Anthony set to announce deal with Knicks: reports

Sat Jul 12, 2014 6:10pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Prolific scorer Carmelo Anthony is hammering out the final details on a contract to return to the New York Knicks, according to media reports on Saturday.

Anthony, who averaged 27.4 points last season for the Knicks and is the biggest free agent on the market following Friday's decision by LeBron James to sign with Cleveland, was expected to make an announcement as soon as Sunday, reports said.

The seven-time All-Star could sign a five-year contract for as much as $129 million under NBA rules, but he may elect to take less in order to give the Knicks more room under the salary cap to improve the team by shopping for other free agents.

Anthony, 30, became a free agent by opting out of the final two years of a contract that would have paid him more than $23 million next season.

He had been hotly pursued by several teams including the Chicago Bulls, who were only able to offer him four years and $75 million due to their salary cap situation.

The Bulls were believed to be shifting their focus to free agent forward Pau Gasol.

In other NBA news, the Utah Jazz have retained Gordon Hayward after matching the Charlotte Hornets' four-year, $63 million offer sheet.

Hayward, 24, averaged career highs of 16.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.2 assists last season for the Jazz.

The Phoenix Suns confirmed the acquisition of point guard Isaiah Thomas in a sign-and-trade deal with the Sacramento Kings. The 5-foot-9 Thomas averaged 20.3 points and 6.3 assists for the Kings last season.   Continued...

Mar 19, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) controls the ball against Indiana Pacers shooting guard Lance Stephenson (1) during the fourth quarter of a game at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks defeated the Pacers 92-86. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports