Report: Carmelo Anthony ‘Leaning’ Toward Leaving Knicks

Sources say superstar could sign with Chicago or Houston as free agent.

Posted: 06/16/2014 09:30 AM EDT

Options are a beautiful thing. Just ask Carmelo Anthony.

With the New York Knicks superstar expected to opt out of his contract and become a free agent July 1, ESPN is reporting that the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Miami Heat and now even the Dallas Mavericks have emerged as possible landing destinations for Anthony. Mavs officials are exploring how to create enough financial flexibility to extend an offer to Anthony, too, per ESPN.

In particular, though, Melo is reportedly leaning toward spurning New York for either Chicago or Houston, according to Yahoo Sports. Both teams must clear enough salary-cap space to sign one of the league's most lethal scorers.

A recent article from the New York Daily News seems to corroborate that notion, citing that Anthony wants to stay in New York, but thinks that the Bulls, Rockets or Heat give him better options of winning an NBA title.

That didn’t stop Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki from giving Melo his best pitch recently.

"If Carmelo would really love to come here, we'd love to have him," Nowitzki said in an interview on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, as reported by ESPN. "Listen, I think I've showed over my 16 years that I can play with anybody. The only tough season I think we've had is when we had [Antawn] Jamison and Antoine Walker and myself who are all three kind of the same four-men, but other than that, I think I've shown over my career that I can play with anybody. I'll adjust, whether I have to get out of the way or go to the corner more, post up, pass. I'll do whatever, really, that needs to be done out there to win or for this franchise to be a winner."

Whoever lands the services of Anthony will be getting the NBA’s second-highest scorer. Melo averaged 27.4 points per game this past 2013-14 season, second to only Oklahoma City Thunder superstar and league MVP Kevin Durant (32 ppg).

In April, a report surfaced about Melo wanting the full free agency experience like Dwight Howard had last summer before signing with the Rockets.

The Knicks — with new team president Phil Jackson and head coach Derek Fisher — can offer Anthony nearly $33 million more than other teams in free agency with a five-year maximum of $129.1 million to stay.

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(Photo: Bill Kostroun/AP Photo)

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