This week one of the biggest stars in the NBA, Carmelo Anthony, decided that he would opt out of his deal with the New York Knicks and become one of the most lucrative free agents this summer, along with his good friend LeBron James. Virtually every team will want to get their name in the mix for Anthony’s services, but only few will make a serious push.
According to a report from ESPN, two teams that could become serious contenders for Anthony are the Atlanta Hawks and, the team that James just opted out from, the Miami Heat.
Teams can’t formally contact free agents until 12:01 a.m. ET July 1, but sources told ESPN.com that the Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat are two more teams that could join the race for Anthony, depending on how things play out before, during and after Thursday’s NBA draft.
Now in Anthony’s case, as opposed to James, it’s all but a certainty that he won’t be returning to the Knicks. There just isn’t really any appeal for him to stay there with the current state the franchise is in. James, on the other hand, opted out from his deal with Miami as more of an ultimatum to improve the team, especially after their shoddy performance in the NBA Finals.
So, the Heat making a run at Anthony could convince LeBron to forget about all the other suitors out there.
As for the Hawks, they could bring some appeal to the table, especially with the rise up the ranks they’ve been making the past few years, getting themselves into the playoff. Anthony could be a missing piece that eventually gets them over the hump.