The New York Knicks see Carmelo Anthony as a part of their future that extends beyond this upcoming season. General manager Glen Grunwald said in a conference call that he sees a "long-term, successful partnership" with the reigning scoring champion, ESPN New York reports. Simply put, the Knicks want Anthony to stay put.
The comments from the Knicks executive comes just as rumors of the Los Angeles Lakers making hard charges at Anthony and LeBron James next summer began floating around.
Sources told ESPN that the Lakers are showing signs that they'll attempt to add either or both All-Stars next summer, when they could become free agents. One source said the Lakers landing either would be a "realistic" possibility while another called it "far-fetched."
Anthony would have to opt out of his $23.3 million salary for 2014-15 to become a free agent and that would leave a good deal of money on the table. ESPN salary cap expert Larry Coon estimates the losses of guaranteed money to be around $33 million if Anthony signs another long-term, max contract with a team other than the Knicks.
What do the Lakers have to offer?
It's hard to say a year away from any such movement being a possibility. Los Angeles will only have Steve Nash and Robert Sacre under contract, and it's expected they will at least try to hang onto an aging Kobe Bryant past his current contract.
In the eyes of Lakers ESPN beat writer Dave McMenamin, here's how the best-case scenario would go down, allowing the team to sign both Anthony and James. Bryant would need to take a paycut on his next contract and help in recruiting Anthony. That duo, led by Anthony, could then recruit James and the roster could be filled in from there. That's a lot of ifs, but it's apparently something close to the ideal summer of 2014 for the Lakers.