In what is sure to be a summer full of rumors, reports, leaked updates and smoke screens, the Carmelo Anthony saga appears to be heating up with new information.
Though a report from Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski said yesterday that the seven-time All-Star was leaning towards leaving New York for Houston or Chicago -- with Houston building "significant momentum" for his services -- a report from the New York Daily Post says the Knicks are not concerned about it.
In Wojnarowski's report, he alluded to the meeting between Anthony and the Knicks brass, including president Phil Jackson, saying it "had little impact on (Anthony's) state of mind, league sources said, because there remain too many uncertainties about how quickly president Phil Jackson can reshape the team into a championship contender."
The Knicks, which went 37-45 and missed the playoffs in a weak Eastern Conference last year, can offer Anthony a maximum contract but certainly are not as close to competing for a championship as Houston and Chicago. Still, a Knicks source refuted Wojnarowski's report, telling Marc Berman the meeting between the two sides was positive.
"The meeting went well — [Anthony] will still most likely opt out — but all in all, a good meeting," the source said.
Despite the reports in Wojnarowski's story, that Anthony was turned off by comments made publicly by Jackson about wanting Anthony to take less money and that his comments on wanting Anthony to stay have been "cavalier" and "noticed," the Knicks still like their odds to retain the 30-year-old sharpshooter.
As it pertains to the Bulls, a league source told Berman that both the Rockets' and Bulls' ventures to clear cap space in order to sign Anthony would be "doable but very hard." For the Bulls, that would include using the amnesty clause on Carlos Boozer, trading away talented forward Taj Gibson, opting not to bring over Nikola Mirotic from Spain and likely another move to cut salary.
The Rockets would need to shed the salaries of Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin, though Wojnarowski noted Saturday that both those contracts are expiring and could be used in a sign-and-trade scenario with the Knicks. Lin burst on to the scene with the Knicks in 2011, averaging 14.6 points and 6.2 assists in 35 games.
If Anthony opts out of his contract by June 23, teams would be able to speak with him beginning on July 1.