Knicks, Melo need a second star

Anthony alone can't raise New York's level; he will need help

Updated: July 12, 2014, 4:48 PM ET
By Bradford Doolittle | ESPN Insider

After weeks of hand-wringing and speculation, representatives for Carmelo Anthony are currently finalizing negotiations to keep the forward in New York on a five-year, $122 million-plus deal, sources said. The Chicago Bulls and the Houston Rockets have been told by Anthony's representatives to move on.

Certainly, that Anthony would remain with the Knicks was far from guaranteed. Though the Knicks were able to offer him the most money, the Bulls, Rockets and Dallas Mavericks all offered better opportunities to win right away. On the Knicks' end, it wasn't clear if Phil Jackson even wanted one of the league's best scorers back in the Big Apple. Given Anthony's age and well-publicized struggles on defense, some wondered if another long-term max contract would be a wise investment.

In the end, though, a return to the Knicks made sense, if only because each of the non-New York options presented a massive gamble for Anthony.