Carmelo Anthony did what many expected in NBA free agency and took the money in New York. What impacts will his decision have around the league?
LeBron James is likely on his way home to Cleveland
The rumors that Anthony wanted to find a way to play with LeBron James were not phony, but they were unrealistic. With Melo now almost certain to stay with the Knicks, it can only mean he believes the King is not returning to the Miami Heat or going to the Lakers and will indeed make his return to the hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. It’s something people close to him have encouraged and the chance to pair with Kyrie Irving is certainly a draw in and of itself.
Pau Gasol is on his way out of Los Angeles
Like most other second tier players in NBA free agency, Pau Gasol was awaiting a decision by Anthony, but his reasoning went deeper. The rumors were strong that Melo could head to Los Angeles to join Kobe Bryant, at which point the Lakers would have ample bargaining power to lure the 34-year old forward back from NBA free agency. Now that such a plan has been dashed, it almost guarantees Gasol is going somewhere else. Rumors persist about San Antonio, Oklahom City, and Chicago being primary landing spots with the Knicks lurking in the shadows.
The pressure is back on Derrick Rose in Chicago
Speaking of the Chicago Bulls, fans are certain to get on them about yet again missing out on a glorious NBA free agency opportunity to land another superstar. However, it’s debatable about how good their chances were to begin with. In the meantime, they don’t have the luxury of dwelling on it. Chicago must get back to work to bring in as much help as they can because the fact is that the pressure of winning a title is now squarely back on the shoulders of Derrick Rose, and the confidence he exudes is not remotely shared by fans after watching him miss almost two full seasons with knee injuries. All they can do is hope he stays on the floor.