As the Los Angeles Lakers continue to wait for Carmelo Anthony to make his decision, it appears Anthony’s choice may be hinging on where LeBron James chooses to sign, according to Ramona Shelburne and Ian Begley of ESPN.com.
There was wide expectation that Anthony was going to come to a decision sometime early this week, but as James continues to remain available there is a growing notion that he is waiting for the four-time league MVP to pick his next destination. The New York Knicks, who have put on the table for Anthony the max contract of five years and $129 million, were with the belief that the seven-time All-Star would have accepted their offer on Monday, but now have been given the impression that he may leave elsewhere.
Anthony had meet with the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Lakers, and Knicks last week, but it is believed that he has narrowed down to the latter two teams. In his sit down with Los Angeles last Thursday, he was reportedly offered the max contract of four years and $96 million. The Lakers’ pitch to Anthony included showing him a short film that was created by movie producer Joel Silver, his No. 7 jersey in a team uniform, and holding the meeting in Jeanie Buss’s office, where the 10 championship trophies that the organization has won since moving to Los Angeles reside.
Former Lakers’ great Magic Johnson was also said to be a part of the nearly three hour meeting as he called in from his family vacation in Europe. One notable name left out of the sit down was Kobe Bryant,who was unable to fly back on time from his family vacation due to the meeting being moved up to an earlier time. However, he did meet up with Anthony later Thursday night.
As for James, it is appearing more likely that he may return back to the Cleveland Cavaliers especially given the three-team trade on Wednesday that opened up enough salary cap space to sign the two-time NBA champion to the max contract that he desires. This coupled with reports stating that James has also recruited his former teammates in Ray Allen and Mike Miller to join him in Cleveland put more solidity to the theory that he will sign with the organization that he spent the first seven years of his career.
Anthony is not only player waiting on James, as Chris Bosh is reportedly holding out on making any decision until the 10-time All-Star decides where he will play next season. Bosh had stated in many different instances last season that he would like to continue to play alongside James, but if he were to depart to another he may choose to entertain the current max contract offer of four years and $88 million on the table from the Houston Rockets.
What this ultimately points to is that once James makes his decision, there will be much movement around the league following it.
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