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Carmelo Anthony is meeting with Knicks Thursday night, will make decision before end of weekend

This is likely ending soon.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Carmelo Anthony's free agency appears to be nearing its conclusion. Following a meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, the All-Star forward will meet with the Knicks in L.A. Chris Herring of the Wall Street Journal reports that Anthony is likely to make his decision before the end of the weekend. The Knicks are hoping to get a commitment tonight, but even the local New York guys don't think that's going to happen.

The Bulls reportedly did not talk about money with Anthony during his visit on Wednesday, instead giving him an assurance they can make it work if he ends up choosing Chicago. At the moment, it seems like a long shot. There are multiple reports that state the Knicks as the heavy favorite to retain Anthony. The Bulls seem like they're coming in second. You don't get a Grant Park parade for coming in second.

There will be lots of time to talk about the aftermath of this decision, but it certainly is nice that Anthony is making it quickly. I assumed he would want to see what LeBron is doing first -- and at the moment, it sure seems like LeBron doesn't have his future plans set yet. I have always thought a LeBron-Carmelo pairing was the one way this offseason could get doused in lighter fluid very quickly.

Not that anyone cares about my opinions, but I don't think it was disingenuous for Anthony to meet with the Bulls, Mavericks and Rockets (alright, maybe the Mavs) even if he was likely going to take New York's godfather offer all along. People who complain about that type of thing in professional sports are weirdos. There are worse things in the world than millionaires being insincere to even wealthier millionaires. It is mostly just how rich people live.

I do think it's interesting, and not even a little surprising, that Knicks fans aren't too jacked up about the prospect of Melo getting a max or near-max deal. Check out the responses to this tweet from Jared Dubin:

If I were a Knicks fan, I probably wouldn't want Carmelo back on a $100 million contract, either. After ditching Tyson Chandler, it seems likely the Knicks are going to be very sorry next season. This is logical, because they are the Knicks.

I'd love to put a moratorium on assassinating Carmelo's character, but please: this is open season for Knicks jokes, because that franchise even makes the Chicago Cubs looks competent by comparison. At least the Cubs have a plan. The Knicks are just slowly biding their time until they can ruin the career of their next great player.

So yeah! This is going to end really soon. Even if the Bulls ditched Jimmy Butler and Mike Dunleavy Jr., the Knicks can still potentially pay Carmelo $57 million more in guaranteed salary. Remember that before you say Melo is gutless for choosing money over winning. That is an absurd amount of money, and I'm not sure any right thinking American would pass up that kind of cash for anything, let alone D. Rose's shaky ligaments and daily sessions of getting yelled at by Thibs.