Carmelo reportedly holding out hope LeBron comes to Knicks

Could the Knicks clear enough cap space to land Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James?

Carmelo Anthony reportedly was expected to accept the New York Knicks’ maximum contract offer Monday. So what’s been the hold-up?

The New York Post is reporting that Anthony is holding out hope that team president Phil Jackson can clear enough cap space to bring in the biggest free-agent prize of all –€“ LeBron James.

"He really wants LeBron to come to New York," a source told the Post about Anthony’s desire to play with the four-time MVP. "That’s his dream right now. Phil is trying to get it done."

The Knicks reportedly have reached out to the Philadelphia 76ers about taking the final year of Amar’e Stoudemire’s expiring contract, clearing $22 million for New York. To sweeten the potential deal, the Knicks would have to include swingman Iman Shumpert.

Philadelphia, which has $30 million in cap space, also has been in talks with the Houston Rockets to acquire point guard Jeremy Lin. The Rockets would need to move Lin if they want to bring in free-agent big man Chris Bosh.

Jackson then would have to move Andrea Bargnani’s contract to create the rest of the room for James. Jackson reportedly turned down a deal that would have sent Bargnani and Tim Hardaway Jr. to an unreported team.

But without a commitment from James, Jackson doesn’t appear to be willing to include young, athletic assets in order to entice teams to take these massive contracts.

The Knicks have offered Anthony a five-year, $129 million deal — the most any team can extend to Anthony. James is reportedly meeting with the Miami Heat on Wednesday in Las Vegas as free agency continues to be in a holding pattern.

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