Melo Lebron
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Melo Lebron
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Carmelo Anthony is holding out in hopes of somehow being able to achieve what many believe is his ultimate goal.

Word is the NBA’s No. 2 top scorer desperately wants to play with four-time league MVP LeBron James and he’s put all the teams that have spent this summer chasing him in free agency on hold until he’s played out his every option in that respect.

Long considered in many circles to be the leaders to re-sign him largely because they can offer him at least $30 million more than any other suitor, Phil Jackson and the Knicks are now rumored to be growing increasingly concerned Anthony’s heart might be someplace other than in New York City.

The Knicks had hoped to hear back from Anthony by Monday, the same day James announced he has scheduled another meeting for this week with Heat boss Pat Riley. With that, D-day for the Knicks came and went without so much as a word from Anthony.

James is also rumored to be engaging in ongoing talks with the Lakers, who like Miami harbor hopes of teaming the two star forwards together. Anthony is also rumored to still be considering Chicago, while James is said to be seriously entertaining thoughts of returning to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Knicks can offer Anthony a max deal of up to $129 million over five years, while the Lakers currently have the cap space to offer up to $96 million over four seasons. The Bulls and Heat would still need to make significant roster changes to be able to get anywhere close to offering the 30-year-old veteran forward a max contract.

With Carlos Boozer’s expiring contract in pocket as well as the rights to top-flight European prospect Nikola Mirotic, the possibility of a sign-and-trade between the Knicks and Bulls has also been bandied about.

An 11-year veteran, Anthony averaged 27.4 points and 8.1 rebounds last season.