The biggest story in the NBA since free agency began as been the courtship of New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony.
It was believed that the Chicago Bulls might be the favorite to land Anthony and as free agency opened Tuesday, Anthony was in Chicago. He toured their facilities at the United Center and even watched Derrick Rose work out (possibly without Rose’s prior knowledge). He finished the night by having dinner with Bulls’ big men Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson, head coach Tom Thibodeau, general manager Gar Forman and owner Jerry Reinsdorf.
On Wednesday, Anthony headed to Texas. He discussed the possibility of becoming the Houston Rockets’ third star, along with center Dwight Howard and guard James Harden and even met with both Howard and Harden privately. After that, he listened to Mark Cuban pitch the Dallas Mavericks. Anthony then went west to meet with the Los Angeles Lakers (although he reportedly did not meet with Kobe Bryant). The Knicks, led by president Phil Jackson and head coach Derek Fisher, who still own homes in Los Angeles, also with Anthony.
After all of the meeting, most expect Anthony to remain with the Knicks but there are two more teams in the mix.
“Really I think [there are] only three teams: It’s the Knicks, the Bulls and the Rockets, in my opinion,” Sam Amick of The USA Today said. “That’s what I’m being told by some of the executives involved in the process.”
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.