Anthony set to announce deal with Knicks: reports

Sat Jul 12, 2014 9:26pm 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, media reports said 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.

Another top free agent, Pau Gasol, said he was leaving the Los Angeles Lakers to join the Chicago Bulls, who had also pursued Anthony.

Anthony, a seven-time All-Star, could sign a five-year contract with New York 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 Bulls, who were only able to offer him four years and $75 million due to their salary cap situation.

James, meanwhile, flew to Brazil for Sunday's World Cup final between Germany and Argentina.

"It's a really exciting time for myself. I am ready for the challenge," he said in his first public comments since announcing he would be going back to Cleveland.

The four-time NBA most valuable player did not address reports about the terms of his deal, which ESPN said was worth $42.1 million over two years.   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