After meeting with the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers, Carmelo Anthony met with Phil Jackson and company last Thursday in a last attempt to convince him to stay in New York.
Initially, reports surfaced that the meeting with the Knicks brass went well. As a result, many believed Carmelo would simply be headed back to New York on a five-year deal worth $129 million.
Apparently, things have changed with rumors of Carmelo getting mixed signals from the Knicks about his contract offer, according to Chris Herring of the Wall Street Journal:
According to a person familiar with the situation, Anthony felt as if he got mixed signals from the New York Knicks during his meeting with the team on Thursday. While Anthony and his camp were told that he could have a maximum contract if he wanted it, a source said, team president Phil Jackson continued to preach the virtues of taking less than the maximum—a message that left Anthony questioning whether the max offer was sincere.
It remains to be seen if Carmelo truly felt slighted by the Knicks during their meeting. If so, the Lakers might quickly become the frontrunner to land the superstar forward in free agency. Los Angeles can offer Anthony the most money in free agency outside of New York and that may ultimately prove to be the difference if he’s still being asked to take less money by Jackson.
With Anthony wanting to take the holiday weekend to make his decision, Monday will be a big day for both the Lakers and Knicks. If Carmelo decides to sign with the Lakers, Pau Gasol might soon follow with the veteran forward hoping for another shot to contend and the addition of Anthony bringing the Lakers one step closer.
It’ll be interesting to see how things pan out over the next couple of days, but one thing is for certain, the Lakers remain in contention to land Carmelo.
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