The prevailing belief for quite some time seemed to be that Carmelo Anthony was going to leave the New York Knicks, and head to either the Chicago Bulls or Houston Rockets this summer.
However, as always seems to be the case around this crazy time of year, the tea leaves now appear to be reading that Melo is likely headed back to New York.
On top of that, we’ve now reached a point where Carmelo’s non-Knicks suitors fear that they have a very slim chance of landing the seven-time all-star’s services, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.
ESPN’s Ian Begley also reported that the Bulls specifically were worried about not landing Carmelo:
“They’re worried that he’s headed back to New York,” a source with knowledge of the team’s thinking said of early Tuesday morning. “They’re more pessimistic than optimistic.”
The main attraction for Carmelo heading back to New York is that they can offer him a five year contract worth $129 million, a length and amount more than any other team.
While it would be hard to fault Melo for getting paid at his market value, it would contradict his previous statement that a top priority for him is to go where he can win. Passing up playing with Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah or James Harden and Dwight Howard to head back to a Knicks team that didn’t even make the postseason in a terrible Eastern Conference last season isn’t exactly placing an emphasis on winning.
Carmelo is expected to make his decision before the weekend ends, according to Chris Herring of the Wall Street Journal.