When New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony officially becomes an unrestricted free agent Tuesday, teams will be lining up to speak with him.
He is expected to speak with several teams, including the Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat.
According to Mitch Lawrence of The New York Daily News, Anthony’s preference is to team up with both LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.
Then there are the Lakers, who have already committed almost $40 million in salaries for next season, when the cap is expected to rise to $63 million. That would leave enough room for Anthony, but the Lakers would not be able to bring in Melo and LeBron James, unless those two would take substantial pay cuts. Anthony’s preference is to team with James and Kobe Bryant, but that likely won’t come to pass, with James having input in the Heat’s roster overhaul and expected to re-sign with Miami.
Anthony put up 27.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game and shot 45.2% from the field, 40.2% from beyond the arc and 84.8% from the free throw line last season. James averaged 27.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 56.7% from the field, 37.9% from three and 75.0% from the charity stripe last season. Bryant appeared in only six games last season, averaging 13.1 points, 6.3 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 42.5% from the field, 18.8% from beyond the arc and 85.7% from the free throw line. In his storied career, he has averaged 25.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 45.4% from the field, 33.5% from three and 83.8% from the charity stripe.