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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Illustration for article titled Report: Carmelo Is Going Back To The Knicks (Update: Maybe?)

One down, apparently. Frank Isola at the NY Daily News is reporting that "barring a last minute change of heart Anthony will re-sign with the Knicks." The Knicks can offer him a five-year $129 million contract.

Melo's decision reportedly came down to the Lakers, Bulls, and Knicks. The Lakers were in position to offer Melo the max, but he'd have been banking on Kobe coming back as something resembling Kobe, Julius Randle being an instant Z-Bo, and everything else falling exactly right. The Bulls would have looked like one of the best teams in the league with Melo and whatever shows up wearing a Derrick Rose jersey, but would have had to sign-and-trade to get him a max deal. The Knicks have Bargs and Amar'e.


So it looks like New York. But Woj also reports that the thinking for Melo has become, Get New York's money, force a trade later if necessary. If we're going by Woj, though, we should also pump the brakes on the Knicks using their cap space next year to add LeBron, since Melo hadn't even been able to get in touch with him.

Even if this report bears out, it remains to be seen if Carmelo, like other max free agents, will sign a full five-year deal or if he signs for two years, waiting on the new TV (and jersey) deals that will raise league revenue, which raises salary cap, which in turn raises the max salary—which means a whole lot more money for max players. Given the tone, Melo probably takes the money (he'll be 32 when the new deals kick in, and that's a harder sell for a max deal).

Update: The L.A. Daily News's Mark Medina has a conflicting report:

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