Before all of the Carmelo Anthony leaving the New York Knicks speculation began back around the All-Star break last season, the one team that emerged as the first serious threat for Melo was the Los Angeles Lakers.
However that was before the Knicks hired Phil Jackson as team president.
And while the chances of Anthony bolting are still there, Melo bolting for the Lakers seems highly unlikely.
That’s because Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss loves her fiancé.
According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, Buss, who’s engaged to Jackson, doesn’t like the idea of poaching Anthony from her fiancé’s team.
That’s good news for the Knicks, who are still viewed as the favorites for Melo as there likely won’t be much of a market for Anthony’s services although teams like the Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets will certainly be in the running.
Anthony’s potential decision to re-sign with the Knicks may be by default. Two of his prime candidates, Houston and Chicago, still have to get far enough under the salary cap to make it worth it for Anthony. The Bulls may have to rid themselves of Mike Dunleavy, Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson on a squad that was knocked out of the playoffs in the first round. Plus, Anthony would be banking on the uncertain future of the oft-injured Derrick Rose.
The Rockets were also knocked out in the first round and need to get rid of Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik to get under the salary cap. Meanwhile, the Lakers have cap space but sources maintain they aren’t too interested in Anthony as a fit with Kobe Bryant. Nor is Lakers president Jeanie Buss enthralled with stealing Anthony from Jackson, her fiancé.
While Anthony may balk at the fact of Jackson wanting him to take a major pay cut to remain in New York, at the end of the day he simply may not have many other realistic options.