(CBS) A major reason for the holdup in Carmelo Anthony making his free agency decision is that he’s waiting for LeBron James to first decide where he’ll play next season, ESPN.com reported Wednesday afternoon.
It was originally thought that Anthony would decide quickly, according to multiple reports. He met with the Bulls in Chicago on July 1, with the Rockets and Mavericks in Texas on July 2 and with the Lakers and Knicks on July 3 in Los Angeles. Since then, all has been quiet on the Anthony front, though the consensus is that his decision is between the Knicks, Lakers and Bulls.
The Knicks and Lakers have reportedly offered max contracts — New York’s at five years and $129 million and Los Angeles’ at four years and $96 million. Chicago doesn’t have as much cap space, and thus without a sign-and-trade transaction is looking at offering around four years and $73 million, the Chicago Tribune reported.
If Chris Bosh left for Houston and James returned to Miami, that would open the door for the Heat to make a run at Anthony, though he’d almost certainly have to take a pay cut.
The Knicks had anticipated knowing Anthony’s decision by this past Monday, ESPN.com reported.
The Lakers, Knicks and Bulls all stood pat on other targets as they wait for Anthony, but their worry is that if Anthony doesn’t choose them, they’ll miss out on their next-best contingency plan.
James is believed to be deciding between the Heat and Cavaliers, and he wants a max contract.