident that Jackson can return the club to prominence.  Anthony's friend says that Anthony prolonging his decision is not a reflection of him having second thoughts about the Knicks or Jackson, who upset the Anthony camp on several occasions by publicly challenging Anthony to take less that the max.Jackson, fearing he could lose Anthony, met with the All-Star forward in Los Angeles last Thursday and offered him $129 million. The Knicks were expecting to receive a verbal agreement from Anthony that night but Anthony wanted to take at least the weekend to decide his future.  By Wednesday, Anthony was telling friends that he could put himself in a position to win a championship in New York. The Knicks last won an NBA title in 1973.  Jackson still has to make significant upgrades to improve the roster and turn the Knicks into a contender, especially if LeBron James stays in the Eastern Conference. However, Anthony is pleased by the addition of point guard Jose Calderon, whom the Knicks acquired from the Mavs on draft night. Once Anthony re-signs, Jackson will continue his pursuit of Lakers free agent Pau Gasol, who is friends with his Spanish national team teammate Calderon.

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