Anthony opts out, possible game-changer in East

Anthony opts out, possible game-changer in East
June 22, 2014, 2:30 pm
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(Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports)

Carmelo Anthony will become a free agent. Based on most rumors and media sourced-assumptions, the high-scoring forward will therefore also leave the Knicks.

Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Sunday that Anthony opted out of his 2014-15 contract with New York. The NBA's second scorer leading this past season, Anthony, 30 was set to make $23.5 million for the upcoming campaign. Anthony had until Monday to make a decision.

Now he'll sign a massive multi-year deal. The question is where. 

* The Knicks didn't make the playoffs this past season and have scant options when it comes to improving the flawed and aged roster. The selling point, beyond the hires of Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher, is that New York will have plenty of cap space heading into the 2015-16 season. Seeing as Anthony has already played 11 NBA seasons, don't expect him to essentially sit one out when it comes to pursuing an NBA title.

* The idea of Anthony joining LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami received oodles of attention during the NBA Finals. Don't bet on it. The Heat would need to generate significant cap space and that seems unlikely unless the Big 3 restructure their sizeable contracts. Anthony also isn't what Miami needs (rim protector and point guard).

RELATED: [More rumor mill: All LeBron, all the time]

* Chicago remains Anthony's most likely landing spot, though the Bulls have some contracts to shed notably Carlos Boozer and possibly Taj Gibson/ or Mike Dunleavy. While Anthony's volume shooting/ball dominant ways aren't a great for several teams, that style could work with the Bulls. Similar to the way the 76ers' roster complemented Allen Iverson, Chicago's group of role players and specialists don't require plays to be run for them. Also, Anthony would provide a hedge in case Derrick Rose's knee isn't all the way back. If the Bulls can add Anthony while keeping Gibson to go with Rose and Joakim Noah, we're looking at the preseason favorites in the East.

* Consider the Rockets as the next most likely destination for Anthony after the Bulls. However Houston has even more work to do when it comes to shedding contracts.

* As for the Lakers, they can throw the bank at Kobe Bryant's Olympic teammate, not to mention all that Hollywood glitz and glamour. The thing is, the roster literally has just three players on it: Bryant, Steve Nash and Robert Sacre. 

* It would be a stunner if the Wizards got involved based on the expected price tag alone. Anthony's non-facilitating ways also doesn't make for a great fit with John Wall and Bradley Beal. Still, where he lands impacts Washington's hopes and dreams for next season and beyond. Join forces with the Bulls or Heat, we're talking title contender. Stay with the Knicks and everybody holds their breath to see what other Super Friends come aboard next summer. Leave for Houston and the Western Conference gets even stronger while the East loses a major scoring threat.