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NBA Free Agency: Carmelo Anthony decision 'not today'

Maddie Meyer

So LeBron James is actually going to be a Cleveland Cavalier next season, which, still: holy crap.

Immediately after that huge announcement, one had to wonder if Carmelo Anthony would follow suit, but:

So that stinks. Maybe the reason was simply he wanted his own day outside of the shadow of LeBron's announcement. Maybe, like Ricky suggested a couple (feels like forever) days ago: this changing of the Eastern Conference landscape can have an effect on Melo's plans. The dismantling of the Heat (Chris Bosh is reportedly going to Houston) means there will be a new conference champion. However if the Cavs can spin some of their young talent (including Andrew Wiggins) into a player the caliber of Kevin Love, they have an even better 'Big 3' than Miami would've had this year. But for at least the next day, the East is even more wide open than ever before.

As for the Bulls pursuit of Carmelo Anthony, they're still in it after the reported Thursday decision to return to the Knicks didn't happen. Gar Paxdorf has reportedly bailed on Summer League to focus on getting Melo to Chicago. A key barrier still remains though: how to create the threat of enough cap space to have Melo commit.

The other reported suitor, the Lakers, just (like, minutes ago) acquired Jeremy Lin into their cap space. They still should have enough for pursuing Melo, though (and this is speculation, to be fair) Melo didn't seem to enjoy Linsanity when it occurred a couple of years ago.

(Unless you figure Melo feels he has to take (a lot) less money to be on a team to be good enough to challenge the LeBron-led Cavs. Or, twisting another way, might as well take the money and worry about contention later because 2014-15 is for the Cavs. Or it doesn't matter what LeBron's team is, take the money. Depends how we feel about someone we have no idea about!)