Carmelo Anthony is leaning toward opting out of his contract and leaving the Knicks to pursue a title with the Chicago Bulls or Houston Rockets, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports is reporting.
New Knicks team president Phil Jackson and coach Derek Fisher traveled to Los Angeles this weekend to try and convince Anthony to stay in New York. There had been rumors this past week of Anthony being interested in joining LeBron James, Dywane Wade and Chris Bosh with the Miami Heat or even coming to Boston as Danny Ainge tries to re-build the Celtics back into a title contender.
More from Wojnarowski's story:
Knicks star Carmelo Anthony is leaning toward leaving in pursuit of immediate championship contention, and awaits the Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets to clear the necessary salary-cap space to sign him in free agency, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
As re-signing with the Knicks continues to fade as his priority, Chicago and Houston have emerged as the clear frontrunners to acquire Anthony, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Anthony's meeting with Knicks officials on Friday night had little impact on his 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.
Chicago and Houston front-office executives are working diligently on contingencies to clear the space to sign Anthony outright – or engage sign-and-trade scenarios with New York, sources said.
"His heart is in New York," one source familiar with Anthony's thinking told Yahoo Sports, "but he wants a chance to win now."